Tuesday, 5 April 2011

KM - realising the need

Your management will not invest in KM if they don't see the need.

Even the smallest investment, for example a workshop, or an assessment)  requires some sort of justification, so to justify even the smallest investment, you need to demonstrate some potential value. There are three ways to sell the need

1. Logic. Here you logically explain knowledge management to senior management, talking through what it is, and where the value lies. Our experience is that people rarely buy something based on logic, but that they need the logic to justify the emotionally-based decision to buy.

2. Problem Stories. This is a powerful way to help your management see the need. You tell stories about the mistakes which have been repeated, the good practice which remains isolated, the silos which do not communicate, the knowledge which has been lost, the knowledge which will shortly be lost ("did you know we will lose 40% of our engineering expertise in the next 2 years?") Once senior management "buy" the existence of a problem, then it is easier to "sell" KM as a solution.

3. External Examples. Here you tell the stories of companies that have implemented KM, and delivered big value. You talk about the $1billion at Mars from knowledge-enabled work, the $200m per year at Shell, and so on. This actually works quite well, especially if the stories are about your competitors.

Read more here in the white paper on "Making the case for Knowledge Management"

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