Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The service trap - a pitfall for KM teams

Food Addiction
The service trap is a trap that I have seen several Knowledge Management teams fall into. It works like this:

  • The KM team introduces some good KM processes as part of a KM strategy
  • These processes deliver real value
  • There is an increasing demand for the services of the KM team in operating these processes
  • The KM team find that they are spending all their time on service provision
  • The KM team no longer have time to work on strategy
  • The final limit of KM activity in the company is set by the available resources in the KM team, who are working at capacity. KM therefore cannot be scaled up to the whole organisation.
These services may include things like knowledge capture, or meeting facilitation, or knowledge retention interviewing. Excellent as these services are, they are not the end-game. The end-game is to embed these activities and processes into the business, and to train the business to do KM for themselves. Once the KM team have demonstrated the value and proved the concept, they need to work on deploying the capability, rather than keeping it for themselves, otherwise they will quickly be overwhelmed by service provision.

Don't fall into the service trap!

1 comment:

Barbara Fillip said...

Oh So True! Scalability and sustainability are critical if the KM effort is going to get beyond its initial phase and have an impact organization-wide.

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