Friday, 16 December 2011

What qualifications do you need to do KM?

Graduation 2008 I see, and receive, many questions about "what training or qualification do I need to become a KM person?" "Do I need a qualification in IT/HR/Library Science to do KM?"

The answer depends on "What do you mean by 'become a KM Person'?

Do you mean 'take a leading KM role in my business'? 'Do KM as part of my job'? 'Become a KM consultant'?"

For me, the people who take a leading role in the business need primarily to understand the business, and secondarily to understand KM. It is not vital that they have KM qualifications or expertise, but they need to work with someone who does (good Knowledge Management consultants for example), especially when designing the Knowledge Management Framework.

People who need to do KM as part of their job, don't really need any qualification, but they need to understand

  • the role they will play
  • the processes they will use or facilitate
  • the technology they will apply
  • the KM governance systems they will work under, and
  • how their part fits in the entire KM framework.

People applying for a KM job need to read the job description carefully. As we saw in yesterday's blog post, a "KM job" can mean almost anything. You may well need your qualification in library science, IT or HR, but it very much depends on the individual job.

If you are looking for a job in KM consulting, then beware; it's a very tough field in which to make a living, and the most important qualification you need is Track Record. That's what clients are looking for - they want to know whether you have done this before, whether you have worked for big clients, and whether they can have confidence that you know what you are talking about.

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