To build on yesterday's post on the importance of Asking in knowledge sharing and KM, I thought I would discuss when and how knowledge can be requested, as part of a Knowledge Management framework.
The first obvious example is in Communities of Practice. The most important and powerful role of CoPs is providing a forum where CoP members can ASK questions of their peers. This is direct asking by the person who actually needs the knowledge.
The second case is in After Action Reviews. Here someone in the team, such as the team leader, ASKS a series of 5 questions, to elicit the knowledge of the team. This knowledge will be used by the same team to improve their practices, so the knowledge providers and knowledge users are the same team.
The third example is in end-of-project Retrospects. Here the questioning is led by an experienced external facilitator. The process is an asking process - structured, quality assured, and aimed at answering (in advance) the likely questions from future projects.
Asking is the most powerful way to elicit knowledge - Pull is more powerful than Push