There comes a time in your KM implementation when you might want to start thinking about a KM Policy.
A Policy is a statement that "this is the way we will do things". It comes late in a KM implementation, when you have proved the concept, chosen the approach, made an impact on the culture, and want to embed KM as part of the business.
The policy sets the expectation for KM.
Let's look at an example.
Here is a KM policy from the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, dated 2010. The Policy component of this document is reproduced below.
Policy The NDA will:
- Require and incentivise the sharing and preservation of knowledge where this will support and enable the NDA estate (NDA, NDA subsidiaries and SLCs) to meet their organisational objectives.
- Encourage the development of a culture of sharing across the NDA estate.
- Enable innovation by facilitating access to knowledge assets as appropriate.
- Provide clear delegated authorities to define the responsibilities within the NDA estate in the management of knowledge assets.
- Introduce M&O contracts that incentivises, facilitates and requires:
- SLCs to manage the knowledge they hold.
- The sharing of knowledge between SLCs, and where appropriate their subcontract chain.
- Assist in the creation of robust communities, able to survive organisational change, which can be used to share knowledge within and between the organisations forming the NDA estate.
- Commission KM tools and infrastructure that should be common across the NDA estate.
- Create a Forum to enable the NDA estate to work together to develop additional KM system components and which will
- Develop a suite of KM tools and supporting training.
- Define the underpinning “KM infrastructure” that is to be provided by the NDA.
- Define KM’s “expectations” from related work-streams.
- Develop clear, measurable, targets and expectations from the KM work-stream.
- Require the SLCs to monitor the strengths and weakness of the knowledge assets available to the NDA estate; reporting issues to the NDA if they cannot be resolved by the SLC.
- Monitor, and address, the strengths and weakness in the NDA estate’s management of knowledge assets.
- Develop a shared vision for KM, as captured in this document, developed in consultation with representatives of the NDA estate.
- The NDA will work with the rest of the NDA estate to carry out spot checks into the adequacy of the KM activities.
In some ways, this particular policy is as much a strategy as a policy, in that it is all about "developing", but other components set out clear expectations, such as the need to include KM in SLC contracts, and the monitoring and spot-check activity.