Monday, 22 July 2013


The four Ifs of Knowledge Management


This post is an elaboration of a Linked-In comment, and is based on a diagram from a paper I co-authored called Implementing a Framework for Knowledge Management

We see four key enablers for Knowledge Management -


The first 3 are generally recognised as the "People, Process. Technology" trio, while experience over a number of years (and documented in the paper referenced above) has shown that without governance, the other three cannot be sustained.

It's informative to look at what happens if any of these four are missing. That's the Four Ifs of KM


  • If there are no roles and accountabilities, then Knowledge Management is nobody's job (or else, it's "everyone's job" which soon becomes "no-one's job")
  • If there are no processes for KM, then nobody knows what to do, or how to do it.
  • If there is no Technology for KM, then nobody has the tools, and KM can never extend beyond the immediate and local
  • If there is no Governance, then nobody sees the point. KM remains an optional activity, and nobody has time for optional activity.

2 comments:

SteveG said...

Ties in well with the final summary paragraph of my PhD thesis a few years ago..
"For knowledge sharing to become endemic in an organization, people need to want to share knowledge - so they must be motivated (time, recognition, encouragement, reward) – and they need to be enabled to share (process, technology, structure) and strategic direction and senior management buy-in will be necessary for this to happen."

Rosie said...

Well said! I enjoyed the short sharp encapsulation about how not to do KM!

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