Monday, 28 October 2013


The best and simplest Knowledge Management Model


There are many Knowledge Management models available, and you can find a selection of them on the Knoco KM Models page.

The one I present to you today is perhaps the simplest and the best, as well as one of the earliest to be created, and one of the most robust. You can almost certainly use this model as the basis for your KM approach.

Let me talk you through it.

At the base of, and as the basis for, the model, we have the teams and projects in the organisation learning Before, During and After. I won't expand on this part of the model; if you need to know more, see my blog post on learning before, during and after.

However the knowledge that the team or project has gained, if it is of value to others, needs to be "pushed" somewhere (the blue arrow on the right of the diagram) (see more details on Push and Pull in KM).

The knowledge can be pushed to one of two destinations - it can be shared, through discussion or presentation, with other teams and/or members of the relevant community of practice. Or it can be placed in some form of Knowledge Base (a lessons management system, for example).

The communities of practice represented the networks of practitioners around the organisation, where much of the knowledge may be held tacitly, and is shared through discussion.

The knowledge base is the managed repository for explicit knowledge (ie not a repository for all forms of information, but for knowledge) where knowledge gained from the individuals, teams and projects is synthesised into knowledge assets.

The knowledge from both of these stores - tacit and explicit - can be accessed through Knowledge Pull (the left hand blue arrow) to allow teams and projects to Learn Before their next activity (by searching the Knowledge Base, and asking the Community of Practice).

There you are - a very simple model of 6 components

You can complicate the model further if you need to, but it's a very good starting point for building your Knowledge Management Framework. I have an additional blog post on the four roles within this model.

I remember drawing a version of this model in Shepperton in 1997 (pre-PowerPoint - it was drawn on an acetate slide) and it has proved robust and valuable ever since. 

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