There are increasingly a number of external factors that can drive the adoption of Knowledge Management in organisations. Here are the top 5.
Good Knowledge Management is increasingly becoming an expectation on organisations; from clients, from customers, from governments and from contracts. If you cannot build enough support for Knowledge management inside your organisations, look out for these external factors.
KM in contracts.I posted a while ago about how I was beginning to see KM appearing in tender documents for government and for major clients. Here some example clauses from real contracts;
"the contractor shall employ knowledge management systems and processes to promulgate knowledge and experience resulting from the service to the user community"
"The contractor shall provide the following ... A knowledge management systenm to promulgate lessons learned, good practice and to facilitate improved maintenance and operation"
KM in supplier auditsWe have also seen Knowledge Management beginning to be part of big-company suppler audits. In one example, the client fed back fed back to one supplier that
- your company is formed into silos,
- your silos are clearly not talking with each other, especially for identification and re-use of lessons learned,
- your company needs effective Knowledge Management.
KM in pre-qualificationsGiven the two trends above, we have been approached by service companies that wanted to demonstrate to clients that they were competent operators, and part of that would be to demonstrate a good KM system, because "our customers will expect us to do KM".
KM in external third party auditIn several cases, we have been approached by organisations as a direct result of audits by the big consulting companies, who have identified deficiencies in Knowledge Management, and made recommendations that these should be addressed. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the big consultancies are among the leaders in KM, and can recognise when it is not being applied.
KM as a government expectation
We can see this most clearly in the UAE (as described in this slideshare) where the government is pressing for the development of a Knowledge Economy, with KM playing a key supporting role.
A problem to date, for all of these forces, is that there is no consistent definition of what Knowledge Management actually is. Therefore companies and government departments have had to work out for themselves (often with Knoco's support and help) what to do to comply with these external requirements. This will change once the ISO KM standard is published (hopefully in 2018), when all that these external bodies will need to do is say "you must demonstrate compliance with the ISO standard".