Monday 12 December 2022

10 reasons for your organisation to have a KM policy

What's the point of having a KM Policy? Here are 10 arguments in favour.

  1. There comes a time when a KM strategy has done its job, and that's when you need a KM policy.  Your Knowledge Management strategy is a strategy for change - a strategy for introducing the culture, behaviours and management framework for Knowledge Management. Once the change is complete, what replaces the strategy? The answer is a Knowledge Management Policy
  1. The KM policy is a statement of intent. It declares that the organisation believes KM is important, or important enough to have a policy in place. Conversely, if there is no policy, that declares that the organisation believes KM is not that important.
  1. The KM policy sets clear expectations and accountabilities for all staff. It is a statement of expectation and defines KM accountabilities for the organisation, identifying limits or boundaries on behaviours and actions related to knowledge.
  1. Creating a KM policy requires the support of senior management. The policy is a visible sign of senior management support, and indicates that senior managers want things done the right way in KM terms. The policy also requires you to work with senior management to define the expectations and statements, so drives you into deep engagement with leadership.
  1. The KM policy gives direction without being prescriptive. It sets boundaries within which people in the organisation can tailor their own KM approaches.
  1. The KM policy resolves tensions between opposing forces. Like the tension between open sharing of knowledge versus information security - the only way that will get resolved is through an overarching policy statement.
  1. The KM policy sets minimum standards for KM. This gives you a baseline to measure against, and a way to recognise those people who are not doing what they should in KM terms. 
  1. The KM policy helps develop the organisational culture, ensuring employees understand the role they will play in achieving strategic goals;
  1. A KM policy holds managers accountable.  Managers, as well as other staff, will be guided by the policy.  The policy defines how they will conduct themselves, how they will assign resources, reward and recognise, etc, and holds them accountable in a very transparent way.
  1. ISO 30401, the Management System Standard for KM, requires you to have a KM policy. ISO believe that an effective management system must be supported by a policy, for all the reasons given above, and that applies to KM just as it does to other management systems. Even if you have no interest in being certified against ISO 30401, 

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