Friday 3 September 2010

The Steering Team – a vital piece in the KM engine

Originally uploaded by Howard Dickins
Any time we kick off a Knowledge Management program with a client, we recommend that they put together a steering committee to help steer the program. This is the mechanism that keeps KM tightly aligned to the needs of the business. The leader of the Knowledge Management team does not report to the Steering Team; he or she reports to the high level sponsor, and the steering team acts to advise both the sponsor and the KM team leader.

The purpose of the steering team could be defined as follows
  • Provide a source of additional input and insight from people outside the core KM team to ensure the team doesn’t become introverted and lose their business-led outlook;
  • Provide a source of rigorous challenge when needed (in a safe environment);
  • Further build and maintain the profile of KM;
  • Bringing influential thought leaders closer to the KM programme;
  • Help the team to see emerging risks and opportunities
The steering team would meet on a quarterly basis (more frequently during periods of intense activity). The agenda of the meeting would be to present KM progress since the previous meeting, to discuss lessons learned during this period, to present a plan for the next quarter and to receive feedback and steer from the steering group.

In every case where we have had such a steering group, we have found that it delivers a level of guidance, rigour and challenge that otherwise would be missing.

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