Monday 7 March 2022

Focus your KM first steps.

To start with, you don't need Knowledge Management to be applied everywhere - only in the few places where it makes a difference.

There is always a balance to be struck between burden and value. KM involves extra work - it involves attention to an asset (knowledge) that previously people could ignore. If you focus your KM efforts in those places where the value most outweighs the burden, then your KM program will be welcomed far more than if you apply the KM burden everywhere.

I was reminded of this in a conversation with a client. He was concerned that KM would founder due to lack of resource and prioritisation in the projects.

"Everyone is really busy" he said. "If you put requirements for knowledge work onto the projects without giving them extra resources, nobody will change the way they work".
"What if" I replied "we only asked the most important projects to deliver lessons and knowledge products? The high profile, high risk, flagship projects?"
Immediately his tone brightened.
"That would work" he said. "Those projects already have extra attention and extra resource. They really want to tell their story, and management really want to hear the results. I could see that working, and the other projects, the cookie cutter projects, we could just leave them alone for a while."
By focusing Knowledge Management on 20% of the projects, this client can probably get 80% of the value with 20% of the effort. Later, when KM becomes second nature to the flagship projects and the value has been proven, maybe they can bring in the second level of projects, then later the third.

If you take a strategic approach and focus your initial KM efforts, you are far more likely to get buy-in.

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