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KM Assessment

When developing a new KM program, we strongly recommend kicking off the process by first taking stock of the current environment. Knowledge Management (KM) assessments are designed to do just that: they are a way to get a complete picture of the current state of KM practices within an organization, department, or team.

What is a Knowledge Management Assessment?

A Knowledge Management (KM) assessment is the process of capturing the current state of KM within an organization or department. The assessment process should be designed to solicit input from a representative group of staff and other key stakeholders to identify:

  • What’s working and what’s not
  • Pinpoint where knowledge flow bottlenecks are occurring
  • Good practices for knowledge capture and knowledge sharing which can be built upon
  • Potential early adopters or champions for KM
  • How technology is/is not being used to support knowledge sharing
  • Elements of the organizational culture and structure which present barriers to effective knowledge management
  • Elements of the organizational culture and structure which support and encourage knowledge management

 

Findings from KM Assessments can sometimes be surprising – what was assumed to be a technology problem is often tied to organizational culture, day-to-day practices, or how cross-functional teams work together. Undergoing a KM Assessment can be extremely beneficial in helping groups develop a shared understanding of and common vocabulary to describe what’s working and what’s not.

KM assessments act as a springboard upon which future efforts are built, so it is beneficial to pull back and conduct an in-depth analysis of the current environment before trying to envision what the future might look like. Since we want to be certain that a new KM strategy addresses the right issues, it’s important to have a solid foundation upon which to start.

Developing a KM Program 

For organizations striving to improve in any of these areas, we recommend the following process:

 1Asssessment:

Undertake a full assessment of the current KM environment.

 2Strategic Direction:

Develop a vision for the future, with goals and objectives for KM.

 3Tactical Plan:

Establish a plan for how to get from the current state to the future state via tactics and an implementation roadmap.

 4Implementation:

Begin to implement new tactics, initiatives, activities, and ways of working together to integrate good KM practices into the fabric of the organization or department.

 5Assessment & Course Correction:

Review, assess, and refine KM tactics and the course of action as needed.

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