Knowledge Management -- Current State Assessment
When developing a new KM program, we strongly recommend kicking off the process with a knowledge management assessment.
KM assessments are designed to take stock of environment as it stands today from a knowledge management perspective. Through the discovery process, you get a complete picture of the current state of KM practices, technologies, tools, governance in place within your organization -- what's working, what's not, and what are the true root causes for today's challenges.
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 that can be built upon
- Potential early adopters or champions for KM
- How technology is being used to enable knowledge sharing -- or how it is hindering knowledge sharing
- Elements of organizational culture and structure that present barriers to effective knowledge management
Findings from KM assessments are often 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.