Laura Quinn and Paul Hagen provide 15 Ways to Use Software to Improve Your Knowledge Management. This is a nice set of examples of general problem areas and some specific software that might help. The article is geared towards non-profits, but I don't think there is a limitation in application to other types of organization.
Reading through this article, I recalled Jason Marty's talk at KM Chicago, where he described the general problems that lawyers and law firms face and what aspects of these problems could be considered knowledge management. Once you understand the goals under which you are operating, you can much more clearly identify ideas that will help move you in the right direction.
Here is their setup:
You've likely experienced the common symptoms: Staff members write documents from scratch without realizing that similar documents already exist. They spend time researching topics when someone else in your organization is already an expert. Decisions are made without full knowledge. Text, pictures, or other content doesn't make its way to the places where it would do the most good. You have a nagging feeling that people aren't talking to each other about things that affect them both.
[via Luis Suarez' ITToolbox blog that doesn't provide full text feeds, hint hint.]
They describe four different goals of knowledge management approaches (these aren't the only ones), and provide suggestions for software that might address each item. As always, read the whole article for their commentary.
- Goal: Encourage people to take advantage of other people's knowledge.>
- Interest Group Email Lists
- Blogs or Wikis
- Virtual group collaboration tools
- Expertise repositories
- Goal: Ensure everyone can find the documents and other resources useful to them.
- Enterprise search
- Tagging solutions
- Intranets and shared document spaces
- Content management systems
- Goal: Help staff easily answer common questions.
- Create and distribute FAQs
- Knowledge base
- Expert systems
- Goal: Ensure senior staff has the right information to make decisions.
- Consolidated status emails or documents
- Solid reporting systems
- Online dashboards