This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

What is your evidence of knowledge management

Collecting evidenceWhat would you see if this ephemeral thing called knowledge management were happening in your organization?

The SIKM mailing list is having some fun with a discussion of the question, "When is knowledge managed?" While the discussion has gone a number of directions, the fun result has been several people posting a "top ten" list of evidence that would suggest knowledge management is working in their organization. Here is my attempt...

Jack's "Top Ten" Evidence of Knowledge Management

  1. Projects are finishing faster and with higher quality. Shared experience is credited with the improvements.
  2. People seek out (and can find) others who have done similar work before embarking on new efforts.
  3. People happily help one another within their areas of expertise and interest.
  4. People have time in their schedules to focus and get work done with the understanding that they won't be interrupted.
  5. Colleagues understand boundaries and the need to focus: They don't expect immediate answers when they call for assistance.
  6. People continually look for ways to learn from their own experience and that of others. They wish to improve their own performance.
  7. People are aware of one another's projects / struggles / successes in a general sense, and they have mechanisms to learn more quickly.
  8. People can easily find materials (created by others) that they need to do their work.
  9. People can easily find their own materials.
  10. Making one's materials available to others is easy and painless.

I want to add the phrase, "more and more" to nearly all of these. "X is happening more and more." Because none of these are end states, and knowledge management shouldn't be thought of as something that is done once and then forgotten.

And of course, this list isn't anything like complete. Every organization and person will have a different take on what it means that knowledge management is happening or that it works in their organization. And the goals for the organization and people are different, so their evidence of KM is going to look different. The person who started the discussion, Steven Weineke, claims to have a hundred (or more) examples.

[Photo: "Collecting evidence" by Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits]

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