Is it? Shannon Z's Random Mutterings falls to the topic of knowledge management in her Why Is Knowledge Management So Hard?
A big idea at our office right now is "knowledge management." ... What’s funny about all that is that knowledge management — whatever you want to call it — is something that information workers have always had to do and will always have to do. The need to do it well will only intensify as we have more sources of information available to us and more effective technologies for exchanging information with others.
For Shannon, KM is about doing well as an individual. I would add that KM isn't just individual skill and time. There is an important component that related to how the group of us work together: how I process information so that it helps all of us, rather than just me. In a formal organization, this can turn into large software installations designed to organize "knowledge." Unfortunately, the intersection between the technology and the people who need to use it to get work done often fails. In my mind, what is so hard about knowledge management is the problem of synchronizing the needs of the corporation with the needs of individuals and small work groups.
And I think it all comes back to the individual, anyway. People are the ones with the knowledge, they are the ones that need other knowledge, and they are the ones that can communicate it by any number of means. Shannon's final comment comes back around to this. If KM is important to the organization, then it needs to be reflected properly.
... So if knowledge management is truly important to our organization, then our organization needs to put its money where its mouth is by budgeting knowledge management time for each employee. Until that happens, effective knowledge management will continue to elude us.