I’ve recently had a couple of conversations with people returning to our organisation after working on long term infrastructure projects. Despite having spent the last three years here designing and delivering a KM program, these Executives had been away longer and have returned to an organisation that has been through two restructures, had a new intranet, doubled in size and moved into new premises.
After hearing them voice their predicament in a couple of forums, I tracked them down to see how I can support them with their integration back into the business. After listening to their perspective and perceptions their first question was “So what do you do?”.
As we all do, I’ve got a couple of elevator speeches to try and communicate what possibilities KM can create in the context and words of the business and here is the one I used.
We can look at how we need to manage knowledge from the perspective of where does it get used, and then work backwards from there.
A couple of areas where we use knowledge to create value are in solving problems and making decisions. These are closely related and are basically what we do as an infrastructure consulting firm. We help our clients decide what the problem is and what the best solution is.
If we work backwards from making decisions, we look at:
- the data and information do we need to collect and analyse
- the expertise and experience do we need to have,
- the process, governance and authority
- what happened last time
- the options we have
- the impacts and consequences
So in working backwards from there we can see we need to know what we know and who knows it, the processes and systems we need to operate within and the thinking we have to do.