12 steps to successful knowledge management implementation

2014-07-18T12:13:49Z (GMT) by Ray Dawson
Knowledge management initiatives often fail to live up to expectations and many result in failure. Unfortunately, many knowledge management initiatives fail because they have been introduced, simply because knowledge management has been recognised by senior management as a “good thing” and something their competitors are undertaking. This can lead to a knowledge manager being appointed without any clear direction and knowledge management initiatives being undertaken without any clear purpose or measurable target criteria. To overcome these problems, a twelve step methodology for knowledge management implementation is presented, illustrated with a series of small case studies. Starting from a problem audit, subsequent steps ensure a baseline measure for improvement is identified, and a comprehensive, costed solution to a recognised problem is designed which is capable of gaining buy-in from both management and the system users. The system is designed with user involvement and must consider the operation of the proposed system as well as the implementation. Subsequent to the implementation, a review process involving the identification of measurable cost-benefits can become the basis for future expansion and roll-out of knowledge management and can become the first steps in the building of a comprehensive knowledge environment. The case studies illustrate the value of each step in the methodology with examples of good and bad practice drawn from the author’s previously published experiences. This paper brings the lessons from these case studies together to form the twelve step methodology which ensures knowledge management is implemented using sound business principles of cost-benefit analysis and return on investment, and established engineering principles of breaking larger projects into smaller projects carried out incrementally with testing carried out at each stage. It is recommended that companies follow these principles and the proposed twelve step methodology in order to achieve successful knowledge management implementation in their own environment.