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Knowledge Management Assessment and Benchmarking

There are many reasons why your organization would begin a KM Program. Sometimes the impetus is demographics: A lot of senior experts are about to retire, and the organization wants a way to document their know-how and experience, or a bunch of new people get hired and KM is seen as a way to get them up to speed more quickly. Other organizations turn to KM in response to change or crisis. A merger, acquisition, or restructuring can make an organization recognize the need to break down siloes between groups and improve cross-boundary knowledge sharing and collaboration. Knowledge management is very much a change process, and the first step in the change is to assess the current state - to see what is already being done, what works well, where the barriers and gaps are, and where the strengths are.


Through this assessment, we help you uncover opportunities to improve:
      How your KM effort is managed and positioned,
      The level and type of resources allocated to KM and if they are adequate,
      The efficiency and effectiveness of KM activities, and
      Current and anticipated future outcomes.

Undertaking this strategic step will help you with a thorough understanding of your current strengths, gaps, and opportunities for intervention in order to introduce a fully operative Knowledge Management Framework. Our KM Assessment methods provides the basis for a clear road map guiding your organization in the initial steps of implementing Knowledge Management so has to ensure you have all required success factors in place.

Each benchmarking assessment offers an Excel-based data collection tool consisting of the survey itself, the measures associated with the survey, the glossary terms needed to understand the survey, and a copy of the Process Classification Framework (PCF) relevant to the data collection instrument. The consolidated data collection tool is intended to simplify the collection of benchmarking data within your organization. Through this series of insight collection methods including in-depth interviews, we map the current state of knowledge utilization and application in your organization against the proven components of functional Knowledge Management. The responses to the data collection methods are noted in detail and brought together to look for common themes, issues, and concerns. Key quotes are also identified to support and illustrate the main conclusions reached. The responses, and acquired metrics, provide a picture of the Knowledge Management strengths and weaknesses of the organization which can be benchmarked against Knowledge Management competencies in other organisations.

The KM Assessment will provide a baseline for your Knowledge Management Implementation and identify the missing elements that need to be filled to create an effective Knowledge Management Framework.

Knowledge Management Strategy Development

Every successful knowledge management program starts with a clear, focused strategy directed at issues of strategic importance to the business. A good Knowledge Management strategy is vital to the success of any knowledge management program and should be one of the early steps in your KM Roadmap. We exist to provide guidance and help you build a Knowledge Management strategy, to your organization KM processes, help you measure and realign your existing strategy over time to ensure your KM continues to provide value.

Implementing Knowledge Management should be done in the context of an agreed strategy. The strategy ensures that the Knowledge Management implementation proceeds in a way that is aligned with the current business approaches, is targeted on the right problems, and is coordinated with other existing change initiatives.

Developing a clear and effective KM strategy allows you to

           Make a strong business case for potential benefits to your organization.
          Get buy-in from senior management.
           Obtain resources to implement your strategy.
           Clearly communicate good knowledge management practices and your current                         organizational KM status, goals, and plans for achieving those goals.
           Track your progress

           Make a strong business case for potential benefits to your organization.

At ForumIS We know when, how, and where to deliver the knowledge your organization needs, and we know this because of the all-important Strategic benchmarking exercise that is conducted before your KM Strategy Exercise Your identified network of your organization’s collective intelligence will hereby launch this important step of creating a lasting knowledge management strategy for your Organization. We conduct this exercise strictly with you either in a two to three-day workshop, where we work with your Knowledge Management team and other key stakeholders to address the key strategic elements of Knowledge Management implementation, or through a series of strategic interviews with your senior managers done either in person but mostly virtually using Zoom and MS Teams

(This requires high dedication of your appointed champions as your availability cannot be compromised)

The recommended workshop will ideally be informed by the results of a Knowledge Management Assessment and Benchmarking exercise, and by input from management on current business strategies and other parallel initiatives. Once the KM strategy document is Completed, it is presented to, and discussed with relevant Stakeholders such as senior management, before sign-off

The document will cover elements such as

             Vision

             Scope

             Business drivers

             Value proposition

             Critical knowledge areas

Communicating easy-to-understand actions that people in the organization will need to take to achieve your KM objectives helps everyone understand what needs to be done, by whom, and what benefits are in it for them. Therefore it will:

                         Contribute to overall organizational goals

                         Balance people, processes, and technology

                         Build timely organizational capabilities

                         Use common processes and technology to encourage collaboration

                         Transform the perception of KM by creating tangible results

Knowledge Management Policy Development

an effective KM Policy is Informed by the outcomes of a KM Audit and the resultant KM Strategy. the Policy and the Strategy sustains the Framework upon which your KM Initiative is based.

A functional KM Policy seeks to maximize the value and impact of Knowledge in the Organization by providing the how to and how not to thereby guiding the organization in capturing, creating, meaningful knowledge, further enabling the utilization of the company's available means of sharing and managing this particular knowledge.

KM comprises of three core components.

·         People who create, share, and use knowledge as part of their daily work and help shape a knowledge sharing organizational  culture

·         Processes which include methods to acquire, create, organize, share, and transfer knowledge to fit different situations and

·         The technology including the mechanisms to store and provide access to data, information, and knowledge that must be integrated               with the way people work, and address their real needs

A good Knowledge Management policy will enable and synergize these three components to be embedded within the structure and culture of the organisation, A good KM Policy will also be an objective guide in the later stages of your KM program with clear administrative procedures that address how KM is managed in the organization. This KM Policy needs to be highly normalized, and set at the right level and should to be just sufficient to deliver the required KM value, without loading too much process onto the business.

Ensure success from the get-go by engaging with seasoned KM consultants that will guide and help you craft a Knowledge Management Policy document tailored to your organisational requirements.

The Knowledge Management Policy acts as a set of operational standards for Knowledge Management within your organisation. It so designed to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them in terms of Knowledge Management practices and processes, and why this is important to the organisation.

 

The overall purpose of this Policy is to establish guidelines for the dissemination and sharing of the organization's existing knowledge and promote continuous learning and cultural exchange, it is especially designed to enhance operational efficiency through the proper use of intellectual capital and encourage initiatives, procedures and tools that allow for the actual and effective use of this intellectual capital, always furthering the interests of the organization without prejudice to specific policies that may be established or be in existence in the organization.

How we help you develop a Knowledge Management Policy

The Knowledge Management policy is developed either in a workshop where we work with your Knowledge Management team including your policy experts for standard alignment and other key stakeholders to address the policy elements, or through a series of strategic interviews with your senior managers done over various media.

The recommended workshop will ideally be informed by the results of a Knowledge Management Assessment and Benchmarking exercise, and by pilot testing of a Knowledge Management Framework. The policy document is presented to, and discussed with, senior management, before sign-off.

The policy document will cover elements such as

·         Business policy statement for KM

·         Accountabilities

·         Required behaviours

·         Required processes

·         Applicability

·         in sync with other organizational policies

The overall benefit of a good KM Policy is a along with an assured right path include a guided ability to

·       Collaborate and build collective knowledge.

·       Find better ways of doing things.

·       Build a community and learning culture.

·       Create better customer experiences.

·       Retain knowledge.

·       Connect remote employees to knowledge.

·       and the obvious feel-good factor.

Knowledge Retention and Transfer Strategy

In this volatile, uncertain and hyperconnected digital world, vital organizational knowledge is at risk of loss (through, retirements, redundancies, career progression, etc.). Once business critical knowledge is lost, it may be expensive, impractical or impossible to regain. The risk posed by an ageing workforce is a huge issue for many Organizations. As experienced staff retire, so critical knowledge will leave with them, which can leave the company highly exposed unless that knowledge can be retained and transferred to more junior, less experienced staff. A Knowledge Retention and Transfer (KRT) Strategy is an approach to reducing this risk.

 

Through our experienced Practitioners we have helped many organizations to develop Knowledge Retention & Transfer Handbook (KRTH) which focuses on reducing the risk of organizational brain drain through eliciting, protecting, transferring and socializing business critical tacit knowledge. The KRTH is a practical guide, with case studies drawn from a variety of industries and markets. These case studies present methods to identify at-risk knowledge, tools to elicit and capture knowledge, and processes to socialize and protect knowledge.

A KRT Strategy is a strategic approach to the risk of the loss of critical knowledge, and highlights priority areas and topics for knowledge retention activity. In a small company, a knowledge retention strategy can focus on the individuals themselves, while in a larger organisation it may make sense to prioritise the knowledge topics. The knowledge retention strategy then looks at the necessary interventions to address the risk.

The Knowledge Retention Strategy is developed through conversations with senior managers, middle managers and HR, and through the scanning and mapping the priority topics. Strategic responses to these issues are then determined, which may include some or all of the following.

·         Reducing the urgency through hiring, or through extending employment contracts

·         Knowledge Transfer to other staff, through the development of Communities of                  Practice, through documentation of processes, and through mentoring and                          coaching Knowledge Capture.

·        There needs to be owners in place for the captured knowledge, which should feed              through into training programs and into the communities of practice

The Knowledge Retention Strategy will be under pinned and supported by the development of Knowledge capture and documentation skills within the organisation. Implementing a retention program requires an investment in training, and requires dedicating time to the knowledge retention process itself

Where knowledge loss represents a significant risk to an organisation, then a Knowledge Retention Strategy and program represents the management of change necessary to reduce that risk to an acceptable level.

Knowledge Management Framework design

Creating a Knowledge Management Framework

Knowledge management is one of the most critical elements of any organization. Without effectively documenting, sharing, and retaining the knowledge within your business, it’s nearly impossible to create a positive and productive culture, hold onto top talent, and deliver a top-quality experience to your customers. But how can you gather, publish, and disseminate all the knowledge circulating within your organization’s various departments and teams? Where do you even begin?

It all starts with a knowledge management framework. We help you through the fundamentals of this framework so you can begin creating your own knowledge management processes or optimize existing methods to better support your organization.

A knowledge management framework typically includes four key components: People. Process. Content and Strategy. Properly considering each of these will help you in the following way

·         People: Putting the Right Players in the Right Places

·         Process: Optimizing the Flow of Information

·         Content: Documenting Your Knowledge

·         Strategy: Bringing It All Together

A Knowledge Management Framework ensures that all necessary KM elements (Accountabilities, Processes, Technologies and Governance) are in place, and interconnected. This ensures that there are no gaps in the system, and that knowledge flows freely through the organisation.

When building a Knowledge Management Framework, we have to make sure that we cover all of the components - all of the interlinked items - which need to be in place for knowledge management to work. We build the framework as a matrix, using a well-established knowledge management model for each axis of the matrix.

The current state of the Knowledge Management Framework elements is mapped during the Knowledge Management Assessment, based on information we collect through assessment interviews from key players in your organization, We recommend the most appropriate Knowledge Management Framework elements for your organisation. The Framework is presented in a report, together with role descriptions, process descriptions and technology functionality, where appropriate.

 

The elements of the Knowledge Management Framework need to not only work together, but also work with the existing systems, structures, infrastructures, and technologies within the company. A working KM Framework Must be tailored to your Organizational operations.

A knowledge management framework provides you with a step-by-step process for wrangling all the information that currently exists across disparate systems and helps fill the knowledge gaps that cause problems for your workforce.

An effective KM framework is vital for the success of Knowledge Management in your organization such that the following must be considered 

·         With no accountabilities, it is nobody's job.

·         With no processes, nobody knows how.

·         With no technology, nobody has the tools.

·         With no governance, nobody sees the point.
·         With no policy, nobody understands where to begin and end

Knowledge Management Valuation

A knowledge valuation process involves quantifying the value of knowledge assets, reuse, and innovation so they can be fully appreciated by the organization. Assigning a value to your organization’s intellectual assets can help realize incremental revenue from sales to customers, support investments in knowledge creation and capture, and justify investments in your knowledge management program.

We will help you work through a valuation calculation based on your historical and current performance data to develop a business case, and (if possible) an order-of-magnitude ROI.

Intellectual Capital is the sum of everything everybody in a company knows that gives it a competitive edge. A metric for the value of intellectual capital is the amount by which the enterprise value of a firm exceeds the value of its tangible (physical and financial) assets.

As early as you can in your Knowledge Management activity, form a reliable and justified estimate the scale of the prize. If you understand the scale of that prize, you know how much you can invest to deliver it, and you are better placed to meet challenges to that investment

In order make some sort of estimate of the return knowledge management will deliver, we will need to decide which business metrics knowledge management will impact, and by how much. Value will come through increasing the volume of your business by increasing market share, or by entering new markets, or through increasing margin by reducing costs (and costs can be reduced in a number of ways) or by increasing price.

An understanding of how knowledge management will impact these variables, plus reliable historic performance data, allows you to value your knowledge management program.

Historical benchmark statistics are used to identify potential areas of improvement, which are offset against the predicted costs of Knowledge Management implementation.

A good understanding of the value of knowledge management, expressed as a business case or ROI, allows you to make a realistic case for investing into this important innovation.

Such can be attained by understanding KM basics presented on most of our site, attending a training course on Knowledge Management provided by our specialist consultants.

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Knowledge management governance

How is knowledge management governance different from knowledge management strategy?

Knowledge management strategy should guide your governance structure. Generally, strategy covers the following subjects:

·                  Who will be reading the knowledge in the KB?

·                  What kind of knowledge do the users need?

·                  Who will be providing the knowledge?

·                  Where and when will the users need to access knowledge?

Governance, on the other hand, covers ongoing best practices and their continual refinement, including:

·               Formalizing or refining knowledge content creation and maintenance guidelines (and making them easily accessible)

·               Advocating for correct usage of your knowledge base

·               Looking out for repeats of old problems and solving for new ones

 

Therefore, A knowledge management (KM) strategy is a specific plan to help your organization manage information, data, and knowledge for the benefit of your organization and any stakeholders. Successful KM strategies align with your overarching organizational strategy and objectives and keep your KM team focused on your business priorities and needs.

The Importance of developing a Knowledge management governance system is to ensure that KM is fully embedded as an expected, owned, measured and rewarded component of business operations. Organizations that are successful in KM implementation are very often those that have a clear KM Governance System

With strict input from Senior Management, We will work with your KM Steering Committee and provide guidance to develop a set of governance systems and processes that will be part of your Knowledge Management Framework. These Governance Systems and processes will include;

·         A set of clear expectations, expressed as a Knowledge Management Policy

·         Clear accountabilities for all elements of Knowledge Management

·         A set of Knowledge Management metrics (including value metrics, application                    metrics and activity metrics), and a reporting structure

·         A performance management system for KM, linked into the existing performance              management structure.

The benefits of having a Strong Knowledge management governance are realized through the long-term sustainability and resilience of your knowledge management program. Without a governance system, KM remains an "optional extra, easily resisted with no impact to innovation and culture" something employees will easily ignore.

KM Road
Solutions 

Knowledge Management (KM) solutions encompass a range of tools, technologies, and practices that facilitate the capture, organization, sharing, and utilization of an organization's knowledge assets. These solutions aim to enhance collaboration, innovation, and decision-making by making valuable information and insights readily accessible to employees. Here are some key components of Knowledge Management solutions we are able to help you with:

Knowledge Repositories:

Document Management Systems: Centralized platforms for storing and managing documents, files, and multimedia.

Content Management Systems (CMS): Web-based systems for creating, editing, organizing, and publishing digital content.

Digital Asset Management (DAM): Systems for organizing and sharing digital assets such as images, videos, and graphics.


Collaboration Tools

  • Intranet Portals: Internal websites that provide a gateway to various resources, documents, and collaborative spaces.

  • Team Collaboration Platforms: Tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Asana that facilitate real-time communication and project collaboration.

  • Wikis: Collaborative platforms where users can create, edit, and update knowledge articles collaboratively.

Search and Retrieval Tools:

  • Enterprise Search: Advanced search engines that index and retrieve information from various repositories and sources.

  • Semantic Search: Search engines that understand context, meaning, and relationships between terms for more accurate results.
Data Analytics and Business Intelligence:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) Tools: Platforms that enable data analysis and visualization to extract insights and trends from organizational data.

  • Data Warehousing: Centralized storage of structured and unstructured data for analysis and reporting.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):

    • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered tools that provide instant answers, guidance, and support to employees.

    • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Technology that helps understand and process human language for better interaction and content analysis.

Learning Management Systems (LMS):

  • Platforms for creating, delivering, and managing training and learning programs for employees.

  • Often used for onboarding, skills development, and compliance training.


taxonomies and Metadata:

    • Structured frameworks that categorize and classify knowledge assets, enhancing search and retrieval.

    • Metadata provides additional context and information about each piece of content.

Expertise Location and Networking:
  • Expertise Locator Systems: Tools that help employees find subject matter experts within the organization.

  • Social Networking Platforms: Internal social platforms that enable employees to connect, share knowledge, and collaborate.

Communities of Practice:

  • Groups of individuals with shared interests or expertise who collaborate and share knowledge within a specific domain.