Saturday, July 29, 2017

Managing Knowledge-Based Initiatives (Book 29 of 30)

Title: Managing Knowledge-Based Initiatives: Strategies for Successful Deployment
Author: Stacy Land

Getting to the final stretch here with this Book-a-Day Blog Challenge.  Today's book is the 29th of 30.  It's now safe to say I'll be able to complete this challenge.

The market for knowledge management books is small enough that I suspect potential authors carefully examine what is already out there and recently published to avoid overcrowding on very similar angles.  This book does a good job of complementing others with a focus on the big picture strategies for launching (and sustaining) knowledge management initiatives.  It's the equivalent of a business plan for knowledge management initiatives, asking the same kinds of questions:
  • What's the current state of KM in the organization? (What does the market look like?)
  • How will a KM initiative fit in?  What's the organizational alignment?  (What is your mission, what are your goals and objectives?)
  • Who are the stakeholders, sponsors?  Who might hinder the initiative?  (What does the competition look like?  Who are some potential partners/allies?)
  • What's the value proposition? 
  • How are you going to build momentum and support for the initiative?  (What's your marketing plan?)
  • How are you going to implement?  Who are you going to engage and how? (What does the detailed execution plan look like?)
  • How is this initiative going to be funded?  (What financing is needed?  Where will you get it?)
  • How will you deal with obstacles?  (What's your risk management approach?)
  • What's your internal communications plan? (How will you build your team?)
Many knowledge management initiatives have failed to bring anticipated benefits.  Reading this book and absorbing its content does not in any way guarantee success, nor is it a step-by-step guide to KM strategy implementation.  Yet it highlights the major areas one would need to be concerned about.   I can imagine a relatively junior KM officer responsible for putting together and implementing a KM initiative and using this book to develop a well-thought out risk management strategy.  Think of all the things that could go wrong, all the possible obstacles, and identify ways to avoid or mitigate them.

There is also a good chapter on how to work with IT.  I think KM initiatives also need to work closely with HR, especially if they're going to be closely tied in with individual learning and individual performance assessments.

Looking at all that could go wrong may sound a little negative or depressing, but moving forward with blind faith that all will be fine -- because it's obviously a great initiative and everyone will join in -- is a disservice to the effort.  Be realistic, understand the obstacles and be persistent.  I can't stress that last word enough.  Be PERSISTENT (but adaptable and not stubborn).

  • Elaborate on the need for persistence AND adaptability/agility.
  • What would a chapter on "KM initiatives working with HR" look like?

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