Knowledge Management

Essay by nigelsmithA-, August 2005

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It is recommended that you align your KM strategy with your business strategy and that part of this alignment process is deciding on whether to emphasize a codification or personalization implementation of KM.

They recommend that you pick one and devote 80% of your effort to that one approach, while keeping the other side contributing at about 20%. The danger of personalization companies trying to add self-service knowledge bases, for example, is the alienation of customers who expect personal attention and don't want to be told to look it up. Codification companies that try to add expertise based solutions or in-depth personal attention risk losing their profit margin.

In addition, the two approaches call for different incentive structures that can cause confusion if both are in place. If your normal reward structure or basis for performance reviews is how much material someone contributes to the company database, how do you capture and evaluate their informal tacit knowledge sharing?

The relationship between codification and personalization has two primary intersection points, creating a support context around when to make the transition from codified information to personal and tacit knowledge, and enriching your information storage solution with more and more knowledge contexts.

Finally, the constant development and utilization of your knowledge map by both employees and knowledge facilitators is an important part of obtaining the feedback loop that any good knowledge management system needs. For example knowledge managers need to know the map and use it and since KM is a self-referential initiative, knowledge managers need to use it to capture the knowledge in their projects to refine the knowledge map based on actual experience.

In summary, for industries in the Financial sector as well as most large companies outside the consultant sector, I would recommend, based on our experience and analysis, that...