Thursday, May 04, 2006

Putting KM into context

I've been asked by a local public works department to conduct a workshop on knowledge management at their management staff retreat. They had heard about knowledge management and knowledge retention, but don't know where to start.

It has been a challenge to pull my materials and thoughts together for this workshop. After working internally for so long, this made me look back at the basics, why would someone start knowledge management?

The challenge in my first three slides was to put the drivers for KM into context. I've finally settled on three drivers 1) the changes in information (i.e. too much information and new information expectations), 2) treating knowledge as an asset and 3) knowledge retention (operating knowledge is 80% tacit and over half your staff won't be with you in 10 years). I'm guessing that they will relate to the last item most.

The next challenge has been taking the commonly used terms and knowledge management tools, and putting them into context for the audience. The context is the knowledge that I can bring to this group.

Finally I had to find challenges that they might face and examples from similar organizations. This is where Foundation research and conversations with some of our investigators has been really helpful. The research into utility practices will provide the context I need so that they can see KM is real and not just a bunch of theory.


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