Essential First Steps in Creating a Knowledge Management System

Knowledge management systems protect organisations from the loss of knowledge from their business, by capturing and providing essential information in a location accessible to all. Whilst the benefits to knowledge management systems are plentiful, some organisations may be confused as to how best to implement them. Some might try and seek a one size fits all approach and copy a system from another business, but that is rarely successful due to the myriad of factors which define the way the each individual organisation carries out their work. A better approach is to develop a knowledge management system that is bespoke to the organisation, that way the maximum benefit is more likely to be assured.

There are a number of essential steps which need to be taken in order to create knowledge management strategy and which all organisations should consider in order to achieve the optimum result.

The first is step is fully evaluate the business through either a top-down or a bottom –up approach. Use this approach to identify the key groups of employees within the organisation, those who contribute the most strategically or who hold the most process and business knowledge.

Once identified the second step is to conduct a needs analysis with these individuals. The key is to find out what information they need and what knowledge they hold. This data should then be supplemented with input from other sources such as senior management or corporate strategy. Once complete the needs analysis should then provide the focus for the development of the knowledge management strategy.

The third step is to act on the data by formulating recommendations and solutions for addressing the issues highlighted by the needs analysis. Finally the last step is to implement initiatives based on the most suitable knowledge management techniques.

The key to a successful knowledge management strategy is to follow these essential steps fully and avoid jumping into ‘solution mode’ without completing the necessary research. Whilst further guidance may be required in order to find the exact knowledge management strategy to meet the businesses needs these four essential steps will go most of the way to providing a system that works effectively with the organisation.

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