Making KM a Habit: Why Knowledge Management (KM) is a Must-Have for today’s firms – Part Three

According to a SHRM study, Fortune 500 companies lose roughly £25 billion a year by failing to share knowledge. Firms recognize that it is crucial to break the barriers of silo-working and share knowledge effectively to succeed, however rarely prioritize Knowledge Management (KM) from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a must-have. Firms must make it a regular habit to think about their collective knowledge and establish channels to share it across the teams.

In parts one and two of our series, we stressed the importance of having a Knowledge Management plan in place, and metrics established to track the enablement of speed and accuracy in knowledge delivery.  However firms must extend their focus on sustaining corporate knowledge management – not just sustaining corporate knowledge creation.

According to the TSIA, less than a third of companies are doing regular reviews of their knowledge or content.

If there is insufficient or no accountability around knowledge in a firm, that knowledge is at high risk of being outdated or orphaned, resulting in the user community starting to lose trust in the knowledge base.  When they lose trust in the accuracy or availability of knowledge, they resort back to using their own knowledge, no longer sharing knowledge in the tool, a vicious cycle.

Pcubed’s Knowledge Management Framework helps to ensure accountability by assigning Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from the business, as owners of a knowledge area.  The SME is accountable for not just providing and sharing insight in the owned area, he or she is accountable for the area’s maintenance and upkeep, with an objective added to their career performance reviews.

Finally, unless and until all knowledge areas are assigned owners, the framework is not signed off by the sponsor. This objective-based governance provides a tight control over the business knowledge base and ensures accountability for the accuracy and currency of knowledge owned and shared by the firm.

In conclusion, it is necessary for firms to see the direct connection between the return on the investment in Knowledge Management and their business outcomes.  The reality is that this won’t be possible without acknowledgement and support from the senior leadership team that Knowledge Management is a ‘must-have’ for the firm.

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