How Do I Develop a Knowledge Management Plan?
A knowledge management plan should begin by defining the goals of the organization, which would normally be centered on satisfying customer needs. Knowledge management systems must be designed to further the aims and objectives of the business organization. A plan should aim to encourage and enhance knowledge sharing among the people in the organization by means of incentives, establishment of expert communities and provision of collaborative technology. Processes should be adapted to enhance knowledge capture, manage the information and knowledge created in the course of business operations and introduce appropriate software systems.
Creating a knowledge-sharing culture among the staff in the organization should be the aim of a knowledge management plan. Those closest to the products, processes or customers of the enterprise should be encouraged — with the help of an incentive strategy — to share experiences and make suggestions for improvement of individual aspects of the operation. Collaborative software should be made available and staff should be encouraged to come together in creative expert communities to put forward and discuss creative ideas. Staff should be provided with training that enables them to identify where knowledge is created and how it is to be shared. The relevant employees also should know where knowledge is stored and how to access the knowledge when it is needed.
In putting together a knowledge management plan, the enterprise should realize that the recording, retention and appropriate storage of knowledge and experience gained from performing a particular project is not the top priority of staff members. They are aiming primarily at enhancing customer value and ensuring complete customer service, which will lead to increased sales. For this reason, the need to capture knowledge must be built into systems and processes so recording useful experience for future benefit is an essential part of completing a project. This may, for example, mean adapting software so a report must be competed for the knowledge database before the project can be closed. Feedback from current operations can then be accessed to form a basis for future projects.
The knowledge management plan should designate relevant personnel within the organization who may guide and steer the knowledge management project and help to develop knowledge sharing by designing systems. This also would involve the development of staff training manuals and training courses. This function may be an adaptation of the role of a senior staff member or may involve the creation of a new position of knowledge manager. Depending on the size of the organization, a knowledge management team could be recruited to assist the knowledge manager.
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