In planning a knowledge management project, one should first look at what one is trying to be achieved. This may be linked to the reasons why such a project was initially considered necessary. The objectives of the project will determine the knowledge management techniques to be used, the systems and applications to be introduced and any new software that needs to be acquired. The enterprise should consider any necessary changes in its organization, such as the creation of a knowledge management function with adequate staff to guide the process or the provision of additional training facilities. Finally, the enterprise should estimate the costs involved in implementing the knowledge management project and compare them to the expected benefits.
The organization may be a knowledge-based service provider aiming to ensure that knowledge created in the organization is effectively captured and utilized. Another organization may feel its intellectual property is not being sufficiently maintained and used and will include in its plan a search to identify intangible assets and find new outlets for exploiting their potential. An enterprise also may want to find better ways to assess the needs of its customers and adapt its products and services to their wishes. The knowledge management project would then be based on objectives such as improvement and innovation of products and processes or enhancement of customer relationships.
A knowledge management project should take into account the applications needed for its implementation. The plan may require new internal procedures, new software or changes to the internal organization. A knowledge management project may aim at boosting innovation by acquisition of knowledge from external sources and would, therefore, need to consider software that can analyze and focus the new knowledge. This software might include management information systems, business intelligence applications and customer relationship management software.
If the knowledge management project aims to increase innovation within the enterprise, then there may be a need to set up discussion forum sites and other collaborative spaces, along with the creation of communities around a particular topic with opportunities for networking. Suitable enabling technologies, such as video conferencing or simulation technology, would need to be chosen to carry out the project. External links would need to be created through increased attendance at seminars and conferences, subscription to trade journals and websites or acquisition of software to enable collaboration with customers on innovative product designs. The costs of acquiring the necessary software and the staff time involved in implementing the knowledge management project must be carefully estimated.