Analyse / Assess
This next phase of a KM iniative is one of data collection and analyse that provides the evidence to underpin the KM strategy that follows. Here it is important to get an assessment of the current status in the three main dimensions of information/knowledge, technology and human factors. The link to the business comes through several levels:
- Individual tasks: during the knowledge audit, clarifying "knowledge for what?"; what is the purpose or task that requires this knowledge
- Key decisions, especially high level strategic ones: during interviews with stakeholders and senior managers, dissecting the tough decisions, and courses of action in response to unanticapted events: what information or knowledge did they use and wish they had had
- Effectiveness of core business processes: in one sense a business process is codified best practice knowledge for a repetitive set to tasks; is the process based on best current knowledge; what inforamtion and knowledge feeds each step; who provides it, what is it reliability?
- Organizational culture: does the culture across the organization, or within particaulr parts of it, enhance or inhibit knowledge flows that feed into core tasks and processes?
- Technology aligment: does our ICT infrastructure and our operational systems support our key business processes and routine tasks; does the ICT toolset provide our professionals with the information and knowledge processing capabilities they need?
The following pages in this section address the following elements of analysis and assessment in more detail:
- The information/knowledge audit - this identifies what information and knowledge an organization has, where it resides and how it is used
- Related but distinct is a km assessment - this evaluates the extent and effectiveness of KM activities
- ICT (Information and Communications Technology) infrastructure and systems assessment - identifying congruence (or otherwise) in the overall IT strategy, architecture and functionality and its capability to support knowledge workers and KM activities
- stakeholder analysis - identification of key stakeholders and their role in knowledge management; related to this is an analysis of other human factors, such as culture, and how this could help or hinder KM activities
- analysis of business processes - how information and knowledge informs each step and how it is processed and flows throughout the process and from one process to another.
The analysis tasks are frequently conducted as part of an external consultancy contract. Even so, it is important that staff from the organization are closely involved - after all, your organization will need to develop your understanding of KM and take any KM programme forward once the consultants have completed their 'study'. Provided the data collected is properly analysed and reported, you will then have a baseline or benchmark against which to judge year-on-year progress.
Last updated: 19th March 2011