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Frequently Asked Questions



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There are separate pages giving answers to FAQs for knowledge specialists, general managers, policy makers, consultants and researchers / students.

FAQs - Consultants

How Big Is the Knowledge Consulting Marketplace?

A few years ago research companies like Gartner and Delphi estimated the market for software and services for knowledge management to be worth more than $5 billion. As with all such surveys, it's a question of what is included. Just as most mainstream management consultancies today do not have separate KM lines of business, surveys do not now separate KM revenues. More important is to understand why companies use consultants for knowledge management, so you can develop yourself a profitable niche. Commonly cited reasons are access to unique expertise, an external objective perspective, to speed up progress by adding resources to an internal KM team, to make sure all factors are covered, to avoid pitfalls and mistakes. Whatever your prior consulting experience, there are plenty of opportunities for motivated professionals to develop a KM revenue stream.

How Do I Become an Instant Expert on Knowledge Management?

Just remember that much of what you already do might reasonably be rebranded as knowledge management. Check the toolkits in Knowledge Networking, the framework and practices in 'Knowledge Management: Making It Work'. Then redescribe your own services with the knowledge vocabulary. It is essential you have a basic grounding, so read at least two of the recommended books.

Where Can I Find Resources and Tools that I Can Use to Help Clients?

Also, consultants, both internal and external, are the largest group of buyers of our practically oriented K-Guides. You'll also find some of our Knowledge Tools useful, such as The Know-All KM Assessment and the KM Benefits Tree. Please observe the licensing restrictions on the use of these. If you want to make widescale use of these with your clients, we can offer you attractive licencing terms. Please contact us with your requirements.

What Are Other Consultancies Doing?

Management consultancies have been at the forefront in developing knowledge management in-house. Booz Allen & Hamilton, Price Waterhouse (pre-merger) and Ernst & Young all featured as case studies in our report Creating the Knowledge-based Business. Typically they have online intranet based services, as well as professionally managed knowledge centres - see for example Knowledge Centres at AMS (American Management Systems). Today most of them have KM expertise that they use in a range of consultancy offerings. However, we know - from personal experience - that many companies like dealing with highly knowledgeable KM niche specialists for their KM needs. Our advice is don't worry about the competition. Just develop your own niche and sell your added-value.

Where Can I Learn More?

If you take development of your new found expertise seriously, you must keep abreast of developments. Ways of doing this include reading practice-focussed magazines and participating in discussion groups. Consider also joining an association dedicated to knowledge professional development, such as KMPro. Check out also our list of KM organizations.

If we have not addressed your specific question in the above sections, please put your question in the FAQ feedback form. We will regularly review and modify these FAQs where necessary, based on the number and type of questions received.

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