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Knowledge Management & Information Technology July 19, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Communications, Community, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Stewardship.
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5 comments

How can improvements to organizational knowledge management be realized most efficiently:

  1. By integrating the available information technology services made available by the enterprise?
  2. By representing the requirements of new information technology services and designing these services?
  3. By coordinating the priority of specific information technology services via organizational governance?
  4. By overseeing the implementation and project management of information technology services?
  5. By taking an active role in the daily operations of information technology services?

This may be a rhetorical question for some and for others it may be the critical question that establishes balance to their knowledge management program.  Within every organization, the staff coordinating knowledge management may find a slightly different home base. The typical locations for where to host the knowledge management function vary across industries and across different organizations within those industries.  Here are some typical host locations for the knowledge management function and the general emphasis when they have that hosting organization:

  • Human Resources – focus is on organizational development and human capital management
  • Engineering – focus is on improving sharing and stewardship of explicit technical knowledge
  • Administration – focus is on performance of knowledge sharing across the enterprise
  • Information Technology – focus is on the technical service or solution that improves staff collaboration
  • Standalone – focus is toward improving organizational performance through knowledge sharing

Each hosting location provides a different organizational emphasis and all have some relationship toward information technology. Only one has a specific focus on improvement of IT services.  The other hosting locations for KM have a relationship with IT but it is not the primary focus.  Which location can provide the most effective home for KM?  That depends it seems on the performance of the IT organization.  If the IT organization has the capability to deliver innovative solutions with great efficiency, then there is the potential for a great partnership between KM and IT without KM being directly nested within the IT organization.  If however, the IT organization struggles to deliver capabilities that are essential for efficient knowledge capture and knowledge sharing, then another arrangement may be necessary.

Consider the questions on how to improve KM within the culture of your organization and comment on where you think it has the most effective influence and the most effective hosting location to deliver that influence.

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