Business Process Management
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The 9 Step KM Process

1. Capture
This step, usually the first step of the KM process, looks at capturing new knowledge created when carrying out our daily work. This means that we are making a conscious effort to identify and capture this new knowledge, with the aim to share it with colleagues. New knowledge can be in many forms, such as new learnings, ideas, problems/mistakes, people, expert, new method for conducting project work, insights, new gained knowledge from reading books, journals, articles etc. In fact, the knowledge that you are making a conscious effort to identify and capture, is any knowledge that is new to you.

2. Store
Having identified this new knowledge, you will then need to store it systematically, so that you can retrieve it for reuse later. There are 2 ways that you may want to store your new knowledge, one is at a personal level, whereby you develop you own method of categorisation of knowledge and where you store it for your own personal reuse. The second way of storing knowledge is with your colleagues/peers. In this way, your organisation should have created a clear taxonomy and systems, for you to easily store and share your knowledge.

3. Share/Apply
For that knowledge which has been assessed to be of benefit to be shared, this third step looks at placing the knowledge in sharable spaces. This normally requires collaborative and knowledge sharing technologies, such as shared drives, knowledge banks/bases and knowledge servers. This step also looks at applying the best explicit codified knowledge that has been developed, as described in Step 6 below. Therefore, rather than having to begin tasks from beginning, i.e. reinventing the wheel and repeating the same mistakes, you can now access the best codified knowledge databases, to search for knowledge that will help you do your tasks better, more quickly and produce outputs and deliverables to a higher standard than before.

4. Collaboration
In order to better create new knowledge, collaborative techniques can be used to facilitate this. It is well proven that by regularly discussing each other’s ideas, problems, goals, tasks, learnings, etc, a far better quality of output and new knowledge creation is achieved. The results from conducting a brainstorming exercise with a team of people in solving a problem, is far more valuable than one person addressing the problem. In light of new developments in KM, this step requires collaborative technologies to support and facilitate the process of collaboration, such as threaded discussion forums, virtual meetings etc.

In addition to the above forms of collaboration, electronic collaborative project workspaces are also a key technique in facilitating this collaborative step in KM. These collaborative project workspaces, allow team member to confidently work and share all project work, on a daily basis. This means that all team members have access to the project’s work-in-progress, correspondence, project tasks, focused discussion forums and document libraries to provide the ability to continuously work on the project, in particular if your teams are located in various locations and time zones. Project spaces, also provide for more targeted capturing of ideas, learnings and problems.

5. Harvesting/Collecting
Harvesting/Collecting is the technique of identifying and eliciting the best and critical new knowledge, which will improve the currently defined best explicit knowledge banks/bases. As mentioned earlier in the ‘Capture’ step, individuals look to identify new knowledge, however, this new knowledge, which is new to them may not be new or relevant to improving the current best explicit knowledge banks. Therefore, there needs to be a new knowledge harvesting/collecting process by the team leader or project manager, to identify what will add value to the current best explicit knowledge in the organisation. In this step you need to identify the key sources and best techniques of harvesting/collecting.

6. Develop Best Knowledge Bases
A Knowledge Base is the current best explicit knowledge available to the organisation for a particular key knowledge area or in order to conduct a process or project. Developing the Best Knowledge Base involves a process which enables the current explicit knowledge to be continuously improved. This means, for example, that the first version of the Best Knowledge Base for a process, may consist of few steps and definitions, but as individuals regularly and systematically harvest/collect new ideas and new learnings, they will further develop the Best Knowledge Base . Individuals can then feel more confident that they are applying collective and more evidence based knowledge in their daily work, not repeating the same mistakes as regularly, or reinventing the wheel.

7. Developing Best People (or specialists/experts)
Although the knowledge worker must be encouraged to first access the best codified Knowledge Base as a first step (Step 6), there will be times, when the required knowledge is not codified and/or not known explicitly in the organisation. Therefore, this step is to enable knowledge workers to better locate the best experts who may have this knowledge in their heads (tacit knowledge).

Developing Best People is the ability to identify and capture experts details in a central repository (often called an expert locator). By sharing to the appropriate people in the organisation who the experts are, this will then provide a valuable indication of where the tacit knowledge lies. This step will require capturing the details of expert individuals, such as contact details, the expert’s key expertise, skills and knowledge, project/work experiences etc. This will provide individuals with a useful resource of who can provide them with the relevant knowledge. The expert locator, does not have to be lim ited to experts within the organisation, but could include external experts, such as customers, suppliers, Communities of Practice, Communities of Interest, etc, which can be valuable sources of knowledge.

8. Measure
Like all projects and initiatives, it is critical to be able to measure the impact of KM on the organisation. There are at least 4 ways at measuring KM effectiveness as follows:

1. High level business measures – measures to determine if the implementation of KM is helping the organisation in better achieving its business objectives.

2. KM Effectiveness measures – this m easures how effectively the organisation are knowledge enabling a business process, i.e. are the 9 steps of the KM process being effectively conducted in a business process or project?

3. Knowledge Worker Competence Development – measures how competent the knowledge workers are in conducting the 9 steps of the KM process, in order to be able to knowledge enable a process or project.

4. Knowledge Asset reporting – this identifies and reports the critical knowledge assets of the organisation and measures their increase/decrease. This can also measure both the ‘stocks’ of knowledge assets and the knowledge flows.

9 Maintain
This step is concerned with maintaining the explicit knowledge within your system . All knowledge has a lifespan. Some knowledge may become obsolete more quickly than other knowledge. This step is concerned with maintaining knowledge by incorporating a process that can identify ‘old’ knowledge, which requires improving or replacement. This step often mbraces ‘Content Management’ and ‘Document Management’systems.

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