Design / Develop
This phase of a KM initiative starts with the development and approval of a KM strategy. Typically this will identify a number of projects or activities that are a combination of:
- 'Quick wins': low investment projects that bring immediate benefits. Examples might be effective use of email, introduction of AARs (After Action Reviews) and cross-department forums
- Strategic projects: ones that cut across departmental lines and may several years to implement fully (though most should aim to provide some deliverables within 6 months. Examples might be introducing a content management system, setting up a best practices database and embedding a new KM practice such as storytelling
- Infrastructure investments: investments in 'hard' or 'soft' (usually harder!) underlying foundations that are supportive of knowledge management across the organisation. Examples on the 'hard' side are investments in computer networks, inter-operable applications; on the 'soft' side a culture change programme
- Changes in established corporate processes and systems: adding the knowledge dimension to existing systems. Examples are ensuring that kowledge is addressed in corporate and departmental plans, and changing the performance evaluation system for individuals to incorporate their knowledge contribution
Once resources are assigned, the various projects and activities may fall into the remit of one department (e.g. IT or HR), but are most likely to be cross-functional across departments. In any case it is important to ensure that the four strands - business, information/knowledge, technology, human and organizational factors - are properly addressed.
The following pages in this section address the following aspects of design and development in more detail:
- KM Strategy - designing a strategy that demonstrates clear business benefit and is realistic
- Governance - developing the core principles for information and knowledge management; also the arrangements for oversight of KM projects
- KM Practices - selecting appropriate KM practices that exploit the vast resources of tacit knowledge that reside within an organization
- Information Architecture - determining categories of information, their classification and their inter-relationships
- ICT projects - identifying specific information and communications technology project to support other aspects of the KM strategy; prioritizing and developing (or buying in) software tools and applications to support knowledge work.
More so than many other steps in our roadmap, those at this phase (other than the overall KM strategy) are more likely to be segmented into discrete projects, some of which go through to completion (phases 4 and 5) before others are started. There is also likely to be a reasonable level of iteration between work done at phase 3 with that of phases 4 and 5. As new or changed processes, practices and systems are deployed and evaluated, knowledge of their effectiveness is gained and refinements are made.
Last updated: 19th March 2011