Sunday, May 07, 2006

Success Factors in the Implementation of a KM System

Below I present a set of factors required to exist for a successful implementation of a KM system, compiled from.

Knowledge friendly culture
– The organization values learning and innovation, and establishes appropriate incentives and reward systems. People collaborate and have a positive attitude towards knowledge. When there is free flow of knowledge from other employees, individuals tend to respond in the same manner.

– Employees must be placed in an environment where they have opportunities to use their capabilities to the fullest.

– Employees must be motivated to share their knowledge with other people in the organization. They must be convinced that their sharing of knowledge will be valuable to the organization and, most importantly, to themselves.

Concrete shared objectives
– Develop a broadly shared understanding of the enterprise’s mission, current direction, and the role of the individual in support of the enterprise and of the individual’s own interests.

Knowledge base – The knowledge base should be managed the same way as physical assets. Time and effort should be invested in designing, building and maintaining its content.

Technical infrastructure – All knowledge management systems should be linked to other information systems, providing necessary security features.

Effective governance for the KM practices – Continuous monitoring, evaluation, and guidance of the KM activities and their plans, results and opportunities.

Interdisciplinary problem solving working groups – Create problem-solving groups comprised of people from a variety of disciplines. This will transfer the knowledge from one discipline to another, as well as provide solutions to interdisciplinary problems in decreased time.

Multiple channels for knowledge transfer - A variety of channels for knowledge transfer are desirable, as each adds value in a different way. It is particularly important to provide opportunities for face-to-face contact, as well as electronic forms of communication.

- Measuring the usage of the KM system and its efficiency is essential to the accurate assessment and improvement of knowledge management programs in order to be able to increase the value or prolong the duration of the sustainable competitive advantage.

Empowerment – Employees must be given permission to innovate, improvise and stretch enterprise policies and practices beyond the predetermined scopes.

Source: Knowledge Management in Software Engineering

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