Pieces of the KM puzzle
Knowledge management can be rewarding, but it is not easy. Some of the challenges:
People. Moving tacit knowledge from the minds of experienced staff members into a knowledge management system is a time-intensive, manual process. It is often complicated by people who are reluctant to share what they know in a formal way.
Technology. No matter how sophisticated, technology is only a tool. Over-reliance on technology can result in a costly and unused system.
Policies and procedures. Organizations must mandate storing operational documents in a knowledge center repository and create rules for keeping the information timely.
Disparate systems. Extra effort is necessary to create a central access point for information that may exist in many systems throughout an organization. Single sign-on technology can integrate disparate systems for end users and keep enterprise search engines from getting blocked as they try to move among systems.
Alan Joch is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire.