A strong KM framework is vital for the success of Knowledge Management; as follows
- With no accountabilities, it is nobody’s job.
- With no processes, nobody knows how.
- With no technology, nobody has the tools.
- With no governance, nobody sees the point.
Ownership, organisation and maintenance of the company knowledge base is the accountability of the functional organisation.
Individuals within the functions have accountability for developing and deploying best practice, in order to sustain the capability of the organisation. The chief engineer, for example, is ultimately accountable for the engineering competence of the organisation, and therefore for the state of the company engineering knowledge base. He or she will delegate components of this to individual subject matter experts. In addition, he or she will delegate accountability for coordinating the communities of practice which cover engineering topics.
The line organisation is accountable for the application of the knowledge in the work of the business, and for the creation of new knowledge. If the organisation has clear KM expectations for project or business activity, then the accountability for the line organisation is to meet these expectations.
The nature of the central organisation will change as Knowledge Management is implemented. Initially, you will need an implementation team to set up the strategy and framework, and to run the KM implementation.
Once implemented, the implementation team hands over to a support team responsible for ensuring that the KM system itself (the tools, the processes, the technologies) are fit for purpose, and are well understood and applied.