How the management of documented knowledge changes with KM maturity
Improved access to documents is the second-most common strategic approach to KM. How is this improved access delivered?
A question in our 2017 and 2020 surveys asked respondents how explicit or documented knowledge is managed. The question was phrased as follows:
Which of the following most closely represents the organisation’s current approach to the management of “documented knowledge” (documents from which others can gain knowledge, and which are stored as part of the KM approach)?
The following options were provided;
- Documented knowledge is scattered across many document stores (eg stored by department, team, individual or project)
- Documented knowledge is collected in one or more knowledge-related document stores, without tagging.
- Documented knowledge is collected in one or more document stores, and tagged
- In addition to document collection, the store of documents is Curated (filtered, rated, prioritised etc)
- In addition to document collection, the knowledge within the documents is Synthesised (combined into new documents such as, guidance, best practices or wiki content)
The figure below shows the survey results, for respondents in 3 categories:
- Those who said their KM program was “in the early stages”
- Those who said their KM program was “well under way”,
- Those who said KM was “embedded in the way we work”.
The plot shows three main things:
- As KM progresses, it becomes far less common to see documented knowledge scattered across many document stores, or collected without tagging;
- As KM progresses it becomes far more common to see documented knowledge being curated and/or synthesised;
- Curation and Synthesis are still minority activities.