10 Keys to Success for Knowledge Management Initiatives



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At KMWorld 2012 in Washington, DC in October, Dr. Jay Liebowitz, editor of Beyond Knowledge Management and the Knowledge Management Handbook, took part in a session on the critical success factors for knowledge management projects and initiatives.

In that session, Dr. Liebowitz shared his “Rules of the Road," compiled from a combination of professional experience and a survey of the literature on the subject.

Here are his "top ten" keys to knowledge management success:

  1. Have A Senior Champion & Align Your KM Strategy With Your Organizational Strategies, Goals, and Objectives
  2. Develop A Well-Designed KM Implementation (People, Process, and Technology)
  3. Develop a Formal Knowledge Retention Strategy—Start from Day One of the Employee’s Life with the Organization
  4. Incorporate KM as Part of Human Capital Strategy, Succession Planning, Workforce Development, and/or Quality Management
  5. Be Thoughtful in Your Approach (Knowledge Audit, Social Network Analysis, etc.)
  6. Align Your KM Approaches to Fit Your Organizational Culture
  7. Celebrate the Successes, Then Bring in the Bittersweet Stories
  8. Develop KM Metrics, Especially Outcome Measures
  9. Don’t Force-Fit Technology (People/Culture/Process Are Where the Rubber Hits the Road
  10. KM is Just One Part of Your “Strategic Intelligence”

He also shared the following “Knowledge Sharing Tenets for Success:”

  • Enhance reward and recognition system to include learning and knowledge sharing competencies
  • Acquaint people with knowledge sharing and its benefits
  • Share the message that with creativity comes failure and we all benefit from talking about our successes and our failures
  • Integrate knowledge sharing into everyone’s job
  • Educate people about what types of knowledge are valuable and how they can be used
  • Make sure the technology works for people, not vice versa

To hear more from Dr. Liebowitz, you can view the video of his full presentation below. His talk begins at minute 26:00 of the video. You can view more of the KMWorld 2012 sessions on our video page.


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