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Why it’s important to make KM clickable

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How important is it for people to incorporate technologies such as knowledge graphs, NLP, AI, ML, text analytics, and others? Do organizations need to understand which to use and when, or should they connect with an outside consultant to help them identify the helpful solutions for their particular use case?

The expectation might be for us to say, immediately, very important, but that actually is not the case. Depending on the organization, many simply aren’t ready for these advanced technologies. A good KM program will lay the foundation for AI and these associated capabilities but rushing into them will actually take the organization in the wrong direction.

For organizations that have laid the right KM foundation of design, processes, content, and culture, or are embarking on a multi-year enterprise KM transformation, the answer changes. Right now, these technologies have matured to a point where they are working in the way that KM professionals have been talking about and hoping for decades. We’re really pleased to be at the forefront of this work for many organizations and the book details how to incorporate these into a KM strategy and transformation effort.

When fully realized, these tools introduce what we call Enterprise AI, or Knowledge AI. They deliver a level of intelligent automation that allows all sorts of cool functionality like content assembly, automated recommendations and “push,” highly customized experiences, intelligent chatbots, and expert “matchmaking,” to name just a few. These aren’t only hugely valuable to an organization, they’re also the really exciting things that get executives and business stakeholders invested and supportive with time and budget.

Are there any additional problems that organizations face in trying to implement knowledge management?

In addition to there being an overt focus on technology, a lack of business focus, and a problem with gaining a holistic view of the enterprise and what KM can do, there are a couple other big problems we often see. The first is a lack of connection to business stakeholders. A KM implementation can’t be done in a vacuum. If it is missing an understanding of the business and the active engagement of business stakeholders at all levels and all stages, it will fail. 

Second, too many KM initiatives take too long to show real business value or something that is tangible for those being asked to use it and support it. That is why we titled the book Making Knowledge Management Clickable. You only get so long to invest in KM before the business will demand something they can touch and interact with, that will make their lives easier by saving them time, helping them perform, and creating new means for them to work. If KM is hidden in back-end efforts and doesn’t give the end users something exciting in a reasonable timeframe, it simply won’t maintain the support it needs to flourish. 

What are the key insights and knowledge that you hope people will gain from reading this book?

In short, our goal is for people who read this book to learn how to make KM stick within their organization. Big or small, focused initiative or enterprise transformation, this book details the step-by-step process to strategize, design, implement, and support a KM project or transformation. It also includes specific guidance on some of the most important elements of a successful KM effort, which we think are often missing from books on this topic. These include quantifying value and developing business cases, communicating with stakeholders, developing a plan to populate and maintain the content within KM systems, selecting the appropriate technologies, and creating an integrated architecture and suite of tools over time. 

Taken as a whole, this book represents our collective knowledge from our careers and EK’s many successes, so our overall goal is to do what we’ve always been committed to doing—serve as thought leaders in a field that we deeply care about and continue to develop the next generation of KM leaders.

To order Making Knowledge Management Clickable, go here.

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