Knowledge Management - the "why"

When I teach, I like to talk about knowledge and wisdom and the value that they bring to the organizational table.  A lot of the time people give me a quizzical look, Knowledge? Wisdom?  Where is this conversation going?  I ask people how they capture the knowledge or do they even capture the knowledge that is gained when they develop a new service, application or when some new technology is introduced into their live environment.

Although what we deliver can sometimes be intangible (availability, capacity, security) it is very complex and can take years to build up the know-how on how to deliver these elements and continually meet the changing needs of our customers.   However you need knowledge, born from experience, to solve problems, to always improve, to use your wisdom to answer the question of why should we make one choice over another?
Like any other organization we must brand the product we deliver.  This brand will then garner a reputation; the reputation will be built on the knowledge that is gathered from the designers, engineers and support staff.  Knowledge must be stored, protected and shared to create a culture of quality among the staff of your organization.

Many people think you can deliver this quality by compartmentalizing the different components in the delivery chain, siloing the different processes and technologies.  Continual service improvement isn’t about putting a bunch of smart people in a room and designing some new infrastructure or service.  It requires skills that are difficult to attain.  It’s about people being immersed in the day to day activities of the entire organization and utilizing and sharing the knowledge that is developed by these processes and functions. In some future discussions we will talk about the methods and best practices on how to we can capture and share our knowledge to continually meet our customers changing needs.

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