What are organizations doing regarding Knowledge Management? 

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A few days ago, Doroteo Quiroz wrote here a post about “The importance of Enterprise Social Networks in Knowledge Management”. In his post, he felt necessary to provide a definition of what knowledge management is about. That’s because although key to organizational success, this management discipline is still obscure to many.

Some consider it is a waste of resources; others believe they are too small to benefit from KM; others explicitly say they do not know what it is about or what returns it might produce. Well, guess what? All organizations can benefit from KM. And all organizations already “do” knowledge management.

Yes, I do believe all organizations already have some kind of knowledge management initiatives and tools going on. It might be regular meetings to share good practices, or “yellow pages” with personnel’s known skills, or communities of practice, or an enterprise social network, etc..

The key thing about knowledge management, though, is that it will produce much better returns if it is treated strategically by the organization, and not just as a set of randomly devised tools and initiatives.

In 2010, I carried out a study in which I realized that, out of 220 Portuguese organisations, 42 have a strategic approach to knowledge management, i.e., 42 have a KM strategy and a person responsible for leading it.

I am currently carrying out the same study to understand the state of knowledge management, but this time in Portugal AND Spain.

The study is based on data gathered through a short online questionnaire. The questionnaire is done in such a way as to make it fun and easy to fill in (so far, in Spain, 55 answers with a 100% completion rate).

The questionnaire was also designed as a communication mechanism. It is a way of enlightening organizations on what knowledge management is about, offering ideas of things that can be done, and daring organizations to realize that they all do knowledge management in some shape or form.

I am extremely curious to see how organizations in Portugal and Spain compare :-)

So far, out of the 55 organizations that have completed the questionnaire in Spain:

  • 18 have a KM sponsor at Board level
  • 17 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
  • 12 have a KM strategy
  • 10 have a KM budget

Out of the 99 that have answered the questionnaire in Portugal:

  • 39 have a KM sponsor at Board level
  • 30 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
  • 22 have a KM strategy
  • 18 have a KM budget

Do take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Help create a better picture, get some ideas, have a bit of fun, and you may even get a prize as a “thank you for your time”.

Questionnaire for organizations in Spain
Questionnaire for organizations in Portugal

 

Ana Neves (@ananeves) specializes in knowledge management, organizational learning, social networks and social tools for the organization. She is the founder of Knowman and the mind behind Cidadania 2.0 and Social Now.