Knowledge Management Strategy: Definition & How to Excel at Yours

A knowledge management (KM) strategy is a specific plan to help your organization manage information, data, and knowledge for the benefit of your organization and any stakeholders. Successful KM strategies align with your overarching organizational strategy and objectives and keep your KM team focused on your business priorities and needs.
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knowledge management strategy

The benefits of creating a knowledge management strategy

Developing a clear and effective KM strategy allows you to:

  • Increase internal awareness and understanding of knowledge management.
  • Make a strong business case for potential benefits to your organization.
  • Get buy-in from senior management.
  • Obtain resources to implement your strategy.
  • Clearly communicate good knowledge management practices and your current organizational KM status, goals, and plans for achieving those goals.
  • Track your progress.

Top 8 types of knowledge management strategies

Communicating easy-to-understand actions that people in the organization will need to take to achieve your KM objectives helps everyone understand what needs to be done, by whom, and what benefits are in it for them. 

Here are eight types of knowledge management strategies that can guide you in planning your organization’s necessary actions:

  1. Motivate Behavior: To motivate knowledge sharing, clearly communicate KM strategy and goals to stakeholders and provide incentives or rewards for achieving desired knowledge-sharing behavior.
  1. Encourage Networking: Help your employees share knowledge by providing opportunities for collaboration across organizational silos and through the use of social software. 
  1. Gather SME Knowledge: Keep information from SMEs flowing through your KM pipeline. Consistently capture, analyze, and codify this knowledge and then make it available for search and retrievable.
  1. Analyze and Activate: Careful evaluation of new knowledge to ensure accuracy is key. Then, analyze the knowledge to look for patterns, trends or connections that can lead to new knowledge.
  1. Codify: Collected knowledge should be codified to make it more searchable and enable tagging, templating, and cataloguing.
  1. Disseminate: Captured knowledge has no value unless potential users know it’s available. Plan to notify users of new or updated knowledge and where to find it via channels those users engage with most, including email, newsletters, websites, or social networks.
  1. Implement Demand-Driven KM: An effective KM strategy includes stimulating demand for knowledge. Encourage users to ask questions, submit queries, and search. In this way, you will be able to identify in-demand content and be more efficient in knowledge capture.
  1. Augment Through Technology: Take your KN strategy to the next level. Consider how cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance human capabilities for observation, analysis, decision making, processing, and responding to people and situations. 
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How do you develop a knowledge management strategy?

An effective knowledge management strategy should:

  • Contribute to overall organizational goals
  • Balance people, processes, and technology
  • Build timely organizational capabilities
  • Use common processes and technology to encourage collaboration
  • Transform the perception of KM by creating tangible results

Here are five steps to follow when developing your knowledge management strategy:

1. Conduct a knowledge audit.

Assess your organization’s current KM capabilities to determine the actions you will need to take to establish a successful KM program in your organization. Consider the information your team uses on a daily basis and any informational silos that stand in the way; efficiencies or gaps within your organization’s processes; and how your organization shares knowledge within the context of your company’s culture. 

A critical piece of a content knowledge audit is your organization’s technology. It is important to understand all of your organization’s current systems and their functionalities, users, restrictions, and lifecycle status. Understanding all of the components involved in a knowledge audit can help you assess and effectively navigate any roadblocks along the way. 

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2. Explore business value and prioritize opportunities.

Based on your knowledge audit, identify what value an effective KM strategy could bring to your business. Then prioritize actions to deliver that value. 

3. Create a knowledge management framework.

Knowledge management frameworks are structures created to help you plan, design, optimize and scale company knowledge so information can be distributed efficiently. A knowledge management framework provides you with the process in which all of your company’s existing information will come together. When building your framework, you’ll need to decide which information is made available, how it is documented, and how it will be accessed.

4. Define your KM strategy.

Show how you plan to align KM to your organization’s overall strategy and goals. Define the value proposition for enhancing the flow of knowledge across your organization. Set clear objectives and goals that will be easily understood throughout your organization. Identify the resources and budgets you will use for developing strategic and implementation KM plans and assign governance roles and responsibilities. 

5. Develop your KM strategic plan and roadmap for implementation.  

Ready to get started? It’s important to define your KM priorities and how they link to overall business priorities. Decide how you will clearly communicate critical knowledge management initiatives and measure their progress. Create and share an implementation plan and roadmap for developing capabilities that support knowledge flow, sharing, and creation. 

Leverage Guru to organize your team's KM strategy

Guru’s knowledge management solution knows when, how, and where to deliver the knowledge your organization needs, allowing you to create a network from your organization’s collective intelligence. Get started on creating a lasting knowledge management strategy for free with Guru.

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