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Knowledge Management – A Primer and Catalyst to Support Digital Transformation

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Knowledge Management – A Primer and Catalyst to Support Digital Transformation

Feb 28, 2021   |  By
Hank Malik and Jordan Richards

I have had the pleasure in writing three short articles to support the publication of my first book written with my good colleague and friend Jordan Richards. The three articles will cover the following areas that set context for the book as follows.

Part 1:  KM Primer – the Introduction

Part 2:  KM & Digital Transformation - the Connection

Part 3:  The Future for KM


Part 1. The KM Primer

With over 25 years plus experience in the Knowledge Management, Information Management and Digital Transformation field and with a specialism in the Energy sector (oil, gas and renewables) the Authors decided now was a perfect time to produce this practical and hopefully thought-provoking book to generate more interest on the opportunities KM Digital transformation can create together.  We wanted to communicate honestly our views of what really works in Knowledge Management and share lessons learned, experiences and insights from the field. Written in an easy-to-understand way, we offer numerous practical guidelines that you can apply in your organisation. In addition, the book will aid with your appreciation of how KM can bring real tangible benefits for personal, and professional achievements and recognition.

The first part of the book offers a `primer` for Knowledge Management aimed at both new entrants to the field and for those who need a quick refresher. The Authors offers practical examples of a Knowledge Management vision, definitions, the fundamentals, and the advantages that can be achieved with a structured approach, without being too prescriptive or academic.  We wanted to create a consistent understanding and generate enthusiasm for KM.

An interesting aspect is the fact that technology companies have changed the narrative around what is commonly understood as Knowledge Management.  A simple internet search can validate this confusion. There is now a struggle on what can be seen as a technologically managed ambiguity over what is Knowledge Management.  Is it Knowledge Base Software? Is it frequently asked questions? Hopefully, this KM primer and fundamentals guide is a step towards, clarifying and demonstrating to businesses the lasting value of Knowledge Management.

We offer the key building blocks or components that any KM programme should have, together with the `must have` high impact enablers that are crucial to have in place. This includes the important operational governance which is needed to give guidance and steerage to your KM programme and, the key roles and responsibilities required for KM success. We stress the need to have a KM Framework that works for your organisation and a KM Policy with supporting procedures and guidelines.  If at a later stage your organisation wants to be audited for ISO 30401 KM Systems Certification, these two elements will be key to have in place!

In part one we also discuss the 4 Phases or Releases of KM, an introduction to the benefits of KM and the fourteen key principles every KM programme should have, including having alignment to the organizational Digital strategy. This is a very new addition and brings both opportunities and threats to the traditional KM organization which they need to be prepared for sooner rather than later.

We will discuss the importance of this new connection between KM and Digital Transformation in Part 2 of the series together with a look at a range of the latest digital enablers now emerging.  

For further information and guidance please contact


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