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Systems planning and KM strategies

There’s a recurrent theme in companies that try to adopt KM strategies and tools, and which look into implementing Web 2.0 ideas and technologies: the need of the management (and most specifically, of the systems management team) to get a clear, nice, well-defined plan to stick to. That doesn’t usually work anywhere, but least of all in a field in which the corporation is far less relevant than the individuals: you can tell someone to do something concrete, but you can hardly force participation and sharing. Either people buy in or they don’t, and it’s a learning process.

In other words, you can’t get a nice detailed systems plan in advance (or any other plan) in this area. You can get a set of basics (a systems strategy) and stick to it, but the rest of the details had better emerge… or, as Patrick Lambe and Dave Pollard put it, “co-evolve“.

I won’t keep you here; please read Dave’s post. It’s a great blueprint for transformation. I would only like to add that this fits rather nicely with the philosophy proposed the first “Visions of Knowledge” paper… as long as you remember that you need to involve the systems managers, whose role it is to support these initiatives from IT, in those initial meetings, and that you need a shared, coherent, sensible playing ground if you expect to support and link whatever tool ecosystem eventually sprouts.

And to underline two of Dave’s counsels for the experimentation and implantation process: “keep it user-managed” (every tool needs to be in the hands of the people who drive it, so as to be effective), and “make it easy/generate WIIFM” (the “what’s-in-it-for-me factor”, the value for the knowledge worker, must be higher than the trouble it costs: make it worthwhile).

(The following is Dave’s summary graphic).



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