Knowledge Management is tough to define. It has become such an oxymoron that many refuse to use the term. They would rather call it terms like organisational learning, knowledge sharing, intellectual asset management. Knowledge Management is not about managing people in the traditional sense, nor is it particularly about managing knowledge. If just to satisfy the need for providing a definition, Knowledge Management can be referred to as “the practice of harnessing and exploiting intellectual capital to gain competitive advantage and customer commitment through efficiency, innovation and faster and more effective decision-making.” Knowledge management is a manipulation of data, information and knowledge. Information is organized data and knowledge is information in actionable context. Knowledge Management has to be looked at in terms of the organisation’s knowledge assets.

Your knowledge assets need to be managed just as you would other assets (factories, machines, people, cash) to ensure maximum return on investment. Knowledge assets include transaction data on all of your processes, projects, customers and vendors, research logs, patents, trademarks, marketing strategies and business plans. It also includes competitive insights accumulated by every employee daily, and the competitive intelligence available through the Internet.

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Finally, consider that knowledge also exists in the e-mails, Word documents, spreadsheets and facsimiles that make up the organisation’s electronic infrastructure.And yet some are of the opinion that these account for only 10% of the organisation’s intellectual capital.The other 90% is in the heads of your knowledge workers. Your knowledge workers have a bank of experiences, skills, hard-won insight and intuition, and an investment in trust (as well as trust earned) from relationships inside and outside of the organisation. To evaluate, share and leverage this type of information is not an easy task. The tools for knowledge management include collaboration, data warehousing, data mining, document management and Internet searches but the enabling factor for knowledge management is the corporate culture.

The corporate culture has to encourage everyone to share what they learn and reward such activities. At the end of the day, defining knowledge management is less important than how you practice it: you need to manage knowledge with a view to turning it into customer value.  ________________________________________________________________________________REFERENCESteve Barth, Defining Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management ( June 19, 2002 ARTICLE 2:   http://www. is the most important asset in any company and is the key to survival in the Information Age. The challenge for companies is to manage knowledge which does not have a universal definition and cannot be quantified. Executives in organisation have a clear picture of what they want to happen, they just have to determine how to make it happen. A 1997 report from Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation in Cambridge, Mass., and Business Intelligence Ltd.

in London revealed that out of 431 organizations surveyed in Europe and the United States, 94 percent of the executives believe “it would be possible, through more deliberate management, to leverage the knowledge existing in [their organizations] to a higher degree.” Despite such confidence shown in the concept of knowledge management, 71 percent of these executives rated their businesses as average or worse at “embedding knowledge in processes, products and/or services.” Until companies overcome the barriers—both organizational and otherwise—to instituting it, knowledge management will remain an elusive goal.

 We will be discussing the four areas of challenge to the knowledge management effort. CultureKnowledge is power and few people want to relinquish such an advantage. In a bit to encourage employees to work collaboratively, the company must come up with incentives that reward sharing of knowledge.The knowledge management effort has to be profitable for the knowledge worker as well as for the company. Evaluating KnowledgeIn order to refine its methods or create a compensation method for the contributions of knowledge workers, an organisation must work on evaluating the value of information.

An organisation that can effectively assess the worth of information is well situated to improve knowledge management processes for maximum profit. Processing KnowledgeSome knowledge cannot be tabulated in rows or columns; they provide the history of how decisions were reached. Organisations must emphasize the human element in order to devise techniques for gathering, storing, processing and distributing such kind of knowledge. Acting on KnowledgeIn order to turn knowledge into action, the organisation must determine what information is meaningful and relevant to its operations.

Business is a battleground, but organisations can use knowledge to provide the means of adapting to its ever changing terrain.  ________________________________________________________________________________REFERENCEPerry Glasser, The Knowledge Factor, Dec 15, 1998 /Jan 1, 1999 issue of the CIO MagazineCASE STUDY: KPMGKPMG, one of today’s leading providers of multidisciplinary business services, is an organisation that has implemented the concept of organizational learning.KPMG has defined Knowledge Management (KM) as the process of identifying, storing and making available key information and strategies that make up the “intellectual capital” of the firm. KM allows all staff to benefit from the company’s collection of “best ideas”, “best practices”, subject experts and latest tools. KPMG’s growth and success depends on how the KPMG firms are able to develop intellectual capital as well as capture, share, and protect the confidentiality of the information and knowledge gained from client experiences.

KPMG firms and KPMG personnel are committed to practicing vigilance in their use and dissemination of that knowledge and to following established procedures to protect KPMG’s knowledge base.KPMG’s Knowledge Management Steering group initiated a high level Vision and a Goal for knowledge management at KPMG. These guiding principles are being reviewed on an annual basis and action plans developed based on the review.In 1998, KPMG invested $40 million in a knowledge management initiative called KWorld. The knowledge management initiative at KPMG allows each individual from his or her desktop, to access the latest industry and client information, to acquire the most current and successful tools and methodologies, to build professional skills, and to communicate easily with peers and clients.

  This requires a system where important information is captured and disseminated immediately  – and where “communities” of professionals can interact with each other in a “shared space”. KWorld is that system.KWorld is a Web-based knowledge portal that launches applications and allows for interactive work.

It puts KPMG’s entire knowledge sharing network and most of the Web itself right on an individual’s desktop. The knowledge base design reflects KPMG’s legacy which is organised around product, industry and geography. KWorld was rolled out to KPMG’s four largest national practices-the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. It was soon afterwards deployed in Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Switzerland, followed by all remaining KPMG practices. The firm committed to investing about 1% of its revenue in knowledge management.The Knowledge management goal was to leverage the firm’s intellectual assets by connecting more than 100,000 people in 160 countries worldwide, capture the company’s knowledge and turn into practical value for KPMG clients.KPMG wanted to achieve from its KM programme significant time and labour savings on information retrieval and research on news, products and clients. Also, by enhancing the quality of back up information, it aimed at improving the quality of bids and proposals.

A survey was instituted and based on the results the following Guiding Principles are being used to focus decision-making about knowledge management strategy, initiatives and projects:·         Business value proposition·         Shared Responsibilities·         Limited Resources·         Global and Practice-specific solutions·         Quick turnaround·         Infrastructure: leverage, not controlTools used are email distribution lists, intranet sites, surveys, discussion forums, collaboration workspaces, instant messaging and research tools. The main components of Knowledge Management implementation are KPMG’s external website (which contains company information and analysis), KClient – the collaboration space which enables team members and clients communicate in a secure environment and an internet space for KPMG employees only containing client experiences, a database of skills and experience and key contact details as well as storage of internal communication and marketing materials. Knowledge sharing at KPMG is based on a certain attitude about the value of sharing – individuals cannot be forced to share their ideas, insights and strategies – they must want to do so.

  They must believe in the value of such activities.  KPMG encourages this “culture of knowledge sharing” in numerous ways: by including Knowledge Sharing in the firm’s statement of values, and in the yearly performance review process.  Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) and Knowledge Managers throughout KPMG conduct programs to stimulate and support a knowledge sharing “culture”.This knowledge sharing capability has helped staff to work smarter, not harder. It has also resulted in better decision making, faster response to key business issues and better customer handling. With the direct savings on re-use of processes and technologies around the world, KWorld has already paid for itself. It has resulted in savings of both money and time. By drawing on the experience within the firm, KPMG is faster at submitting jobs tenders and providing solutions.

________________________________________________________________________________REFERENCES http://www.knowledgeboard.


com/underwriters/kpmg_633/ Knowledge BoardAvailable from http://www.knowledgeboard.

com/Accessed online May 24, 2005A self-moderating global community thinking and collaborating on subjects around (but not limited to) Knowledge Management and Innovation in the worlds of business and academia.;2. Inside KnowledgeAvailable from http://www. online May 24, 2005Inside Knowledge magazine is written by KM professionals, specifically to help you overcome these challenges. Many organizations use Inside Knowledge magazine as a practical guide to extracting the maximum value from their intellectual assets.;3. The KNOW networkAvailable from www.

knowledgebusiness.comAccessed online May 24, 2005A global community of knowledge-driven organizations dedicated to networking, benchmarking and sharing best practices leading to superior performance.;4.

The Knowledge Management ForumAvailable from online May 24, 2005A virtual community of practice focused on furthering the fundamental theories, methods, and practices supporting the Knowledge Professions.5. Knowledge Management NewsAvailable from online May 24, 2005Knowledge Management News™ is a no cost information repository and occasional newsletter focused on Knowledge, Content, Information, and Identity Management.

  The purpose is simple; to provide news and insights for and about the Knowledge/Information Management practitioner.;6. The Knowledge Management Resource CenterAvailable from http://www.kmresource.

com/Accessed online May 24, 2005This site contains a collection of KM resources, each reviewed and described to help you quickly locate what you’re looking for.7. Meta Knowledge Management PortalAvailable from www.metakm.comAccessed online May 24, 2005This is a  knowledge management portal for practitioners, researchers and solution providers.8. EJKM, Electronic Journal of Knowledge ManagementAvailable from www.

ejkm.comAccessed online May 24, 2005EJKM aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management. The journal contributes to the development of both theory and practice in the field of knowledge management. The journal accepts academically robust papers, topical articles and case studies that contribute to the area of research in, and practice of knowledge management. 9.

Knowledge Management Benchmarking AssociationAvailable from online May 24, 2005(KMBA™) brings together knowledge management professionals from a variety of companies. KMBA™ conducts benchmarking studies to identify practices that improve the effectiveness of Knowledge Management activities.

10. KMWorldAvailable from http://www.kmworld.

com/Accessed online May 24, 2005KMWorld is an information provider serving the Knowledge Management systems market. They inform more than 51,000 subscribers about the components and processes – and subsequent success stories – that together offer solutions for improving business performance.