Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Can knowledge management fail?

There has been lot written about the success of Knowledge Management initiatives in organizations. Many organizations have taken the plunge by starting a knowledge management initiative, what they face now is a situation where the efforts haven't delivered the expected returns. These organizations have made the investments and the last think they want is to see their investments going down the drain. I have observed that even for the so called failed KM efforts, there are always certain sections in the organization that have benefited from KM. The reasons of failure are something we hear very often:

- Lack of clear business objectives
- No clear accountability for people using KM
- KM does integrate fully with Business processes
- Lack of clear goals and metrics to measure performance of KM initiatives

Once the reasons for failure are identified, the organization has to ensure that there is proper documentation of the issues and reasons why the KM initiative wasn't a success and ensure the relaunch inititiave results in quick wins through which they can win back the confidence of the users and then extend the scope to wider variety of projects.


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