!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Davenport and Prusak on Knowledge Management

Friday, March 16, 2007

Davenport and Prusak on Knowledge Management

In their 2000 book, Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know, Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak start their concluding chapter with some commonsense guidelines that provide a good starting point for any company wary of getting immersed in a complex, unproductive knowledge management project.

Davenport and Prusak recommend:
  • Start with high-value knowledge. For example, improving your base of knowledge about your major-account customers may offer particularly large rewards in terms of revenue and profit growth.

  • Start with a focused pilot project and let demand drive additional initiatives. For example, if your company is experiencing difficulty in retaining valued customers, you might decide to focus on this issue. It likely has a knowledge component, which you need to identify and manage.

  • Work along multiple fronts simultaneously — technology, organization, and culture.

  • Don't put off what gives you the most trouble until it's too late.

  • Get help throughout the organization as quickly as possible. "Knowledge management is a highly political undertaking."
Depending on your company's particular situation, the knowledge you manage will be in such areas as best practices, lessons learned, product development knowledge, customer knowledge, knowledge about human resource management, and knowledge about business methods.