The Seven Myths of Knowledge Management


October 2002

The Seven Myths of Knowledge Management

CIDMIconNewsletter Derrick Pope, Consultant, Comtech Services, Inc.

Predictions indicate that businesses will invest $12.7 billion in knowledge management by 2005. In his article, “The Seven Myths of Knowledge Management,” in the September 2002 issue of Context, Marc Rosenberg details common myths for companies to avoid when approaching knowledge management.

Myth 1: Knowledge management is about knowledge
Many companies embark on knowledge-management projects with the hope that somewhere along the way they will discover a use for all this knowledge. However, companies must approach implementing a knowledge-management system the same way they approach all business ventures: keeping the focus on improving operations, increasing revenue, and maximizing growth.

Myth 2: Knowledge management is about the technology
Focusing solely on the development of a highly technological knowledge-management system is often times a disaster. While developing your system, keep in mind the system’s true purpose. Focus on the problems the system is supposed to address and merge it with your technology. All the bells and whistles in the world will not solve your problem.

Myth 3: The system should be so all-encompassing that it can cure cancer and end world hunger
Set achievable goals for your knowledge-management system. Keeping the big picture and final outcome in mind, start small so you can realize achievements as your system grows.

Myth 4: The goal is to create a document repository
Document management is indeed an important part of the knowledge-management process, but remember that it is only a part and not the final goal.

Knowledge-management systems are incredibly specific. Each system can be tailored to fit the organization. Numerous systems are available, but to determine what system may be right for you, you must explore how the system will integrate with your technology and processes.

Myth 6: Knowledge management is about knowledge control
Many companies develop multiple approval levels for documents because they are afraid that employees will misplace, misuse, or even steal that information. Knowledge-management systems are best utilized when they are open systems that can foster relationships and bridge communication gaps.

Myth 7: If you build it, they will use it
Change is difficult to introduce into your organization. Simply implementing a new system does not guarantee that your employees will instantly embrace it. Selling the system to your employees starts at the top with upper management setting a strong example.

Keep in mind that believing any of these myths could prove disastrous for your organization. CIDMIconNewsletter