Knowledge management is an activity not a tool

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Knowledge only actually exists in people’s heads. What is called knowledge management is just an attempt to capture a snapshot. KM should be facilitating people talking to each other.

I’ve used everything from SharePoint to Confluence, from the trendy tools like Notion to the ancient things in corporate world whose names I dont even remember.

All of them take a mass of time to populate, more time to learn how the **** to find anything, and more time for every search.

They all degrade over time in quality and uptake, and eventually become derelict. But not before they’re dangerously wrong.

KM should be about facilitating humans talking

If you subscribe to any of the “four kinds of people” models, only one of the four gives a flying fox about beautifully organised word buckets. That’s not how the other three work: they won’t contribute and they won’t use.

KM should be about facilitating humans talking.

What we need is to facilitate finding the person with the right level and content of knowledge, to get the realtime true knowledge, interpreted to correctly fit the current situational requirement.

One common rationale for knowledge management is to capture institutional knowledge from people before they leave. Instead of spending money on knowledge management it might be better to spend it on keeping the people.

People are our knowledge management tool.