Three Steps to a Successful KM Implementation

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At California Casualty Management, a San Mateo-based insurance company, CIO Vasu Kadambi is looking into starting the IT rollout of a KM portal that will deliver sales, underwriting and claims information quickly to customer service representatives. Although he’ll be immersed in the technology rollout, Kadambi is not in charge of the overall KM project. In his view, the CIO’s job in KM is to ensure that the technology doesn’t derail employees so that effective information sharing can take place. "My role is to help people get the information they need," he says. "Technology just helps the process of gathering information."

Those who have successfully tackled KM projects have taken a systematic approach. "Knowledge management is not a walk in the park," Nir says. "It can be overwhelming, so make sure you look at it one step at a time." That’s not to say you have to be a business genius in order for your KM project to succeed. To ensure the best odds, take a big-picture view by first defining KM in terms of a business objective. Once that challenge is met, your company will be in a much better position to determine which of its intellectual assets are worth organizing, managing and sharing. Take a look at the people and processes that will be affected by KM and address any relevant issues accordingly. And then it’s up to the CIO to evaluate current technology and recommend and implement new systems as needed.

While there’s no way to guarantee the ultimate success of any knowledge management project, organizations will have a better chance of maximizing their investment if they take projects one step at a time.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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