Why do organizations engage in knowledge management? The following list, compiled and categorized by Liebowitz, provides the various critical success factors that organizations strive to achieve in implementing their knowledge management initiatives:


  • Anticipate potential market opportunities for new products/services

  • Rapidly commercialize new innovations

  • Adapt quickly to unanticipated changes

  • Anticipate surprises and crises

  • Quickly adapt the organization's goals and objectives to industry or market changes

  • Decrease market response times

  • Be responsive to new market demands

  • Learn, decide, and adapt faster than the competition


  • Innovate new products or services

  • Identify new business opportunities

  • Learn not to reinvent the wheel

  • Quickly access and build on experience and ideas to fuel innovation

Institutional Memory Building

  • Attract and retain employees

  • Retain expertise of personnel

  • Capture and share best practices

Internal Organizational Effectiveness

  • Coordinate the development efforts of different units

  • Increase the sense of belonging and community among employees in the organization

  • Avoid overlapping development of corporate initiatives

  • Streamline the organization's internal processes

  • Reduce redundancy of information and knowledge

  • Improve profits, grow revenues

  • Shorten product development cycles

  • Provide training, corporate learning

  • Accelerate the transfer and use of existing know-how

  • Improve communication and coordination across company units (i.e., reduce stovepiping)

External Organizational Effectiveness

  • Reach for new information about the industry and market

  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Support e-business initiatives

  • Manage customer relationships

  • Deliver competitive intelligence

  • Enhance supply chain management

  • Improve strategic alliances

According to the "State of Knowledge Management" survey (Knowledge Management Magazine, May 2001) of 566 respondents, the following results were compiled (note: only the top 3 responses in each category are shown):



Reasons for Adopting KM

  1. Retain expertise of personnel (51.9%)

  2. Increase customer satisfaction (43.1%)

  3. Improve profits, grow revenues (37.5%)

Business Uses of KM Initiative

  1. Capture and share best practices (77.7%)

  2. Provide training, corporate learning (62.4%)

  3. Manage customer relationships (58%)

Leader of the KM Initiative

  1. Crossfunctional team (29.6%)

  2. CEO (19.4%)

  3. CIO (12.3%)—note that the CKO was 9.0%

Planned Length of Project

  1. One to two years (32.4%)

  2. Less than one year (17.3%)

  3. Two to three years (13.6%)

Implementation Challenges

  1. Employees have no time for KM (41%)

  2. Current culture does not encourage sharing (36.6%)

  3. Lack of understanding of KM and benefits (29.5%)

Types of Software Purchased

  1. Messaging, e-mail (44.7%)

  2. Knowledge base, repository (40.7%)

  3. Document management (39.2%)

Spending on IT Services for KM

  1. Implementation (27.9%)

  2. Consulting, planning (27.8%)

  3. Training (15.3%)—Operations and outsourcing was also 15.3%

Software Budget Allotments

  1. Enterprise information portal (35.6%)

  2. Document management (26.2%)

  3. Groupware (24.4%)

From the survey data, it appears that companies generally understand the reasons for deploying knowledge management solutions. However, the data also indicates that the implementation challenges facing knowledge management initiatives are significant and deal mostly with people and culture-oriented issues. In fact, a mantra in the knowledge management community is that KM is mostly people, culture, and process (80 to 90 percent), with technology being only 10 to 20 percent.

Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government. A Knowledge Management Perspective
Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government: A Knowledge Management Perspective
ISBN: 0750677139
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 89
Authors: Jay Liebowitz

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