Position of KM in the OrganizationPosted: May 31, 2010
I had posted a poll some time back (ok, a few months back) about what you think should be the relation between the KM function and the business functions or processes of the organization. Actually, i had thought i had written about the findings of the poll, but then, i think it quite didnt. So here i am, writing about them.
Now, what was the poll about? The poll asked what should be the relation between KM team and the business functions in the organization. You can find the poll here. The options in the poll are around whether KM should be a separate function, or whether it should be an integral part of the business function, or whether there should be a consultant-client kind of relation between KM and the business functions. The basic question was about whethere KM should be something external to the business function. As you can see, there are not many people who believe that there should be an arms length consultant-client type of relation between the two.
What we can see from the poll is that there is large support for the mixed model. The mixed model is essentially that there is one part of the KM team which is external to the business function, and one part which is part of the business function. The idea here is that the central component of the KM team can focus on the developments in the field of KM, and how these can be leveraged to solving business problems in the organizations. In other words, this team builds the toolkit which can be brought to bear upon the requirements of the organization. The component of the team which is part of the business function is the link between the business and KM, which needs to understand business requirements, translate them into KM needs, and bring the KM toolkit to play to meet these requirements. Or at least this is the thinking today. Or is it that because this is the way most organizations are doing it today, thats why most people believe this is the best way of doing it?
I dont think thats the reason. There needs to be KM which is seen to be a part of the business, and not something which comes from outside. This is important because this is required to build the business connect for the KM team, because this will lead to greater understanding of requirements, leading to better development of solutions to meet those requirements. And yet, another component a little removed, more like research, keeping track of the new additions to the KM toolkit. Please do post your thoughts about the findings and the analysis.