Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Barriers To Adoption

Today Jocelyn Ruiz Perez from evalueserve sent a very nice paper about Barriers and Facilitators in Use of KM Systems ... Quite an interesting paper. While on the whole, the paper discusses the findings of the authors about human and organizational issues which are usually not addressed in the way KM is approached in a lot of organizations (i wouldnt say all, but quite a few, probably), there are a few things which stand out.

Especially the part where the authors discuss the things which need to be addressed if organizations are to leverage Knowledge Management successfully:

  • Inadequacies of technology
  • Systems not being user-friendly
  • High current workload
  • Failure to institutionalize
Interestingly, these are all challenges which are not very difficult to overcome. At least, some of them.

About the inadequacies of technology, we all know about them. Having said that, though, most of these inadequacies, over a period of time, are being taken care of, and technology is evolving with platforms which can meet the requirements of both users and organizations, which usually come from user-friendliness, and integration.

Another aspect of this, however, is to make KM relevant. Most organizations i talk with, have a on-size-fits-all approach towards KM platforms. This means that the platform usually tends to be a static one, with all users, irrespective of what their requirements are, and what they are likely to be looking for, coming across a single user-experience with the platform, which leads to a lot of irrelevant information being presented to users. Of course, this is easily addressed by RSS and other similar technologies which are pull based, rather than being push based.

Coming to the concept of high user workload, this is the classic conundrum which a lot of KM practitioners would have faced, and continue to face ... Wheres the time?! With users being hard-pressed for time, where is the time for going through the resources which KM presents to you, and also where is the time for contributing to the repository of knowledge which KM can make available to others? This makes it a chicken-and-egg situation. And this is where the whole idea of making KM engagement a part of work, rather than being an additional activity. Whether it be contributing to, or learning from, the resources which are available on the KM platform. This, to an extent, would also address the failure to institutionalize ... though only to an extent.

Any thoughts, please feel free to comment.

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