Making KM a Habit: Why Knowledge Management (KM) is a Must-Have for today’s firms - Part Two

Friday, March 30, 2018
According to a SHRM study, Fortune 500 companies lose roughly £25 billion a year by failing to share knowledge. Firms recognize that it is crucial to break the barriers of silo-working and share knowledge effectively to succeed, however rarely prioritize Knowledge Management (KM) from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a must-have. Firms must make it a regular habit to think about their collective knowledge and establish channels to share it across the teams.


In first article in the series, establishment of a Knowledge Management Framework upon project inception was established as an efficient tool for mitigating the risk of a Knowledge Vacuum.  Once a framework for knowledge capture is in place, focus turns to categorization in order to ensure knowledge that is captured is consumable by the disparate teams.

Speed and Accuracy of Knowledge Delivery

We are in the Information Age, with incredible amounts of data available at our fingertips.  To “Google” is now a verb, with user expectations on ability to access information being as easy within the work environment, as it is personally.  As such, Knowledge Management is driven by two key metrics – Availability and Specificity.

Availability is having information readily accessible for consumption and measured by ease of finding information or speed; while Specificity, is providing the “right” information.

Per a KM World article, users “spend from 15% to 35% of their time searching for information, with 40% of users reporting they cannot find the information they need.”

So while, lean practitioners advocate just-in-time delivery of goods and services; Knowledge practitioners advocate making specific knowledge available at the point where the delivery is taking place.

Firms must not only ensure that Knowledge is being captured, but that it is assembled for consumption.  Tracking both availability and specificity of information allows an organization to do just that.

To provide an example, one of Pcubed’s KM solutions was the development of a web portal for bid management.  The parameters of the Search function within the portal were configured to match keywords as accurately as possible in order to produce the specific result, so that when the bid coordinator uploaded a questionnaire and hit the ‘search’ button, the website would provide both the standard answers and the top-rated answers for the specific questions. Thus, the user acquired the answer, as well as ensured that the answer was accurate, as it was based upon a past success.
With a Knowledge Management plan in place, and metrics established to track the enablement of speed and accuracy in delivery, our final step focuses on sustaining corporate knowledge management - not just sustaining corporate knowledge. 

​Read the final article in our series here.

Sharath Kumar is Pcubed Senior Consultant and Knowledge Management Officer. He has over 12 years of experience delivering IT projects and solutions for around 20 clients globally. He has worked with a diverse range of public and private sector organisations including Fortune 500 companies such as Ford Motor Company and Aviva. Sharath currently works in a Portfolio Function reporting to the divisional COO in a Tier 1 bank.

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