Nick Milton is one of my favorite bloggers on the issue of Knowledge Management because he is able to succinctly lay out KM  procedures and processes in a way that even those who have been in KM for years can learn. I’ve complained about KM becoming a group that merely supports “products” and “software” more than preserving the firm’s memory, expertise and knowledge. Luckily, Nick lays out some of the specifics that those who guard the memory of the organization must remember is their responsibility:

Nick states that in KM terms, some of the specific responsibilities of the process owner are as follows:

Coordinating, and agreeing with management, corporate standards for their specific process
Liaising with the leader or coordinator of any community of practice which covers the process
Announcing and rolling out new lessons, and updated process documentation
Monitoring the development of knowledge within their specific area of expertise
Monitoring the organizational performance in the application of the process
Ensuring that new lessons are collected and shared from significant pieces of work
Developing and publicising process guidance documents relating to their specific process

• Monitoring use of any relevant documentation, and acting on feedback to improve this
Ensuring that guidance documentation is made available to all users

Updating guidance documents, Best Practices and standards for the process as required
Promoting peer assists and personal connections between the projects to share tacit knowledge of the process

(NOTE: I rearranged the list a little… and modified a couple of the ‘verbs’ to make for an anagram of “clammed me up!’)

The key take away that I find with this list is that KM is not only about making sure that the software involved in the process works… but that there is a triangle relationship in the process between the process owner (KM), the process service (software), and the user of the process (end-user). Nick nails it when he stresses that the owner of the process plays a key role in triangle relationship. “With no process owner, the processes fall out of date, and no longer become a reliable memory store. You end up with a sort of Corporate Alzheimers, where big holes develop in [the] long term memory of the company. We can’t afford that to happen.”

  • Greg, thanks very much for the kind words, and for the acronym!