7 steps to Knowledge Management success

How do you turn knowledge into action to make it real? 

To answer this question, I engaged with our knowledge management expert,  Paul Whiffen, and asked him, over the course of his twenty years experience, what are his key pieces of advice to bring knowledge management success.  


"Firstly and most importantly, KM is all about culture change, which everyone knows is hard.  For KM to be a success, you need to make it real and treat knowledge as an asset.    However there are a few key lessons that stand out, from hard-won experience:-

7 steps to Knowledge Management Success

  1. It's not just about IT! It's easy to be seduced by the technology
  2. You need management support; they need to buy into the vision and also to be open to change
  3. Build good relationships with other professions, such as Quality, Human Resources, Risk Management, Communications, Innovation. You'll need everyone on board to make a change successful
  4. Learn from past culture change initiatives; what worked well, what didn't. This can help you avoid making the same mistakes
  5. Run a Pilot; test what works for your organisation, both tactically and strategically and tailor it to your own culture
  6. Communication; develop a comprehensive communications strategy and plan that includes training
  7. Maintain resilience and patience; KM takes courage!


When considering what good knowledge management looks like and the measurement of how successful a knowledge management implementation has been in any organisation I tend to look at the following key indicators:-  

  • has a KM approach been authentically adopted?;
  • does the Business understand the value?;
  • is it being applied as part of ongoing business as usual?

For me, the key thing I have learned over the past couple of decades is that this is a knowledge-based world, and increasingly so.  Those organisation that proactively manage what they know and use knowledge management to future-proof themselves,  will outperform those that don't.   I have seen organisations and projects struggle when they have neglected this, and flourish when they have taken it seriously."

Are you 'Knowledge Ready?

Knowledge management is a difficult challenge that every organisation is faced with.  Being able to retain and transfer valuable knowledge in your Business can be the difference between success and failure. That's why, in collaboration with our Knowledge Management Thought-Leader, Paul Whiffen, Hydra has produced a free downloadable ebook.   Managing the Right Knowledge & Managing the Knowledge Right shares the key questions and solutions for improving your knowledge management capabilities to help you become 'Knowledge Ready'.

In this eBookCover of managing the right knowledge and managing the knowledge right

  • Understand the most difficult barriers to successful knowledge management
  • The tools and strategies to improve your organisations knowledge management capabilities
  • Learn how to make knowledge management real 


Download Playbook



About the author, Paul Whiffen

I have been working in KM for 20 years, including Head of KM for three organisations in different sectors. I understand the theory and know how to make KM real and effective from experience gained in both leadership and supporting consultancy.

If you would like to learn more please visit my blog page.

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