Knowledge Management Maturity Model

Knowledge Maturity Model

You can easily classify people from their attitude to learning or need for learning. Similarly you can also classify enterprises through their approach to knowledge, or the need for knowledge in the business. This classification would hold true of growing mid-size companies who wrestle with managing various levels of information and knowledge flow.

Knowledge Chaotic: As the name suggests, there is no system to capture or share knowledge. Basic communication tools such as email also are not in use. Knowledge does not qualify as a priority in the business imperatives. The focus remains on keeping the money flow going and growing. Most people in the enterprise are used to certain ways of working, are resistant to change, and hold on to what they know.

Knowledge Aware: These enterprises have deployed the basic technology enablers for knowledge management such as email and many automated business processes. The leadership team is aware that knowledge management should evolve into a key business focus but it is not on the top priority. People know that they get limited in their work because of lack of knowledge management in the enterprise. The focus of these enterprises is on the availability of figures that reflect topline and bottomline. So business intelligence and MIS are often deployed.

Knowledge Enabled: Such enterprises have an evolved focus on the customer with almost all processes streamlined to solve issues faced by customers and have tech systems that do not operate in silos. CRM systems are used a lot in these enterprises. A lot of knowledge is inherent in these processes captured through workflows. Data warehouses and document management systems are put in place.

However, these systems and workflows have not yet become accountable to the business in their ability or lack thereof to have captured, disseminated and leveraged the knowledge relevant to the business. So the various teams keep reinventing the wheel, as there is no way to learn from the problems solved earlier on by anyone in the enterprise.

Knowledge Managed: These are enterprises that have systems deployed to tap into the explicit, implicit and tacit knowledge within the company, and make these systems accountable with respect to the business performance. They know that the enterprise is driven by the wealth of knowledge it has, and is keen on making it available across the enterprise. Groupware and corporate portals are deployed in these enterprises to enable easy collaboration.

Knowledge Centric: These enterprises are characterized by the free flow of knowledge, not just within the enterprise, but also to the ecosystem of partners and suppliers. The IT infrastructure is designed for this free flow across the ecosystem. This enables rapid understanding of market dynamics and hence leads to changes in business strategy as well. Communities of Practice are formally linked with each other and collaboration gets redefined.