The knowledge developer has a number of challenges in choosing knowledge capture tools. First, the technique that best taps the knowledge of the domain expert must be determined. Certain techniques are ideal for single experts and others are mores suitable for multiple experts. Second, advance planning and preparation for knowledge capture can best be carried out through using the most efficient tools, thereby making the best use of the expert’s time and resources.
The managerial aspects of tools selection have to do with the organizations commitment to providing proper training and support for the knowledge developer. The knowledge developer should be an effective manager of time. Selecting the right knowledge capture techniques means saving time on ensuring reliable representations of the knowledge. The knowledge developer must also be able to communicate with experts, regardless of their background or expertise. Communication breakdown could spell disaster for any project, large or small.
Finally, the knowledge developer’s success depends on cultivating good relations with management in general. In other words, a knowledge developer must be aware of the organisations’ politics, its grapevine and what steps are necessary to get systems accepted. The support of a champion could make the entire knowledge process easier.
Management support also includes continued commitment to fund the project. Lack of proper financial support can lead to a low-quality product, an incomplete system, or dissatisfied users. In the final analysis, management must see the KM system project as an investment from beginning to end and gauge its support according to the gain it hopes to realize.
Knowledge awareness benefits entire organizations. With today’s emphases on sustainable competitive advantage, added value, and improved productivity, a firm’s management needs to create, innovate, monitor and protect its knowledge inventory. More specifically, a KM environment means a focus on generating new knowledge, transferring existing knowledge; embedding knowledge in products, services and processes; developing an environment for facilitating knowledge growth; and accessing valuable knowledge from inside and outside the firm. When this happens, it is beyond survival. In fact, it is beyond intranets and databases- the technology that supports KM.
Several ideas should be considered for how a company should perform in order to create and maintain sustainable competitive advantage. First, there should be more emphasis on tapping, sharing and preserving tacit knowledge and total knowledge base of the company. A company’s knowledge base includes explicit and tacit knowledge. Second, company should focus on innovation and processes that convert innovation to new products and services. Knowledge sharing and an emphasis on the total knowledge base promote innovation.
Finally, it is important consider a renewed focus on organizational learning systems and systematic thinking throughout the organization. This is a realistic expectation, because knowledge is closely related to learning, which is the outcome of regular and continuous interactive learning. Systems thinking mean understanding how the various parts of the company work. This includes learning behavioural patterns in the system and culture or system environment in which employees and administrators operate. In other words systematic thinking is expected to support innovation and continuous improvement processes social competence, and interactions, as well as the total knowledge base.