In November of 2022, we introduced the first iteration of the Agile KM Manifesto at the KM World Conference in Washington D.C. Our ‘ask’ of the audience, and now of our fellow KM practitioners at large, is to review this first iteration of the Agile KM Manifesto and provide your thoughts on its usefulness to you. Specifically where have we been too prescriptive or too general? Where have we fallen short?
Our goal is that this document helps our fellow KM practitioners apply core Agile principles to our KM work and helps you explain KM’s value to your stakeholders. We’ve included a link at the bottom of this page for you to provide us with direct feedback. Your input will guide the future iterations of The Agile KM Manifesto and ensure that this document continues to be driven by the KM community.
The 2022 Agile KM Manifesto
When developing Knowledge Management strategies and systems, we must adopt an inclusive approach that continuously incorporates the changing needs of our organizations, stakeholders, and end-users. Knowledge workers’ needs center around getting the right information at the right time with minimal friction. As KM practitioners, we can apply Agile principles to more efficiently and effectively meet those needs. The Agile KM Manifesto applies the values and principles from the original Agile Manifesto to a collection of Knowledge Management principles across interrelated KM disciplines.
What we’ve found is that Agility maximizes the KM value derived from the successful integration of People, Process, Content, Culture, and Technology. Rather than restate the values found in the Agile Manifesto, we have created five statements of value:
Communicating the value of KM and how individual roles contribute to KM, is inherently valuable. Crafting that message in a way that addresses users’ goals, motivations, and frustrations ensures understanding and engagement.
Value is maximized when your KM processes continuously address the full knowledge lifecycle: capturing, creating, managing, storing, enhancing, sharing, and governing your knowledge.
Content is only valuable when it can easily be found and leveraged by users. Good KM connects people to content and each other. This enables expertise to be shared and creates institutional knowledge.
The value of a KM strategy and practices is only sustainable when KM processes are thoughtfully integrated into users’ formal responsibilities and day-to-day activities, rather than understood as separate ‘extra’ tasks.
Technical tools and systems create the most value when they enable and support specific components of your KM Strategy. Ensure technology serves as a means to unlock the value created by your People, Processes, Content, and Culture.
To unlock the value that effective Knowledge Management creates, leverage the following guiding principles as your KM initiatives dictate:
|1. Enlist the support of business stakeholders as champions who can demonstrate KM’s everyday value to individuals, teams, and your organization.
2. Prioritize end users in your governance strategy development to understand how restrictions on content change or hinder day-to-day operations. After implementing new governance, return to users to gauge the impact.
3. Your approach to KM should evolve as your organization’s needs evolve. Continuously share your work, solicit feedback, and reassess your KM roadmap. Adjust as needed to create a positive feedback loop that enables you to react to your users’ evolving experience.
4. Employ comprehensive information/knowledge models, such as taxonomies, ontologies, and knowledge graphs, to ensure your content is connected and findable.
5. Content should only be available to users if it is new, essential, reliable, dynamic, and reusable. If these criteria are not met, the content must be addressed accordingly.
6. Tacit knowledge and expertise should be proactively and formally captured and stored in the same manner as explicit knowledge.
7. To ensure content is reusable by relevant content consumers, content creation must occur in an accessible, standardized, and collaborative manner that employs CMS platforms, content types, templates, and/or other means.
8. Building a collaborative learning culture aligned around core competencies ensures employees will remain excited about contributing to and maintaining the health of your knowledge systems and your content. Adopting this business-centric approach to learning will discourage knowledge hoarding and will replace internal competition with support.
9. Leverage adult learning techniques, such as Spaced Learning, to ensure understanding, engagement, and excitement about the importance of maintaining the health of your KM ecosystem. This will also foster a safe space where anyone who is struggling can find guidance, making KM accessible to all.
10. Create a formal recognition and rewards system that is tied to performance reviews, which will encourage staff to follow your KM practices and support change management.
11. All KM efforts must leverage a common language. Develop, socialize, and employ a common KM language so stakeholders don’t speak past each other and can maintain consensus throughout your KM effort.
12. Express trust and openness to change by applying success criteria that incentivizes adherence to KM governance and innovation.
13. Agile KM solutions must be forward looking and scalable. Properly define your scope based on the content, audience, and capacity considerations unique to your organization.
14. Effective technology alone is neither an end point nor a silver bullet. Technology should serve as a mechanism that supports and evolves alongside your organization’s people, processes, content, and culture.
15. Do not let your current technology’s limitations dictate your KM path; instead rely on use-cases, user stories, and data to drive you forward. If your technology is discouraging appropriate democratization of data and information, don’t be afraid to change course or replace the technology.
Provide your feedback here: https://forms.gle/C6NRiH1yuE2Qpr1NA
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