human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Knowledge Documentation, Capture and Accessibility
Why is this important?
KM entails a series of activities that support the conversion of tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge and back again to tacit in a series of exchanges known as the knowledge cycle. Individuals may have (tacit) knowledge without recognising the importance of it for others; however, effective KM facilitates the transfer and capture of knowledge through templates and processes. An organisation may have (explicit) knowledge captured in a form that few people can take in or are even aware of (e.g. a document which is inaccessibly long; a manual which no-one can locate), which limits opportunities for effective use. The objective of documentation, capturing and accessibility is to facilitate the transfer of tacit knowledge between individuals and to ensure that such knowledge, once made explicit, can be retrieved for the purpose of sharing and learning (see also knowledge transfer). Documentation, capture and storage is a vital part of effective knowledge sharing, transfer and co-creation.
NB: By documentation we mean any form of intentionally systematising explicit knowledge. This can be in any format – paper, electronic, audio, video, images, etc.
Desired Outcomes (linked to the Assessment Tool)
The organisation has a KM framework/strategy/improvement plan, which is:
The organisation has developed standard templates and/or processes for capturing information, knowledge and learning.
Staff regularly use standard formats to capture relevant information and action points from workshops, trainings and meetings.
There is a well-structured, organisation-wide approach to storing documented information and knowledge so that it can be easily accessed and used.
Examples of actions/practices you can implement within your organisation and projects to develop and enhance knowledge documentation, capture and storage
Identify relevant types, formats and sources of information/data/knowledge that are meaningful and relevant to the team/organisation.
Identify the processes and moments where knowledge is used to generate new knowledge using the Knowledge Flow template (see under links to further guidance, tools and examples) and reflect on how this new knowledge is captured and used.
Devise and test tools and templates for information and knowledge capture with individual teams / KM champions
Develop a structure (taxonomy) for the classification of information/knowledge.
Audit existing systems to assess current structure, use and capabilities (e.g. tags, metadata).
Guidance, Tools and Case Studies from Member Organisations