top of page

Should you purchase the Knowledge Management standard?

1 July 2013
2 women talking in office

I met the client for the first time a few months ago. Prior to our meeting we spoke on the phone, briefly discussed the objectives she wishes to promote in the organization, the current situation and the organizational background. I told her of my past experience, my agenda and generally described how my consultation can contribute to her campaign to promote her objectives and her organization's objectives. In short, these conversations included some small, a little shameless self marketing and a tad of practicality.

Our first meeting naturally continued the conversation but this time the emphasis shifted from practicality to her organizational needs and ROM's Knowledge Management methodology. From the client's stories I began to understand the organizational history, the participating parties and of course the pains the organization is nowadays experiencing. From this point we actually started the consultation process.


Something changes during on our fifth meeting. We were ready at this point to present the organization's management with a simple focused solution for a specific problem we have been treating and start promoting it in practice when the client surprisingly said: "maybe we should take this specific idea and develop it to a wider solution, to be used by the entire organization?" This was a substantial expansion of the frame of the project we agreed on. Of course I was very pleased with the idea. Now, with a wider, organization-wide perspective the client's basic need has changed. This perspective has raised new more complex needs which have also raised the will to promote more subjects. As the old saying goes "with the food comes the appetite".

But our meetings and the amount of time assigned to us and the resources we utilized, those were unchanged. We therefore understood that we cannot actualize all our wishes here and now. What we needed was a work plan. In order to build a work plan of Organizational Knowledge Management I suggested my client purchase the KM standard for general organizational knowledge. I offered my client to purchase the Knowledge Management standard IS 25006 of the ISS.

The client's response slightly surprised me: "True, the standard is quite cheap, and would not be a big investment for the organization. But the organization is not planning to pass the ISS's certification test, so why should we actually purchase it?" she asked.

So we talked about it. And the conversations lead to an insight which I would like to share with you:

The KM standard shows the way, the objectives and activities required in order to be performed by an organization aspiring to get certified (a standard) in the field. The standard states the high standard that organization (should) aspire to. Furthermore, the standard describes the requirements and rules to implement Knowledge Management in organizations and details the various definitions, the processes, tools, solutions and means to actualize, document and measure the organization's Knowledge Management.

The standard serves as a guide for both Knowledge Managers and those interested in the field of Knowledge Management. And so in practice the standard can be utilized in every organization, even an organization that does not plan to take the certification test in the near future: in order to show the optimal way for promoting Knowledge Management in the organization, to define organizational objectives and goals and provide the organization with tools and solutions to attain its objectives and goals.

To conclude the story: the client purchased the standard for the organization and it assisted it in building a long term work plan for promoting the subject of Knowledge Management in the organization.

And I ask you: what happens in your organization?

bottom of page