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What’s happening in the Knowledge Management Standard Committee? September 2015

1 September 2015
Dr. Moria Levy
A person using a computer

As many of you know, prompted by the Standards Institution of Israel and led by Ms. Havi Sarel, Director of the Field, a thorough two-year endeavor culminated in ISO's decision to create a worldwide standard for knowledge management. Committee discussions began, leveraging the expertise of notable individuals such as Nick Milton and Ron Young and input from several countries, including the United States, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, England, and Israel.

In this forum, I intend to share updates on our progress and warmly invite professional perspectives that will help us shape the best possible standard.

The initial stimulating discussion revolved around creating a knowledge management manual or setting up a standard delineating specific requirements.

Differentiating between the two, a manual compiles methodological recommendations and guidelines (initially formulated by PWC over a decade ago). At the same time, a standard that delineates requirements is a document whose compliance can be certified upon implementation.

Following two meetings dedicated to this deliberation, a unanimous consensus emerged to establish a documentation standard. Despite the plethora of existing manuals in various formats available today, it was acknowledged that the real added value lies in certification.

Subsequently, questions arose regarding the essence of the standard. Would it direct individuals toward work processes, dictate their necessary actions, or outline principles?

The predominant inclination leading to the present decision is to formulate a standard grounded in principles that align more closely with the core of the subject matter.

The last issue debated at the negotiation table concerned the standard's contents. The Israeli standard covers creating a knowledge management system (which encompasses all aspects, not just software) and integrating knowledge management within the organization.

After careful consideration, it became evident that it is neither practical nor recommended to include implementation specifics within the standard. Considering the array of methods, it would be inappropriate to enforce any singular approach. Nevertheless, simply stating the presence of a "knowledge management system" without further detail appears inadequate. Therefore, the proposed approach evaluates the presence of a knowledge management system and the continuous, systematic enhancement of knowledge management without stipulating precise implementation methodologies.

What lies ahead for us?

In November, our committee will gather in Texas for an in-person meeting. Leading up to that, our objective is to develop a recommendation regarding an appropriate framework for crafting the standard. Taking cues from existing soft standards and examining their structure, we will also determine which chapters should be included, each representing various aspects.

That concludes the latest update. I'm thrilled to share our advancements and eagerly await your valuable insights, both presently and in the future, as we tackle shared challenges.

Best wishes to us all!

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