To Be Resolved (TBR)

The KMEF 2011 Webinar and On Site resulted in identifying "four general types of Knowledge Management functions – strategic level functions, business-aligned functions, specialized knowledge management functions, and universal functions" (2011 Communique). . [See also Function Compare Table, KM Functions Comparison, KM Functions Attributes Comparison.]

  • "Strategic level functions are those functions with responsibilities for promoting a knowledge culture, for ensuring there are resources dedicated to knowledge management across the organization.""
  • "Business-aligned functions are those functions which embed knowledge management practices directly into business processes and operations – these functions are the essence of “using knowledge to create business value."
  • "Specialized knowledge management functions are those functions which provide specialized services that promote the knowledge agenda such as community of practice support, Organizational Network Analysis, knowledge asset valuation and management, organizational learning, and so on."
  • "There was very strong agreement on Universal knowledge management functions. A key area of consensus was the importance this community assigned to basic knowledge management competencies for all functions. This group adopted the more modern view of the knowledge worker as any worker within an organization. The group did not agree with the idea that a knowledge worker is limited to individuals who perform highly technical or highly analytical functions. There was a broad agreement that everyone in an organization should strive to become a knowledge worker = not just the college educated."
  • There was also strong agreement that the functions should not be read as having direct hierarchical relationships – knowledge management functions must be able to infiltrate and align with all aspects of the organization. " - 2011 Communique

[See Functions, Roles and Responsibilities Defined page. Explains why we chose the word "functions" vs roles or responsibilities for our initial work.]

The communique asserts that there is a need for these four functions. From an education/training perspective, this view appears to be very useful.

The KM Functions CoP will look at alternate viewpoints identifiying more about the KM profession to validate these as prominent KM functions (by the absence of identying others). The CoP will also work to drill down from these functions to their roles, responsibilities and other characteristics that would be useful in identifying needed competences for building KM education programs.

This page will summarize additional findings in terms of those functions roles and responsibilities.
Strategic Functions
Works to envison, promote and deliver enterprise knowledge management processes and culture that enables employees to learn quicky and improve individual performance and business results, spur innovation and continuous improvement. This is accomplished through influencing organizational culture, information management and information technology systems and tools that impact knowledge sharing.
Focus areas:
- Strategic/Enterprise view (across the entire business horizontally and vertically)
- Change architect
- Uses process and system centered approach to integrate enterprise KM activities versus creating “pockets of excellence”
- Understands the core business and value drivers—business partner not just a service provider
- Understands project management essentials – budget, cost, schedule, and delivery
- Institutional integrator – able to bring together diverse support functions to work on a common agenda (Info Management, Information Technology, Learning function, Human Resources, etc)
- Develops people to create future KM leaders and champions
- Leads by example through personal participation in KM activities and processes
- Broad knowledge of KM methodologies, practices, and concepts
Chief Knowledge Officer, Director of Knowledge Management, etc…
Note: If the enterprise does not have a single senior role like CKO, the KM effort may be organized under KM managers aligned with the various business/organizational groupings
Business KM Functions
Works to understand and deliver business value by optimizing KM processes and tools to meet the needs of the end user and business. Seen as a business partner by simplifying KM process and optimizing value for effort expended. Heavily involved in educating, coaching, and partnering with people to support their knowledge sharing activities. People who work in this space may be strong business experts with little to no KM experience or can be seasoned KM specialist who have developed strong business skills.
Focus areas:
- Deep business knowledge (how the company makes money and key value drivers)
- Varying levels of experience or expertise in KM
Roles: KM Manager
1. This function acknowledges that many times strong business people are placed in KM leadership roles with little or no KM experience or expertise.
2. This function also recognizes that people who have developed deep KM expertise through both formal training and/or education in a KM Specialist function
will be working in this space on their way to assuming a future strategic KM role.

Specialist KM Functions
Characterized by deep KM expertise in one or more subcategories of KM with or without deep knowledge of the business. People who work in this space have specific, relevant KM expertise around areas like taxonomy, information management, social media, etc...
Roles: Taxonomist, Community of Practice, organizational network analysis, etc...
Universal Functions
Every employee is a knowledge worker and contributes to the knowledge base of the organization. This function describes the attitudes and behaviors which are necessary to be a true knowledge worker.
Values and behavior: I must believe…
- Connecting people to people and people to information is powerful
- Knowledge sharing creates quicker decision making and better outcome
- No one of us is as smart as all of us…my personal network creates knowledge and is vital to my success
- Knowledge is a shared resource…what I’ve learned through my experience can benefit others
- I am a knowledge resource to others…where is my knowledge useful to others?