The 4 Fundamental Principles of Knowledge Management

In the past we’ve had several conversations about knowledge and how to manage the knowledge you have within your ogranization. We’ve talked about auditing information, storing information, and even making sure it gets back out to those who need it.

Today I want to talk about what I consider the four fundamental priniciples of knowledge management. They include capturing knowledge, validating knowledge, accessing knowledge, and then scaling that knowledge down. What do I mean?

The idea of capturing knowledge is pretty simple – in theory, anyway. Capturing knowledge is the process by which you determine what knowledge is available and then bring it together into some form of documentation. Knowledge that isn’t documented can’t be shared or used.

After you capture knowledge you have to validate it. Validating knowledge is about ensuring that the information you have is accurate and relevant. It won’t do you any good to have incorrect facts in your database and it’s just as bad to have completely outdated information as well.

After you capture and validate the knowledge within your organisation you have to create a way that makes it easy for everyone to access the pieces they need at any given time. They shouldn’t have to sort through an entire database. It needst to be indexed so that it can be easily found and used.

Scaling information is the process of making the information you have into something usable regardless of the geographic location of your business. If you are part of an international business, for example, your employees in New York City and Tokyo may need to access the same database. An employee in NYC can’t use one method of capturing, validating, and accessing if an employee in Tokyo is doing something different. If that happens, you’ll end up with a database of jumbled information.

How do your knowledge databases look right now. Could they use some improvement?

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 19 February, 2010

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