Causes of Failure in Knowledge Management

Many companies have come to the understanding that Knowledge management is important to their organisations success. However they fail to understand that there are many obstacles that can cripple their success, including:

  1. No knowledge sharing culture: This has been singled out as one of the key drivers of knowledge management failure globally. Human beings have a tendency to hoard information because they feel powerful. Your organisation should begin to reward people for sharing information because any 2 brains are better than 1 and it also spurs success. The stronger the knowledge sharing culture is in the organisation, the better the implementation and the greater the success of the process and the organisation as a whole. So, how do you promote this culture? It must first be a top down initiative where the necessary steps are taken from management down to junior staff. If management shares, employees will share as well.
  2. No motivation towards using the system: knowledge management is rather boring for most employees and they would in fact rather hoard it and become seemingly more resourceful and get a promotion. Many companies have taken to giving rewards to motivate employees to contribute to what the organisation knows. They incentivise content creation based on the quantity of articles as opposed to the quality of the content in them. This has only helped to create lots of useless articles that contain nothing more than a lot of junk in the name of new information. The best way to reward would be to tie in the knowledge management outcomes with the employee performance and customer feedback. Reward quality and not quantity to get the best and motivate your employees to share what they know.
  3. Failing to capture knowledge from professional consultants: Consultants come in and out of organisations to solve one problem or the other and all the while gathering information that is key to growth. However, they only report on their core business and will never offer information unless asked. Allowing them to leave without asking is to deprive the company from vital information that could make or break the organisation. They can help you capture best practices and guide you to learn more meaningful lessons from situations that can further grow your knowledge base.
  4. Not having a dedicated knowledge management team: Knowledge management requires an all hands on deck approach. Content capturing requires lots of precision and structure to lay the foundation right. If you mess this stage up, you will never achieve the objectives of the process. Next is maintenance. You need less people here but there must be a management team to oversee the process and ensure it is executed right. Working together in maintaining the program is great, but everybody’s business soon becomes no one’s business and the program could fail to achieve its set goals. Companies that do not have dedicated knowledge management teams suffer this in just a few years of implementation.
  5. Outdated content: Everyone is excited about a new project but this fever never lasts long especially where knowledge management is concerned. At first the system gets by the minute updates, then daily updates and finally an annual update is scheduled and sometimes not seen through. This results into stale knowledge, duplicated content and lots of junk piling up in a once spick & span system. Organisations are required to dedicate resources to this process or risk implementing new systems every 3 years which is a costly affair.
  6. Unfilled gaps in the Knowledge data base: Keeping an updated knowledge base is good for internal use but also for your customers. The worst thing would be to have your customers looking elsewhere for information about your products and actually finding it. This makes their second source more valuable to them which could be the start of your downfall as a company.


The eCitizen service; peace and tranquillity for Kenyans

In a bid to ensure the country is fully digitized and remains in the top 10 African countries in ICT development, the Kenyan government launched the eCitizen portal. This is a one stop shop for everything government. The eCitizen website makes it easier for individuals across the country to access information and government services at the touch of a button.

Services have been made far more accessible with this portal and remarkably faster. The need to walk up and down the busy government offices in search of public service is now long gone. As long as you have an internet enabled phone and internet connection, you can now access over 10 different government services from the comfort of your home.

Kenyans in the diaspora can also access these services and relevant information through the website and even reach out to public offices where necessary.

Ten Mistakes in Records Management

Records management is key to the growth of any business or organisation. There are however some mistakes in records management that could cost the organisation its stability and stunt its growth if not kept in check. Below are 10 off the table mistakes you must avoid at all costs.

  1. Keeping all your records in-house: All organisations especially those categorised as SME’s start with internal records management, they all must get to a point where they must move them. In house storage is the most expensive and least secure for inactive physical files and information captured in an organisations various databases.
  2. Not having a Records Management policy: Every organisation knows the need to have proper planning, it is the core of any business. It is therefore important to create policies that define the records management process whether in house or outsourced. Using an outdated records management policy that is rigid & outdated is no better than having none. Innovation and flexibility is key in records management and should be embraced.
  3. Failing to train your staff: what is the point of having knowledge that no one else can use or a process that only you know how to follow? It beats sense to have a records management policy and system that your staff cannot use. In any case, records management process should be part of their orientation once they are hired.
  4. Not preparing for legal action: All organisations must be prepared for any aspect of their operations that can attract legal action including failing to have a well organised records management system in place. Lack of awareness is the root cause of closure due to legal issues but it is also no redress therefore compliance in records management is very important for survival.
  5. Failing to counter check documents before destroying them: A good records management system must have a retention list that should be checked before any documents are destroyed. Avoid hasty destruction of any document as it could lead to legal and security issues. All records must be clearly marked to differentiate them from all other documents. This will prevent shredding of records and other critical documents.
  6. Keeping records in hard copy only: These are easily destroyed and compromised. The best way to ensure minimal destruction to the records is to digitize them and protect them with passwords that are available to particular individuals especially for critical organisational records.
  7. Procrastination: When the time to move the records comes, do it. Procrastination only increases the number of records that will need moving and increases the duration and cost of the move.
  8. Opting for self- storage units: This is a very common mistake that organisations make in records management. Self-storage units lack a series of disaster mitigation features including; theft, swapping of documents and damage by water. Proper records storage facilities are much more expensive than the manual storage because they mitigate against the above and several others depending on your needs as an organisation.
  9. Failure to index files: If records are not properly documented, a series of events may occur; it takes longer to retrieve a file, longer to serve a customer and the possibility of putting it in the wrong place is very high. This then leads to cases of missing documents and the legal thrashing that follows thereafter and in extreme cases folding of businesses.
  10. Not carrying out integrity tests: Nothing lasts forever. Every organisation must have frequent data checks especially on long term data to ensure they are safe and have not been discarded or tampered with. It is also important to ensure that any upgrades to the records management system are applied to the long term data to avoid it becoming obsolete.