Off-Route, Recalculate

Over the weekend, I met a rather opinionated person.  (Although, perhaps it is overstating it a bit to use the word “person.”)  She was very insistent that we do things her way and really wasn’t open to a conversation about alternative approaches.  If we decided not to follow her advice, she’d repeat insistently, “off-route, recalculating, off-route, recalculating.”  As you’ve probably guessed, this “person” lived inside the car’s global positioning system.

As we plan and carry out our knowledge management efforts, it can be difficult to identify the correct route.  And, it can be unpleasant to be informed that we’re off-route and need to recalculate.  Many of us have taken the current economic situation as a call to recalculate our routes.  Unfortunately, given the extent of the economic turmoil, it can be hard to identify our alternatives and most of us are all too conscious of the pressure on us to get the route right.  Further, few of us have knowledge management GPS.  So what should we do?

We should be suspicious of anyone who purports to be able to provide specific advice, since the conditions in our various industries and within our own enterprises vary greatly.  However, there are some constants that we would do well to remember:

  • Achieving the greatest good for the greatest number has never been more important.  Don’t waste your time and resources on projects that have limited positive impact.
  • If you have the choice between a project that requires a great deal of KM maintenance and a project that allows the ultimate consumers of the information to maintain the system, choose the latter.  You’ll never have enough staff to provide adequate maintenance.
  • Even if you have a large, agile KM staff, it’s still better to choose projects that put end-users in touch with each other rather than projects that require KM intervention.
  • Focus on facilitating the easy exchange of current information rather than on archival efforts.

When you recalculate your route, be careful.  Choosing the right route could make all the difference.

[Photo Credit:  SonnyandSandy]