Issues and Challenges:
In KM initiatives, it is important to use proven techniques to promote learning, facilitate knowledge transfer, and encourage collaboration. These processes sometimes require facilitation and/or specific tools. The choice of such tools will depend on the goals; intended users; available technology; facilitator availability/skills, if relevant; and the timeline of the KM project or activity. For example, if KM practitioners use an organizational approach to implementing KM, they may focus on how an organization can be structured or designed in order to maximize knowledge creation and exchange. KM practitioners may use research methods to capture data on a specific project or purpose. Some KM tools may be related to information technology, such as intranet or content management systems, while others may be less technology-based, such as collaborative tools like knowledge cafés or Open Space, which provide informal, creative spaces for groups of colleagues to interact and share ideas. (For more on Open Space, see http://www.openspaceworld.org).
There are a wide range of KM techniques and tools that organizations and projects can use, including after-action reviews, world cafés, Open Space sessions, graphic facilitation, podcasts, twinning, role plays, simulation, storytelling, peer assists, mentoring, knowledge fairs, “fail fairs,” blogging, and online discussions (Lambe & Tan, 2008; World Bank, 2011; Ramalingam, 2006). Some KM methods—such as after-action reviews and mentoring—can be institutionalized and made part of the organizational culture.