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What Differentiates K-STREAM From Other KM Methodologies?
Two key attributes of K-STREAM differentiate it from other KM methodologies:
1. Its comprehensiveness, and
2. Its identification of and emphasis on core techniques of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation that ought to accompany any and all KM interventions.
In terms of comprehensiveness, K-STREAM is the first commercially available KM methodology that addresses all aspects of KM important to practitioners today. While some organizations may have developed end-to-end KM methodologies of their own, most have not and no other independent source, such as KMCI, has come to market before with a commercially available (comprehensive) methodology solution for KM practitioners.
What do we mean by "comprehensive" in this context? In order to be comprehensive, a KM methodology:
1. Must address KM programs from "cradle to grave" - from strategy to maintenance, including all aspects of planning, designing, and implementing KM solutions in organizational settings of all kinds
2. Must address knowledge production, not just knowledge integration or sharing concerns
3. Must reflect the social and organizational aspects of KM issues and solutions in business, not just individual or personal knowledge needs
4. Must be suitable for use over long periods of time consistent with the positioning and role of corporate KM functions
5. Must be suitable for use on multiple projects, not just individual or isolated ones
6. Must be flexible and scalable, so that the same overarching methodology can be used for projects of all sizes, as well as in conjunction with different tools and techniques for different projects, as needed
7. Must address KM strategies and interventions in all of their dimensions, including not just IT solutions, but human resource and social system interventions as well
8. Must make explicit provisions for the use of third-party tools and methods as part of the methodological framework
9. Must be vendor-, solution-, tool-, and method-independent
10. Must support the use of any third-party tool or method, without having to abandon the methodology when changes in preferences occur
11. Must provide for the measurement of impacts and benefits, both at the levels of knowledge and business processing outcomes
12. Must be compatible with a broad range of existing business performance metrics and measurement schemes, such as the Balanced Scorecard, so that the impact of KM interventions can be expressed in terms of legacy performance measurement systems already in use
K-STREAM is all of this and more!
Another way in which K-STREAM differs from other methodologies is in its identification of a set of core techniques to be used in KM intervention projects. Current practice in KM is generally not focused on such a central core, but rather on implementing specific targeted solutions aimed at bringing benefits to the enterprise. Interventions such as enterprise information portals, communities of practice, knowledge cafés, social network analysis, and story-telling projects, however helpful they may be as KM interventions, are not at the core of KM. That is, they are not necessarily part of a KM project involving an intervention designed to enhance 'knowledge processing' and to evaluate the results of such an intervention. Instead, they are often pursued for their own sake, without regard for how they could (or should) have impact on, or fit within, enterprise-wide knowledge processing more broadly defined.
There are also many tools and techniques, not unique to KM, but nevertheless essential for nearly every KM project that all KM practitioners should be exposed to. These tools and techniques are not directly comprised of KM interventions per se, but on planning them, evaluating them, and tracking their consequences. These tools and techniques include Project Management, Visualization and Drawing tools, Analytic Hierarchy Process, System Dynamics and simulation tools, more generally; Balanced Scorecard and Business Performance Measurement, Statistical and AI analytical tools; and finally, Semantic Analysis and Networking techniques and tools. They are essential because they always support the performance of key steps in KM project interventions, especially steps involving the measurement and evaluation of benefits and outcomes.
K-STREAM utilizes all of these tools as part of its program. It is unique in this regard!
Indeed, it is remarkable that such tools have not always been front-and-center in KM methodologies. In K-STREAM, however, they are. Thus, K-STREAM now provide practitioners with a core basis of practice for KM methodology.