Re: Request for strategy assistance #strategy

Fred Nickols


I think you've gotten some good responses re "KM Strategy" so I'll go up a click to strategy itself. Strategy, along with tactics, is a means to an end; it speaks to how a particular goal or objective will be attained. So you have to be clear about the ends in order to formulate a strategy. From your inquiry, it seems you have been tasked to develop a knowledge management system (KMS). The first order of business for you is to pin down just what that means. Moreover, a KMS, like strategy, is a means to an end so you need also to pin down the ends this KMS will lead to. Some obvious questions follow:

Just what is meant by a KMS in this context?
How would things be different if a KMS were in place?
What business results is the KMS expected to produce or enhance?
Do you build it and roll it out all at once or in stages?
However you've defined KMS, how will people have to adjust and adapt to it? Who is likely to support or oppose it? Whose support do you need?

I could go on and on; so could others on this list and so could you. Therein lies my point: You need a long list of questions like these and others related to them in order to get clear about just what it is you're going to put in place and call a KMS and what kinds of changes are involved in doing that. Your "strategy" will emerge from that kind of thinking and analysis.

Finally, keep in mind the link between strategy and execution.

If you've got the right strategy but don't execute well, you will have muffed it.

If you've got the wrong strategy and you do execute it well, you run the risk of shooting yourself in the foot.

If you've got the wrong strategy and don't execute well, your effort is doomed from the beginning.

Only if you've got the right strategy and execute it well do you have a chance of succeeding.

The right strategy will emerge from some solid strategic thinking rooted in questions like those above and others you can add to the list. Good execution? Well, I'll assume you and your folks can do that.

Good luck,

Fred Nickols
Managing Partner
Distance Consulting LLC

"Assistance at a Distance"

--- In, jason.swan@... wrote:

Hi all,

I recently found your group and have been appreciating the depth of the
discussion that has been going on here for the last week, or so.
However, at this point, I'm in need of some "nuts-and-bolts" type of

I work for a company that is part of L-3 Communications. We supply
training and engineering support services to the US military. I've been
give the responsibility for directing our company's knowledge management
initiative, including the development of a knowledge management system.
Our company is more than 25 years old, we have more than 500 employees
and more than 30 locations around the world. Like many companies, we
haven't yet crossed the bridge to becoming a learning organization, and
we struggle with knowledge attrition and wasted effort.

Since being tasked with developing a KMS, I have assembled a team and we
have recognized that we need to approach KM as a human system, rather
than a technology system. We have support from our executive management
to initiate behavior changes as well as technological changes at a
corporate level. However, no one in our company has experience with
developing or deploying a KMS. We have made excellent progress by
researching and reading, and I've made some valuable connections with
other L-3 Communications personnel, but I am still unable to get on top
of the strategy. I feel like I need a defined strategy before I can
make more progress in our effort.

I have no idea what the strategy should look like or what a good "model"
strategy would contain. Can anyone share examples of strategies that
might provide me with some direction? We have long-range goals, and we
are stirring around some ideas for short-range goals. And our business
has some important strategies for acquiring and maintaining business.
How do those things relate to a specific KM strategy? What are the
components of a KM strategy? How does the KM strategy inform subsequent
steps of design and implementation? Once we have a strategy, I feel
like I can draft out a roadmap to get us to implementation.

Thanks in advance!


Jason Swan

Lead Instructional Systems Designer


1228 E. Main St.

Havelock, NC 28532

Phone: (252) 444-0927

Fax: (252) 444-3129

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