Enterprise Content Management as part of Knowledge Management

In order for for an enterprise to gain maximum benefits from an Enterprise Content Management system we need to place ECM into a larger context. That context being Knowledge Management. Knowledge Management or KM is a collection of processes that govern the creation, storage, dissemination and utilization of knowledge. To manage knowledge is to audit "intellectual assets" that highlight unique sources, critical functions and potential bottlenecks which hinder knowledge flows to the point of use. It protects intellectual assets from decay, seeks opportunities to enhance decisions, services and products through adding intelligence, increasing value and providing flexibility.

Successful knowledge management in an enterprise is more than a project, a process, or even a technology. It requires a true ecosystem, one comprised of a range of elements that must operate in concert:

People – For those companies embarking on a knowledge management initiative, a fundamental culture change is required. Knowledge can no longer be viewed as power, something that must be held close, rather than shared. Organizations need to build a culture of collaboration, where all stakeholders understand the part they play in sharing knowledge, where itís easy to contribute to the knowledge base, and where those contributions are encouraged and rewarded.

Process – A documented process for creating knowledge and for reviewing that information not only before, but after it is published to make sure it stays current.

Organization – A sustained effort around knowledge management cannot exist without dedicated resources working in a defined structure.

Technologies – A technology infrastructure is needed to facilitate and streamline the knowledge capture process. These technologies must make this information easily and readily accessible to those who need it. They need to provide insights into how information's being used, what's valuable, and what's not, so that knowledge management systems are continually improved.