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Knowledge Audit and Analysis

Knowing the what, where, who, how and why


What Is Knowledge?
Knowledge is defined (Oxford English Dictionary) variously as 1. Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; What is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information; or Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

2. 3.

Is Knowledge Manageable?
Knowledge itself is not manageable. What is manageable are the processes necessary to encourage the sharing of knowledge and the development of intellectual capital assets. The implementation & management of processes requires a route map that may be used by all members of the organisation to understand their roles and responsibilities, their relevance within the organisation, and to access the knowledge available to carry out those roles.

Where Does Corporate Knowledge Reside?

Paper Documents

26 %

Employees Brains

42 %

Electronic Documents

20 %

12 %

Electronic Knowledge Base

Salamander Organization Workforce Survey*


What Is A Knowledge Audit?

Systematic investigation, examination, verification, measurement and evaluation of explicit and tacit knowledge resources and assets, in order to determine how efficiently and effectively they are used and leveraged by the organisation Ann Hylton

The systematic analysis of an organization's information and knowledge entities and their key attributes, such as ownership, usage and flows, mapped against user and organizational knowledge needs David Skyrme

What Is The Context For A Knowledge Audit?

Materiel Acquisition and Sustainment Framework

Why Would You Conduct A Knowledge Audit? knowledge needs to support organisational goals: Helps identify

Provides tangible evidence of the extent knowledge is effectively managed (shared, leveraged etc) Helps show what knowledge exists, where it is, and whether there are any duplication or gaps Reveals pockets of knowledge e.g. untapped potential Shows knowledge sources and any sinks or blocks Provides information in order to tailor knowledge management initiatives

What we wanted

what we made

How Do You Undertake A Knowledge Audit?

1. Identify what knowledge exists Identify explicit knowledge (e.g. snapshots corporate information) Identify tacit knowledge pools (e.g. knowledge networks) 2. Identify where that knowledge resides Shared drives, paper records, local gurus Determine sinks, sources, flows, blockages Map knowledge processes (way it is captured, shared, used & saved) 3. Identify what knowledge is missing Assess corporate objectives, skills, competencies against best practices Perform a gap analysis - who needs the knowledge & why 4. Report and recommend suggestions for improvement

How Long Does It Take To Conduct An Audit?

Unsurprisingly the time it takes for a Knowledge Audit depends on: The size of the target population, their geographical location, and participation The resources available (and their capability) to undertake the Audit The budget allocated and the time allotted by Senior Management The level of detail required The focus required (e.g. current knowledge stocks and/or knowledge flows) Answers to questions such as these also dictate the method/s to be used As a guide experienced and qualified knowledge auditors with an approved budget, a participatory target audience, and using a variety of methods, may take approximately 3 months to audit a branch < 50 people.

Case Study A Large Organisation

Case Study A Large Organisation

Large Government Department Branch About 100 people (mainly QLD) who fulfil various administrative design roles (internal consultancy). The challenge was to: Complete a KM audit to identify the essential knowledge elements to support a knowledge strategy; and Highlight existing knowledge assets and thereby make them Theaccountable and relevant to organisational performance methods used were: Initial research Intranet & shared drive Leveraged work by RMIT on a Government Senior Executive Survey and used results from Senior Executives

Semi-structured individual interviews and observations

Case Study A Large Organisation (FINDINGS) The findings were:

Support for existing knowledge sharing & support initiatives Need for additional cross-team sharing Need for improved tacit knowledge capture from leavers Need for improved targeted training Need for improved access to experts and artefacts Need for clarity of roles & responsibilities Need for improved systems for collaboration, version control, archival procedures(IT services)

Case Study B Small Department

Case Study B Small Department

Small specialised team in a Government Department seen as a test site for Knowledge Management The challenge was to: Complete a Knowledge Audit to identify gaps that could be addressed by a knowledge strategy and some politically driven initiatives (e.g. CoPs) Undertake the audit without using Knowledge Management jargon The methods used: Established Project Management procedures - scope, reporting, concepts Undertook preliminary research & later Industry research Developed and tested survey instruments Administered electronic questionnaire Conducted individual semi-structured interviews Analysed results (including performing a gap analysis) Mapped processes & knowledge sources

Case Study B Small Department (FINDINGS)

The findings were: Demonstrated support for a culture of knowledge sharing Some documentation of knowledge processes Some problems associated with explicit knowledge (information) management - version control, access, archival, search, publication, catalogues


What Are Knowledge Maps (K-Maps)?

Sometimes undertaking a Knowledge Audit is simply not enough. You also need to VISUALISE the content in a meaningful (useful and useable) way for both senior management and staff who are tasked with undertaking the work. People often need to delve deeper and understand the importance and impact of knowledge flows on business outputs and outcomes, they need to look at the organisations processes and visualise the relationship with the final business goals. K-Maps help people understand and analyse the current state and ask the important questions before moving forward. Questions like: Does the current structure support active knowledge sharing? - Are there information silos within the business? - Is there evidence of duplication of effort within the business? - Who are the subject matter experts and how can I find them? - What should we be doing that we currently are not doing?

Why Would You Build A Knowledge Map?

The goals of knowledge maps are to: Set out how outcomes are achieved (how things get done!) Provide a simple common user experience of how business is organised - how things operate at the all important task, activity, function levels - how they provide the building blocks for delivering outputs and outcomes Help people understand their roles and responsibilities - help to make business lines join up Make workflows visible to both managers and staff; Deliver self service functionality to clients over the Intranet; and where appropriate Deploy a quality system for quality standards accreditation to satisfy - audit requirements as established by Government and / or

Business Outcome s

Understand What Is Best Practice For Achieving The Branch Outputs

How Do I?

Understand How The Branch Outputs Feed Into The Corporate Picture

Access Right Application When I Need To

Access To Associated Resources

Understand How & Where This Application Helps Me To Achieve The Outcomes

Click to edit Master subtitle style

Understand How & Where The Correct Resource Helps Me To Achieve The Branch Outputs

Corp. Systems Sources Of Knowledge

Materiel Acquisition and Sustainment Framework

In its simplest form K-Mapping is the process of analysing tasks, activities, functions, outputs and outcomes of an organisation or of a particular area of an organisation and understanding the dependencies that exist.


What are the benefits?

Enables a common language across agencies Assists you to decompose outcomes Draws an explicit link between activities you undertake with the outcome being delivered Identifies efficiencies, deficiencies and implications

Tasks are the lowest level of effort they breakdown the activities. A cluster of tasks may often seem unrelated. Tasks can exist in several clusters at the same time.

Activities are the major tasks which support and assist in achieving the work function.

Functions are the largest unit of business activity. They represent major responsibilities that are managed by an organisation/area.

An output is the deliverable from the function/s.

An outcome is the end result derived from the output.

The following example highlights how K-Mapping (analysing tasks, activities, functions and outputs) helps us to understand the dependencies that exist at each level which support the achievement of a particular outcome (eg: maximising the re-sale value of a car).






Change spark plugs Change oil and water Check air in tyres


Service the car


Replace worn tyres Replace headlight bulb Speedometer Cable Presentation Polish paintwork Clean windows Vacuum interior Wash wheels

> >

A car that is:


Replace faulty or worn parts

Well maintained; well presented; and mechanically sound


Car re-sale value is maximised

> >
Clean the car