One of the objectives of an efficient knowledge management strategy is to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge.
Tacit versus explicit knowledge
Explicit knowledge is objective and rational, it can be easily expressed to others via words, symbols or numbers, is easily transferrable and it can be stored in the form of data, scientific formulae, user guides, slide material, documents etc.
- A procedure,
- A report,
- A presentation…
Explicit knowledge is easily transferable on a knowledge platform via a training or conference, a procedure manual, a report or slide presentation.
Subjective experimental, tacit knowledge is based on insights, experience and intuition
- Being proficient in building client relationships,
- Being a successful stakeholder manager in a PMO environment,
- Performing an impactful presentation to an audience…
Turning tacit into explicit knowledge
Tacit knowledge is more difficult to share with others as it is deeply rooted in an individual action and experience. A solution to enhance tacit knowledge into a knowledge management framework is to ignite the emergence of knowledge communities , also called communities of practice.
What are knowledge communities?
Knowledge communities are:
|Groups of people
Who, for a specific topic, share one or more:
- Specialty or role
- Passion or interest in a given topic
- Concern or a set of problems
|Visible and formalised
Communities and community members are:
- Embedded in the whole organisation and have a strong and direct support from the management
- Promoting their topics through the whole company
- Subject to grow, change and evolve
|Value and information minded
People join communities in order to:
- Share new ideas, lessons learned, proven practices, insights, and practical suggestions and other useful information
- Collaborate through threaded discussions, conversations, and interactions
- Innovate through brainstorming, building on each other's ideas, and developing new and better ways of doing things
- Reuse solutions through asking and answering questions, applying shared insights, and retrieving posted material
- Learn from other members of the community; from invited guest speakers about successes, failures, case studies, new trends; and through mentoring
As people deepen their understanding of the topic by:
- Creating, enriching and circulating both tacit and explicit knowledge around the community topics
- Sharing ideas
- Collaborating and interacting on an on-going basis
- Asking and answering questions
- Solving problems for one another