Problem corner

Thomas
Otter strategy director at Pecaso explains why knowledge management belongs to
HR  www.pecaso.com

Q
I am putting together a proposal for an e-HR system in the department and want
to build in a budget for a knowledge management system. We tried and failed
with knowledge management first time round and the finance director isn’t
convinced it should be integrated with HR’s technology budget. Am I barking up
the wrong tree?

A
Knowledge management should be seen as an integral part of HR systems, so you
are right to factor it into your current budget. In general, there aren’t too
many technical divides between HR and knowledge management systems now, more
political ones.

These
stem from HR largely abdicating responsibility for technical matters – the
upshot being that it lost knowledge management to IT. This is perhaps why your
finance director doesn’t associate knowledge management with HR, but you should
at the very least ensure you have a stake in it – explain to him that HR is the
custodian of people processes and, by extension, of the technology that
facilitates this.

E-learning
and knowledge management have become very blurred (one man’s learning material
is another man’s White Paper), and no-one should doubt that e-learning resides
with the HR and training department. In many ways, e-learning is a subset of
knowledge management, and in some companies the latter is gradually resurfacing
and is being associated with the term ‘content management’.

Knowledge
management has now improved, with some new powerful content search management
engines. You have a much better chance of making it work this time and, in
doing so, you could well earn HR a good few points.

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