How Knowledge Audits contribute to Knowledge Management Planning

We were delighted to be part of the recent International Society for Knowledge Organisation (ISKO) UK Meet up.

Chaired by our very own Sharon Stewart, Consultant here at Metataxis, the session focussed on how a knowledge audit can contribute to knowledge management planning.

Knowledge audits provide an “at a glance” view of an organisation’s knowledge assets, resources, and practices. Their purpose is to improve an organisation’s effectiveness through a better understanding of the dynamics and levers of knowledge production, access, and use.

The output can offer valuable insights to inform the design of any change journey in knowledge management, then it can be used as a benchmarking tool to monitor the success of subsequent activity.

Enhancing innovation, increasing competitive advantage, or mitigating risks are all examples of knowledge related challenges or opportunities that might trigger the need for a knowledge audit.

The first part of the session was delivered by Patrick Lambe, Principal Consultant at Straits Knowledge, and the author of “Principles of Knowledge Auditing,” who revealed techniques how to introduce a systematic approach to knowledge auditing, followed by some key insights from Janine Weightman at Knovolution, who shared her practical experience gained from conducting knowledge audits through case studies.

This interactive session was a great opportunity for knowledge management practitioners to hear from experts and ask questions.

The benefits of knowledge auditing

Patrick discussed how knowledge management can be of benefit to organisations, what barriers and risks they should be aware of, and what steps they can take to get started. He suggested that there is still ambiguity around knowledge audits and in order to be successful, we need to improve the way we communicate across disciplinary boundaries with a consistent language and approach to meaningfully share and combine data. 

He went on to advocate the importance of having a clear sense of purpose for the audit before deciding what you need to learn about, in other words, what are you auditing? For example, knowledge stocks (tacit or explicit knowledge), knowledge flows (where knowledge is produced and consumed), knowledge needs and goals (strategy alignment), knowledge management enablers (organisational processes or resourcing), or knowledge management processes (knowledge capture). The outcome of that investigation will inform the methodology for your approach.

How to conduct a successful knowledge audit

Independent knowledge management consultant, Janine Weightman, went on to present two case studies, where she shared the tools and processes she uses, as well as some of the challenges and lessons learned in performing knowledge audits for organisations. She also revealed key recommendations how to conduct a successful knowledge audit based on her practical experiences.

Some of the key takeaways for practitioners from Janine’s session were:

  • Gain a clear understanding of the business goals and constraints to inform the design of tools and processes to be used in the audit;
  • Understand the tools at your disposal and match them appropriately to the capabilities of the people involved in the project;
  • Communicate with stakeholders in their language and be mindful that they may not relate to knowledge management terminology;
  • Facilitation is vital to ensure that the knowledge audit is converted into action.

What we learned

A knowledge audit is a compound and multidimensional activity.

There is no one right way to conduct a knowledge audit – there are many possible ways to approach them, depending on our goals and resources. The key to success is the use of language as well as follow up, with a clear action plan once the knowledge audit is complete to maximise value.

Find out more about ISKO and upcoming events here.

Consultancy team strengthened with new colleague

Metataxis welcomes new staff member and boosts information management skill set.

Metataxis is delighted to announce the appointment of Sharon Stewart as our latest consultant, responsible for supporting customers with records management and improving information knowledge.

Working alongside the Metataxis team, Sharon is an experienced information management expert, ready to restructure client information to maximise the value of their data.

Sharon has an excellent understanding of knowledge management and provides valuable guidance to clients seeking to develop and implement information and knowledge management solutions that deliver real business benefit.

Marc Stephenson, Director at Metataxis adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Sharon to the consultancy team. The demand for information management strategies has significantly increased as companies look for additional expertise to drive value from their data. Her wealth of experience from a variety of industries is the perfect fit for our business as we grow and promote the importance of knowledge sharing with our clients.”

Say hello to Sharon!

Bite sized taxonomy bootcamp

Techniques, tips and tools for taxonomists and knowledge managers.

Our very own Noeleen Schenk spent an excellent afternoon listening to taxonomy experts and practitioners from around the world, including Canada, USA, Germany and the UK – at the recent bite sized Taxonomy Bootcamp.

This virtual event, held this March, included three compelling case studies from taxonomy professionals presenting how they have put taxonomies into practice within their organisations to make their information more accessible and findable.

Our top three takeaways 

1) How to introduce taxonomies and ontologies
Taxonomist & Information Architect, Fran Alexander, revealed tips to explain taxonomies and ontologies and their benefits to stakeholders. She suggested looking at stakeholders as personas to help craft your story to best suit your audience and ultimately drive buy in and project support.

2) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) metadata
Erica Hornung, an Insights & Analytics Associate talked about DEIA metadata, and how organisations need to consider what DEIA metadata is applied in order avoid marginalising identities. She also shared best practices how taxonomy and metadata can better reflect the needs of diverse audiences.

3) Climate change taxonomy
Thomas Bahr, Knowledge Management Officer, United Nations, presented the climate change taxonomy created for the United Nations Climate Change. With over 60,000 official and unofficial documents on their website, he revealed how they developed a taxonomy made up of 12 different facets and 3,226 terms to organise their documents by topic, conference/sessions, keywords and country to support findability as well as joining up climate change information both inside UNCC and with external bodies.

Explains Noeleen: “These online practical sessions are a great way to hear real life challenges, top tips and success stories around the use of taxonomies and how they can facilitate findability, research and discovery for all types of business. I’m really looking forward to the next session soon!”

Whether you are new to taxonomy; perhaps struggling to explain taxonomies to budget holders; or even a seasoned professional seeking tips, look out for other bitesize online bootcamps taking place in 21 June 2023 and 11 October 2023. 

Sharing our knowledge with Information Managers of the future

Metataxis is pleased to be invited to contribute to the continuing development of knowledge and information leaders. The City, University of London Department of Library and Information Science (or CityLIS for short) provides one of the most well-regarded courses on library and information science in the UK and we are please to be given the opportunity to contribute. Our director Noeleen Schenk has donated her time to CityLIS in order to share her expertise on knowledge management. Noeleen will be in excellent company, delivering a joint lecture with Ian Rodwell, Head of Client Knowledge and Learning at Linklaters.

The delivery of the joint lecture has become something of an annual event. Metataxis have contributed to the information management course at CityLIS for a couple of years now, and it is something we look forward to each year. Making that connection between academic learning and practical application is important, ensuring graduates emerge from courses better prepared for real-life information management challenges. Noeleen and Ian will be delivering a lecture that focuses on knowledge management theory with a strong focus on practice and technique.

Noeleen’s understanding of knowledge management theory and practice has been extremely useful for us when working with clients. Having a knowledge management background can be helpful in many obvious, but sometimes unexpected ways.

If you want to know more about how you can leverage these methods to improve information management, or just want a general catch up about knowledge management use the contact form on the right.

Get the tools to future proof your business

Our Director Noeleen Schenk is presenting at the Federation of Small Business event Get the Tools to Future Proof your Business.

The FSB have created this event to help small businesses plan for reopening after lockdown. “As you reopen your business and look to the future make sure you have all the tools to hand to make the most of opportunities as they arise. This event will talk you through some top tips on how to ensure you have all the information you need at your fingertips to ensure you can take the most successful decisions for your business“.

Noeleen will be talking to members about how looking after your information is not just the preserve of larger organisations, but also vitally important for small businesses, and can help them protect their business from unexpected shocks.  The presentation will focus on what they need to consider, in small practical steps. 

Join Noeleen and and Federation of Small Business on Wednesday 19 May 2021, from 10:00 – 11:00. Book here for the online event.