Getting ready for the ISO Standard for Knowledge Management

With the imminent arrival of the ISO Standard for Knowledge Management, I started to gather a range of content that I have come across from different people, much more in the know than I am on the subject, before the deluge of people trying to sell you products and services that they say will make you ISO compliant but in reality will probably make no difference.


What could the ISO Standard mean for KM in your organisation?

For me, the idea of a standard for KM puts it more on the radar of senior management.

As part of a discussion that I was involved in during a webinar hosted by Judy Payne on KM in Project Environments.  KM is quite often seen as an afterthought if even thought about at all.

So hopefully a standard will highlight Knowledge Management

The idea of a standard for any subject area can be useful.  But when they say a standard.  Does it really mean standard or something else?  The interpretation of a standard sometimes means that there is a one way to do it.  It means that we can buy an IT system that will do it all for us.

Well for me that’s the wrong way to think about.  After reading the draft standard and reading Nick Milton’s blog (one of the co authors of the standard).  Nick gave some details on what it means to organisations in his blog post  The ISO KM standard - news and explanations

Nick points out some key points

  • The standard will not try to tell you how to do KM.
  • The standard is not just for big companies.
  • The standard will not require you to be externally audited.
  • The standard will not take ages to implement.
  • The standard does not mandate how you implement KM.
  • The KM standard will look very much like other ISO standards.


So, what is the ISO Standard for KM

I’m taking a step back for a moment. First of all, from my understanding and I might be wrong this is the first real attempt at a global standard for KM.  And with any standard the intention is for it to adapt over time.

Judy Payne hosted a great webinar when the draft came out as part of the APM’s Knowledge Sig that provides a quick overview of the draft.  Well worth a watch when you have time.

It’s not new to have a KM Standard.  Patricia Eng mentioned at the Henley Forum about the Nuclear industry standard that has been around for a number of years.


When does the Standard come out?

The ISO Standard for Knowledge Management is expected to be released in September 2018 but I’ve not heard of a set date yet.  So best to keep an eye on the website

Concerns and opportunities

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens once the standard is released.  I have concerns that all of a sudden there will be software or an amazing consultancy process that will solve all your KM problems.

But then again, I have hopes that the right people will be making the decision for the benefit of the organisation rather than it being a tick box.

Only time will tell.

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