A SME is engaged in knowledge management activities, what we want is for those activities to be a explicit and systematic management of the processes of creating, gathering, validating, categorizing, archiving, disseminating, leveraging, and using knowledge – whether for improving the organization and the individuals in it or the broader profession.
The thing is, this is another skill set for most SMEs. There will be SMEs out there who can do this from practice, but we need to be more deliberate in providing the skills. To provide the skills we must understand what we need to teach, which is where a competency model is valuable.
For the purpose of this post I’ll use the same three levels the ASQ Human Development and Leadership technical community uses for their competency framework:
- Basic: Possesses general, conceptual knowledge or awareness of this concept OR a limited ability to perform this skill. Needs reference materials to complete tasks related to this concept.
- Intermediate: Able to apply knowledge of this concept in work OR can perform this skill consistently with minimal guidance.
- Advanced: Provides expert advice and make sound judgments using knowledge of this concept OR provides consultation and leadership to others using this skill. Can foster greater understanding of this concept among colleagues and stakeholders.
|Competency||Level to build towards|
|Knowledge of principles of knowledge management, for example conceptualizing, managing, preserving, and/or maintaining organizational knowledge.||Advanced|
|Knowledge of methods and techniques for capturing and codifying knowledge, for example storytelling, data mining, cognitive mapping, decision trees, and/or knowledge taxonomies.||Advanced|
|Knowledge of methods and techniques for disseminating and/or sharing knowledge across individuals, groups, and organizations.||Advanced|
|Skill in designing and implementing knowledge management strategy.||Intermediate|
|Skill in identifying the quality, authenticity, accuracy, impartiality, and/or relevance of information from various sources, for example databases, print and online media, speeches and presentations, and observations.||Advanced|
|Skill in organizing and synthesizing information from multiple sources, for example databases, print and online media, speeches and presentations, and observations.||Advanced|
|Skill in curating instructional content, tools, and resources, for example researching, evaluating, selecting, and/or assembling publicly available online courseware.||Basic|
|Skill in identifying the type and amount of information needed to support the development of others in the topic.||Advanced|
|Skill in developing, managing, facilitating, and/or supporting knowledge networks and communities of practice.||Advanced|
We need to recognize that not every SME will get to this level, or have the time to consistently apply it. This is why it is important to have knowledge management experts to support, nurture and step in where needed to assist.