I don’t normally say “terrific” but Mary Abraham has a terrific post on the dangers of the “low hanging fruit” approach when drawing up a KM plan. The idea of going after low hanging fruit is to get low-cost buy-in and support for your KM initiative. It’s one of my most hated but alas most tolerated KM bugbears. As Mary points out, low hanging fruit:
- have likely been gone after many times before
- are often over-ripe or lack nutrition
- are often scattered randomly not strategically
Mary sums up brilliantly: “Collecting low-hanging fruit is a knowledge management tactic NOT a legitimate strategy. Strategy sets your goals and gives you a reason for the projects you undertake and the methods you employ. Tactics are fine, if they are deployed to advance an agreed strategy. Otherwise, they are little better than busy work.”
So what should we go after? We use the REACH acronym to pre-qualify early pilot projects to see if they are both do-able and worth doing:
R is for READINESS – is the target workgroup ready for the pilot? How much pre-work, persuasion and preparation is required?
E is for EXTENDABILITY - will you be able to apply what you learn in the pilot to other workgroups with similar issues?
A is for ACHIEVABILITY – is the pilot sufficiently self-contained and free of too many dependencies to be able to achieve its objectives? Is it realistic in a 3-9 month timeframe?
C is for CULTURAL IMPACT - will the pilot positively influence the operational culture by demonstrating that the KM efforts are both possible and positive?
H is got HIGH STRATEGIC IMPACT - will the pilot add demonstrable business value and support strategic goals? Will its success harness the support of senior leaders?
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