Bite-sized views from 3Kites: Is the ISO standard for Knowledge Management useful?
The International Standards Organisation published its standard for Knowledge Management Systems in November 2018 after a period of consultation. Although knowledge management had been mentioned in the ISO standard for Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001), there had not previously been a fully-fledged KM standard before. Now that we have it, what should we do about it?
In our engagements with professional services organisations, especially law firms, we have not seen any claiming full compliance with the standard. In the UK at least, there is as yet no accredited organisation which can audit and certify compliance with the standard. However, we think that the standard is useful in the following ways:
• It provides additional external validation for KM as a function. In the legal sector, there are still too many law firms and Corporate Legal departments, which, despite
being organisations which are based on knowledge and experience, do not take the management of that knowledge and experience seriously. The standard has some
useful things to say about knowledge culture and support from the top of the organisation, which we think KM teams can usefully refer to in trying to bring about a
change of attitude in their organisations.
• It provides a useful structure against which firms can evaluate their knowledge management.