Knowledge Management role descriptions

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There has been very little standardisation on KM-related job classifications, with the result that a "Knowledge Manager" can be anything from a very junior role to a C-suite position. This makes it very difficult to drive competency definitions of Knowledge Management forward.

The following are proposed as representative KM role descriptions, ranked roughly from highest to lowest in terms of seniority.

Senior roles

Chief Knowledge Officer

  • responsible for big picture knowledge strategy; especially long term outcomes
  • focus is on what, not how; works with C-suite to develop and critique strategic choices
  • uses knowledge risk and value assessments, to set business KM principles, objectives, and align organisational norms
  • must be a senior role with influence at the board table

Knowledge Program Manager

  • responsible for defined strategic knowledge objectives based on executive mandate from CxO positions (eg CEO, CFO)
  • sets KM strategies, goals, and roles/responsibilities
  • focus is on setting up and managing KM projects to achieve goals

Knowledge Manager

  • develops policies and best practices for knowledge
  • identifies and acts on opportunities to improve knowledge processes
  • training workshops and skills improvement
  • leadership and team management for all corporate knowledge process capabilities
  • monitors and reports on progress

Knowledge Architect

  • responsible for organisational systems identification and assessment
  • evaluates knowledge construal and knowledge outcomes for business processes
  • provides expert guidance on KM project methods and modes of delivery
  • provides expert input to aspirational future state and benefit measures for organisational systems

Operational roles

Knowledge Process Manager

  • responsible for monitoring, evaluation and interventions to improve one or more knowledge processes (ie processes relating to solution identification and selection)
  • uses KM tools and techniques correctly in context to achieve improvements
  • an operational role that doesn't set strategic direction
  • examples of knowledge process managers include
    • librarians
    • service desk managers

Knowledge Analyst

  • evaluates and assesses knowledge for currency, correctness, etc in the context of a specific knowledge process
  • captures and/or shares knowledge to support desired knowledge process outcomes
  • an operational role that

Knowledge Process Officer

  • operates a defined knowledge process, such as a knowledgebase
  • passively support for knowledge exchange, has little direct involvement in qualifying or improving knowledge
  • an operational role that doesn’t manage improvements or set strategic direction

Outsourced roles

In addition, outsourced KM roles may be described using these organisational relationships:

Knowledge Process Provider

  • any outsourced arrangement where an organisation provides services to operate a knowledge process

Knowledge Management Consultant

  • an external expert adviser on organisational KM strategy and execution
  • analyses and advises on most suitable KM role structure for organisations