Knowledge Manager Interview

Name: Regi Adams

Title: Knowledge Manager for the State of Arizona

Regi is a KCS certified Knowledge Management Professional with experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Regi is currently working for the State of Arizona as a Knowledge Manager, responsible for leading and implementing KM initiatives.

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What is your work background?

My work background is primarily within training and development. It was my involvement in this field that I was introduced to knowledge management.

Explain knowledge management for those of us who don’t know, and how it is a function of Human Resources.

Knowledge management (km) in a nutshell is about improving business operations by helping people better capture, structure, reuse and improve critical information. Think about all the information we use on a daily basis in order to get work done. We use everything from documents, to PowerPoint presentations to reports and spreadsheets. KM ensures that the right people, get the right information at the right time by introducing specific processes, technology and procedures geared towards achieving this standard.

What event or series of events led you to pursue the field of knowledge management as your professional choice?

It was totally an act of serendipity. A previous boss of mine who had just come on board as a training director asked me to take on the km role in the department. There were a lot of job aids and training material that she wanted to ensure end users were able to find. So with no previous knowledge of the discipline I took on the task of launching a KM function. It was both a scary and fun experience all at the same time

Name three top tips you would offer the KM professional just entering the field:

TIP 1 – Check out certifications like Knowledge Centered Service or KCS. It is a great comprehensive segue into the knowledge management discipline.

TIP 2 – Start reading and writing. Research as much as you can about the field and document your thoughts. This will help you develop your own ideas and understanding of km.

TIP 3 – Create a slide deck. You will be doing a lot of education about km. I found that many people just didn’t know a lot about the field. You will be involved in a perpetual road show to sell the benefits of km. It should always be a focal point.

What are the challenges, or obstacles that a new KM professional may face?

A big challenge is the lack of knowledge people in general have about km. People will be more familiar with the pain points that km solves rather than the discipline itself. As a result, people will not fully understand the value of km. New professionals in the field should be ready for this and be ready to demonstrate value for people in basic and practical ways immediately.

As an experienced professional in knowledge management, what role do you feel technology is playing?

Technology plays a significant role in km. Knowledge bases; document repositories and social networks are all transforming how people find and share information. Teaching people how to use technology in “knowledge friendly” ways to get work done is a huge part of km.