There are many similarities of how we practice Knowledge Management and how we tend to our gardens. Saving the environment using sustainable practices is now becoming more popular. As families start to plant home gardens, you can see how these practices are similar to Knowledge Management in the Support and Self Service industry.
Planting the crops can be compared to creating Knowledge. There are conditions to consider in the planning stage because it is relational to what is happening in that moment… what season it is, what to harvest, what type of soil or sunlight is needed. This is similar to how we decide when and how to create Knowledge for our self-service sites… Who is the target audience, what type of Knowledge structure should be used, does it fill a gap and is the end result one or many satisfied users?
Once the garden is planted, there is a requirement to nurture and care for it to help it become a valuable commodity. This includes watering, weeding and managing overgrowth’s in order to allow the plants to flourish with fruit. The same focus occurs with caring for Knowledge. It needs to be reviewed, updated and improved in order to build its value and prepare it for mass consumption.
The most satisfying part is the Harvest. The harvest marks the end of the growing season and stimulates the sharing process… you prepare, cook, season and share the crops from the garden. This relates to the publishing and sharing portion of the Knowledge Management process. Knowledge is created, nurtured and harvested for consumption and reuse.
In either example, the processes are not always easy. The world today is moving more and more towards a focus on sustainable process and practices –with overwhelming acceptance. Maybe we can learn from one practice to help us do a better job at the other? No matter if you are sharing the crops from your garden or sharing your Knowledge, the end result is fulfillment and satisfaction.