Knowledge management has much to benefit the training department

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Knowledge management and the training world are becoming increasingly close, thanks to the technology behind the latest e-learning tools. So says US-based the Frontline Group, who've put together a white paper on the relationship between the two.

The white paper explains how in the US, and more globally, knowledge management projects are becoming more and more widespread - apparently 80 per cent of the 158 multinational companies surveyed last year in the US had some sort of knowledge management initiative underway, and many also had a well-established e-learning system in place.

Knowledge management, with its emphasis on sharing and managing knowledge, shares with many training departments a need and desire to introduce new staff to organisational culture and operational tasks by asking existing staff to share what they know. Knowledge management goes further by seeing this as a continuous process, not just one which stops after induction, or comes into play only when a need has been identified. The Frontline Group sees a key role for training professionals to play in linking their organisations learning and knowledge management plans with business targets. Integrating knowledge management with building a business case involves categorising your organisation's key 'value-producing' activities, understanding how these affect cash-flow and quantifying how knowledge and learning will add value, Frontline Group say. None of which is likely to be straightforward, but training departments which are able to take this approach could find themselves reducing their costs as they make better use of the knowledge those working in their organisation are able to contribute. With technology making it easier and easier to share information, there's no reason why knowledge sharing should be a time-consuming activity.

TrainingZONE's sister site, www.knowledgeboard.com, is dedicated to those wanting to get involved in knowledge management projects - click the link to find out more.

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