This article is part of a series of articles on the new international knowledge management (KM) standard, ISO 30401 Knowledge management systems – Requirements.
In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the RealKM evaluation of the ISO 30401 standard, we looked at how effective the standard has been in aligning to community expectations and briefly summarised the mandatory requirements for implementation.
Now it’s time to see how the rubber hits the road. What does it mean to put ISO 30401 into practice? By focusing on the normative parts of the standard since that will define the “minimum viable product” (MVP) of a compliant implementation, we can evaluate:
- Are statements unambiguous and meaningful?
- Do they require practical and observable actions?
- Do they promote specific and useful KM practices?
The answer (mostly) is yes. Unfortunately, the Annex SL boilerplate used as part of all ISO management system standards forces the KM standard to be presented in an order that muddies rather than clarifies how to implement the standard. Most other issues with the standard boil down to redundant or repetitive language, or “may” statements that make best practice unclear.
To address this, the attached primer provides a simplified and streamlined set of processes that will allow any organisation to implement an ISO30401-compliant Knowledge Management System:
For further information on ISO 30401:2018, including the background to its development and discussion of issues that should be considered in its implementation, see the other articles in the RealKM Magazine ISO 30401 series.
Note: An earlier version of this article referred to ISO 9001 as the progenitor of the Annex SL standard, when in fact Annex SL is designed to be applicable to all ISO management system standards, including ISO 9001.