Despite its rapid acceptance, most observers believe that much has still to be accomplished. A typical evolution of knowledge management within an organization goes through several phases:
· Ad-hoc: knowledge management is being practiced to some level in some parts of the organization (although it may not be recognized as such or called ‘knowledge management’)
· Formal: knowledge management is recognized as a formal project or programme
· Expanding: the use of knowledge management as a discipline grows in practice across different parts of the organization
· Cohesive: there is a degree of co-ordination of knowledge management activity; knowledge can be more easily shared across departmental boundaries
· Integrated: there are formal standards and approaches that gives every employee access to most organizational knowledge through common interfaces (e.g. a corporate portal)
· Embedded: knowledge management is part-and-parcel of everyday tasks; it blends seamlessly into the background.
In its survey, KPMG reckoned that only 10 per cent of companies were operating at the higher three levels. Most knowledge management practitioners realize that it takes several years for knowledge sharing and knowledge activities to become embedded in an organizations culture and day-to-day business practice.