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Knowledge Mapping

ImageKnowledge mapping is an important practice consisting of survey, audit, and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores personal and group competencies and proficiencies. It illustrates or "maps" how knowledge flows throughout an organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to appreciate how the loss of staff influences intellectual capital, to assist with the selection of teams, and to match technology to knowledge needs and processes. Knowledge mapping as a business strategy.

Knowledge Mapping is the most important phase in Knowledge Management projects. It is defined as the process, methods and tools for analyzing knowledge areas in order to discover features or meaning and to visualize them in a comprehensive, transparent form such that the business-relevant features are clearly highlighted.

A knowledge map is the intellectual infrastructure for knowledge management initiatives. The taxonomies of people, processes and tasks then have to be mapped across the three components in order to provide a foundation for such knowledge management enterprise projects.

One of the advantages of Knowledge Mapping is that one can find gaps between what they need and what is in reality for individuals holding specific positions. These gaps can be seen in education, training, experience, knowledge transfer, hiring new people, and people retirement.

The key principles of knowledge mapping:

  • • Understand that knowledge is transient;
  • Establish boundaries and respect personal disclosures;
  • Recognize and locate knowledge in a wide variety of forms: tacit and explicit, formal and informal, codified and personalized, internal and external, short life cycle and permanent;
  • Locate knowledge in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context, suppliers, competitors and customers;
  • Be aware of organizational level and aggregation, cultural issues and reward systems, timeliness, sharing and value, legal process and protection (patents, trade secrets, trademarks, NDAs).

Main reasons for knowledge mapping on an organization:

  • Encourage re-use and prevent re-invention, saving search time and acquisition costs;
  • Highlight islands of expertise and suggest ways to build bridges to increase knowledge sharing;
  • Discover effective and emergent communities of practice where learning is happening;
  • Provide a baseline for measuring progress with Knowledge Management projects;
  • Reduce the burden on experts by helping staff to find critical information quickly;
  • Improve customer response, decision making and problem solving by providing access to applicable information;
  • Highlight opportunities for learning and leverage of knowledge;
  • Provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual and intangible assets;
  • Research for designing a knowledge architecture or a corporate memory.

Our Knowledge Mapping consulting service can be offered as training, as an information seminar, or a consulting project.

SUMNet is specialized in the study of knowledge mapping, carrying out work that is focused on knowledge that is applied by staff in order to provide benefit for an organisation. The primary goal of SUMNet is to provide knowledge focussed decision support information for those responsible for the knowledge area. The methods and tools used by SUMNet can be applied in a diverse range of areas. Wherever knowledge is important, SUMNet can provide benefit with its knowledge study methods.

There are different project types for knowledge mapping and SUMNet is totally prepared to attend all of them.


1. Knowledge "Yellow" Pages
2. Information Flow Analysis
3. Social Network Analysis
4. Process Knowledge Mapping
5. Functional Knowledge Mapping


There are different techniques with their own special characteristics. These characteristics are greatly different in practical aspects. Using each of these techniques might result in different knowledge maps with different characteristics. Therefore we should select a technique to map organization's existing knowledge which supports our expectations and adapts for the organization’s characteristics.

These techniques, used singly or in combination, will supply information on your organization which can be used to determine the best approaches and implementation tools for creating a Knowledge Management project, and knowledge cycle.