Start your procurement journey with the right approach to knowledge management

Many IT systems allow information capture, storage and retrieval. And with the advent of advanced analytics and ‘big data’, more and more data can now be connected. However, the way data is transformed into information and then knowledge requires careful consideration.

This is why the BioPhorum Knowledge Management Workstream has published a User Requirements Specification for a Knowledge Management System for Use in a Biopharmaceutical Setting to help support an organization’s knowledge management activity in any technology procurement. While the paper is organisation and technology agnostic, it does provide a detailed list of questions to ask when approaching procurement or developing IT applications to deliver knowledge management goals.

The paper takes organizations back to the purpose of knowledge management, asks them to think about how technology will improve this, and then provides the starting point for a more detailed specification based on how user roles will want to interact with the data.

All these actions will significantly improve the outcomes of technology application in terms of business benefit, meeting systems’ acceptance criteria, reducing waste in a project and, ultimately, lowering costs.

Many knowledge management systems are bespoke and focus on specific areas of business (such as product development, quality assurance or regulatory compliance), and are developed by individual departments as opposed to taking an enterprise wide view. However, because of organizational silos, this means learning and best practice is often not shared, so this paper aims to fill this gap and help projects avoid common pitfalls.

As part of the knowledge management suite of documents – see the recent Knowledge Management white paper and associated Knowledge Mapping Tool – the paper helps organizations move from theory to application. It also helps industry to more effectively manage and leverage its knowledge assets, which are the basis of product development and lifecycle management.

The next step is for an organization to use the specification in the context of its own needs and existing technology landscape. It can then develop a more detailed Request for Information for vendors and begin its procurement journey.

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