KM Approaches

km-custom-1 class


Strategies for Nonprofit KM

Approach Description Pluses Minuses
Physical Copies

Physical copies allow for easy retrieval of printed documents enabling information to be accessed by anyone who knows how documents are organized.

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Cumbersome
  • Take up a lot of physical space
  • Cannot be accessed from everywhere

Emails help to exchange digital messages, data and documents from an author to one or more recipients, while automatically generating submission date/time stamps.

  • Familiar and easy to use
  • Cheap and already integrated into a workflow people are already using
  • Can be organized into folders for easy retrieval
  • Not secure
  • Tracking best versions can be difficult with long email threads

Spreadsheets help to structure data in a tabular format allowing for sorting, filtering, and reporting on individual rows of data.

  • Very flexible
  • Can easily transform and manipulate data
  • Very little validation
  • Version control between multiple parties can be cumbersome.
Shared File Drives

Shared file drives allow computer resources to be remotely accessed from another computer – typically via a local area network, virtual private network or an enterprise intranet – transparently, as if it were a resource in the local machine.

  • Easy to establish and manage the structure
  • Easy to set up on an organization's network
  • Easy to access (assuming VPN is available)
  • No version control, anyone can edit content
  • No tagging and categories for search and navigation, flat file structure
  • Have to be logged in to network to access it
Shared Online Documents

Shared documents allow two or more people to use the internet or a piece of software to access a document at the same time allowing live, collaborative editing and peer to peer review.

  • Good collaboration tools
  • Ability to simultaneously edit with other users
  • Widely accessible when shared (i.e. Google Docs)
  • Must have shared access or know URL to view documents
  • No ability to search and filter through documents
  • No access to prior versions of a document unless copied
  • Changing between formats can be difficult
Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting helps you to create folders (containing resources), which can be shared with large groups over the internet enabling sharing of data-processing tasks, centralized data storage and access to services from any computer.

  • Accessible from outside of the server
  • Easy to access with log in credentials
  • Easy to establish and manage the structure
  • Easy to set up
  • Slower than shared drives
  • Have to know where things are in folder structure
Proprietary Document Management Systems

Document Management Systems (DMS) enable the tracking and storage of documents. These systems are usually capable of keeping track of the different versions modified by different users (history tracking).

  • Typically large competent teams behind them
  • Good support for issues
  • Thoroughly developed and tested
  • Expensive
  • You can't change customization, less flexible
Custom Software

Custom software is developed to meet an organizations specific requirements and can therefore fit the preferences and expectations of an organization.

  • Tailored to fit an organizations needs and requirements
  • Stage by stage development leads to higher efficiency of software
  • Maintenance may require constant contact with the developer
  • Can be overly complex making upgrades and updates more difficult
  • Expensive