Managing knowledge and information

How do you develop and maintain information-processing systems to help you make better decisions? And how do you get the best use of knowledge and learning throughout the organization?

These questions relate to almost every other topic in strategic management.

Get information relevant to business issues


  • staff and customer feedback
  • business performance data

Identify business problems and issues, then define and analyze them

Gather the information you need form reliable sources, suing efficient ways to gather it

Test it for reliability and validity, and reject anything contradictory or ambiguous

Use your formal and informal networks to access corporate knowledge and memory that is not held in formal systems, and review it appropriately.

Analyse your information

You need to set objectives for analyses that are clear, relevant and consistent with the decisions required

Identify the patterns and emerging trends and interpret them for cause and effect relationships. Use statistical analyies and interpretation where appropriate

You can also do sensitivity analysis on any options proposed.

You documentation needs to reflect a logical approach to the evaluation of your evidence and conclusions your draw.

Adjust your management information and decision support systems to meet your information processing objectives.

Take decisions on business issues identified

Check that you have enough valid and reliable information to support a decision

Use your risk management plans to determine acceptable courses of action. That is, assess the risks of each option.

If appropriate, use suitable quantitative methods to help you make a decision.

Consult with specialists and other relevant groups and individuals are consulted

Make decisions in a timely way. They must be within your authority to do so, and according to your organization's guidelines, objectives, values and standards

Disseminate information to the organisation

The information you provide needs to be up-to-date, accurate, relevant and sufficient for the recipients needs. Find out what information the groups and individuals in your organization need.

Write down what advice and information they need specifically in respect to location format and timelines, that is, when and where they need it.

Put your information in writing and regularly update databases.

Design and test systems to meet information requirements of decision-makers.

Make plans for communication that include regular recipient evaluation.

Follow confidentiality and privacy policies when you transmit and release information and advice.

Regularly review plans and update your communication.

Use technology that gives you optimum efficiency and quality.

Maintain corporate knowledge and ensure security.



Statistical analyses may include:

  • Short to medium term trend analyses
  • Long term trend analyses
  • Regulation analyses
  • Correlation calculations
  • Probability assessment

Sensitivity analyses means:

  • Applying what if scenarios to the various options available

Management information systems means:

  • The formal systems for collecting, storing and synthesizing information to be used in management decision making

Decision support systems are:

  • Management information systems which include some form of computer-based assistance to decision making (expert systems)
>Risk management means:
  • The process of identification of potential negative events and the development of plans to mitigate or minimize the likelihood of the negative event occurring and/or the consequences in the event it does occur

Quantitative methods may include:

  • Linear programming
  • Transportation methodology
  • Queuing theory
  • Dynamic programming
  • Simulation

Relevant groups and individuals means:

  • Those personnel who have knowledge about the issue being dealt with and the expertise to assist the decision making process

Timely manner means:

  • Promptly, and providing adequate time for planning and implementation

Research may include:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Individual interviews
  • Group interviews

System refers to:

  • A detailed description/depiction of how organizations relate to their environments and how they process information through strategic and tactical management to develop actual operating procedures

Communication plans means:

  • A structured program for the dissemination of information, and the receipt of feedback information from individuals, relevant to the process or activity

Technology may include:

  • Telephone
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Intranet
  • Print media
  • Audio visual media

Corporate knowledge may include:

  • Technology, copyright, intellectual property

Things you must get right

  • Track a particular problem or issue through the information gathering and analysis phase and make a decision (or decisions) that you disseminate it to the people and groups inside and outside your organization who need to be informed.
  • Develop and use information processing systems,
  • Accessing informal information/knowledge from informal networks within your organization

Underpinning knowledge*

* At this level the learner must demonstrate understanding of specialised knowledge with depth in some areas

  • Relevant legislation from all levels of government that affects business operation, especially in regard to Occupational Health and Safety and environmental issues, equal opportunity, industrial relations and anti-discrimination
  • Knowledge of the Key Result Areas of the organisation and their supporting strategies/plans/objectives
  • Statistical techniques for analysing and interpreting data
  • Decision systems to evaluate options and take the decision
  • Risk management
  • Information processing

Underpinning skills

  • Networking skills to ensure support from key groups and individuals for concepts/ideas/products/services
  • Analytical skills to identify improvement opportunities in relation to the services/products you deliver internally or concepts/ideas in your area of expertise
  • Evaluative skills to maintain performance and assess the use of alternative suppliers/contractors
  • Operations management skills to utilise quantitative techniques as an aid to decision making
  • Communication/consultation skills to ensure all relevant groups and individuals are advised of what is occurring and are provided with an opportunity for input
  • Ability to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities


Key Competency Levels

  • Collecting, analysing and organising information to identify problems/issues requiring intervention
  • Communicating ideas and information to develop communication plans for decisions to be taken
  • Planning and organising activities to develop and maintain informal networks
  • Working with teams and others to ensure the quality and adequacy of the information available for the decision
  • Using mathematical ideas and techniques to apply in quantitative decision making techniques
  • Solving problems to identify and rectify problems/issues
  • Using technology to collect and analyse information and disseminate decisions