Training Modules: KM Approaches

KM Tools and Techniques Matrix-final

Matrix of KM Tools and Techniques

The training modules in this section of the Knowledge Management Training Package for Global Health Programs focus on specific types of KM Approaches—the tools and techniques that can be used to collect, synthesize, and share knowledge.

KM tools and techniques fall on both a Collect–Connect continuum and a Push–Pull continuum, illustrated in the KM Tools and Techniques Matrix. Some KM tools and techniques focus on collecting information, for example, in databases and libraries, while others emphasize connecting people to that information, such as workshops and webinars. Similarly, you can think of some KM tools and techniques as pushing information to people, such as news releases and publications, while others provide people with tools so they can pull the information themselves, for example, website search tools. These two continuums create a matrix in which KM tools and techniques can be thought of in terms of the broad approaches they use in the KM cycle to generate, capture, and share knowledge:

  • Asking approaches, such as after-action reviews, knowledge cafés, peer assists, and other types of events and meetings, can be helpful for eliciting tacit knowledge.
  • Telling approaches, such as conferences, webinars, and workshops, are useful for conveying knowledge to defined groups of people.
  • Publishing approaches, such as job aids, e-learning courses, or websites, are efficient tools for sharing explicit knowledge with large groups of people.
  • Searching approaches, including libraries, taxonomies in databases, and facets or filters on search engines, allow people to pull the information they need, when they need it.

KM tools and techniques that use Asking and Telling approaches focus more on establishing connections between people and engaging them in conversations to help facilitate knowledge exchange. As such, many, but not necessarily all, of these KM tools and techniques entail hosting participatory events or meetings to promote learning. In contrast, KM tools and techniques that use Publishing and Searching approaches work well for collecting and packaging explicit knowledge to share with others.

Taken together, these different KM approaches complement each other. Effective KM strategies will often use multiple KM tools and techniques across the two continuums. Furthermore, some specific KM tools and techniques can straddle different sides of each continuum depending on how they are used, and thus do not fit neatly within one single quadrant. For example, a share fair blends Asking and Telling approaches, providing participants with opportunities to share their experiences with each other while they learn new skills and techniques.

The KM Training Package currently has four modules on specific KM tools and techniques:

To access these four training modules, click on menu in the right-hand pane or on the sub-menus in the main navigation menu above.

We plan to add modules for additional KM tools and techniques over time, so check back in from time to time or send us an email to if you want us to notify you when we add new training modules.