Pick up a business magazine and you're likely to find at least one article on knowledge management. Almost every industry conference, seminar and sales pitch will include the "K" word. It's no small wonder that analysts with the Gartner Group list knowledge management as one of the most hyped technology concepts today. Unfortunately, such a level of hype can undermine the true opportunities and benefits of such a concept. The intent of this article is to help separate hype from reality. It will outline the key concepts behind knowledge management (KM), review the objectives of a KM initiative, discuss a business approach to achieving rapid results with KM and identify how various technologies fit into the KM puzzle.

Some common threads emerge when talking with business and information technology managers about opportunities and challenges within their companies. While there are many disparate opportunities for improvement, the primary focus of most initiatives can be distilled to a few "major improvement opportunities" (MIOs):

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