The Wheel of Knowledge
March 28, 2016

Diana Hamono, Executive Director


For an internal auditing organisation to benefit from the knowledge of its staff, it’s important to identify and map the knowledge that is needed to complete quality and efficient internal audits.

A knowledge audit is a good way to identify the knowledge assets needed to do the audit work, as well as the knowledge that currently exists.

In turn, this will help to identify gaps and improvements in knowledge, which feed into a knowledge management strategy and potentially an effective knowledge management system.

There are a number of useful knowledge audit and mapping models that exist for conducting knowledge audits including Patrick Lambe’s ‘Wheel of Knowledge’.

Six different knowledge aspects exist in this model including:

  1. Documents (red) – artefacts, books, paper or electronic, videos
  2. Methods (purple) – standards, work routines, instructions
  3. Skills (green) – can be acquired through training
  4. Relationships (blue) – distributed knowledge across social groups and access the knowledge through relationships, Communities of Practice
  5. Experience (yellow) – takes time to develop, provides ability to take short cuts
  6. Natural talent (orange) – natural ability, cognitive ability

Lambe uses a colour code for each of these knowledge aspects to determine which knowledge management strategy to use for the different asset type.

















Putting the Wheel of Knowledge into motion in your organisation involves holding a workshop with the audit team to determine how pre-existing internal audit methodology can be used.

Each knowledge aspect should be considered in isolation from the other aspects to arrive at a suite of knowledge sources.

Coloured sticky notes matching the six colours of the Wheel of Knowledge can be used by internal audit team members to clearly identify the different types of knowledge assets.