Category Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

June 26, 2007 0 comments

OVERVIEW

Developing effective ways of utilizing knowledge is now increasingly important in organizations to offset competitive disadvantages and to exploit latent corporate ‘know-how’ to its fullest potential.

"Knowledge is power" has been a central premise to organizations - power to: create and retain customers, Analise corporate information and apply it analytically to changing circumstances, develop and distribute products, and to predict market behavior and plan for it strategically, etc. Knowledge Management (KM) provides a framework for organizations to think about their resident knowledge and to relate it to a wide range of business goals and objectives.

Knowledge Management is the way that organizations create, capture and re-use knowledge to achieve organizational objectives. KM is the next stage in the evolution of organizational transformation strategies. It is emerging as the missing element of popular management strategies such as TQM, BPR, CPI, Learning Organization, Best Practices, etc. Efforts to implement these gn; knowledge and learning: KM strategy: knowledge management best practice; virtual enterprising; anstrategies brought about the realization that a knowledge perspective is a requirement for competing in the next century. Knowledge Management may have different meaning depending on whether the perspective is coming from Operations, Organizational Development, Information Technology, but a business perspective is emerging from the commercial world where KM solutions are sought most vigorously.

AIMS

To introduce Knowledge Management concepts in an organizational context e.g. the knowledge economy; the management of intellectual capital, knowledge and decision making; knowledge and business processes; implicit, informal and tacit knowledge; knowledge management and organizational design; knowledge and learning: KM strategy: knowledge management best practice; virtual enterprising; and cultural transformations.

OBJECTIVES

  • provide frameworks for understanding KM from various perspectives, e.g. operations corporate culture, Information Management, Information Technology (IT)
  • use appropriate methods and frameworks to leverage organizational knowledge to engender the learning organization
  • delineate and measure the knowledge intensity of organizational processes
  • understand the costs and benefits of KM and to justify projects
  • manage and implement KM solutions to organizational and business problems
  • understand the enabling technologies for managing knowledge
  • explore the need for practical approaches to cultural transformation
  • develop a KM strategy for managing knowledge and organizational learning
  • Topics

    1. The evolution of the knowledge-based organization: evolution and precursors of the knowledge society, service sector emergence, discovery and production of knowledge

    2. The concept of knowledge: definition of KM, knowledge categories, knowledge market value, corporate know-how, making tacit knowledge explicit

    3. Managing intellectual capital in organizations: developing and managing ‘know-how’ e.g. customers, suppliers, competitors, markets, etc.

    4. Knowledge Management and organizational design: knowledge management and BPR, self adaptive systems, knowledge ecology, the knowledge-creating company

    5. Knowledge and organizational learning: knowledge and learning cycles, knowledge sharing, learning organization strategies

    6. Knowledge Management technologies: IT infrastructures, evolution of the cyborg, knowledge management technology architectures

    7. E-Business and Corporate Re-invention: coming of the global village, the medium and the message, business electronic relationships, e-strategies and technologies

    8. Creating a Knowledge Management strategy: generating strategic KM options, operationalization KM solutions

    9. Towards an enterprise knowledge management perspective: AI and KM, enterprise resource planning, customer relationships, IT service management

    10. Knowledge working: roles and responsibilities, leadership, team-building

    11. Knowledge Management and cultural transformations: ecology of knowledge, models of change

    12. Contemporary and future issues in Knowledge Management: is KM a discipline?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

Developing and Managing Know-How in Organizations.

June 27, 2007 0 comments

Objectives and outcomes

  • develop knowledge for use in organizations
  • understand knowledge and workflow as a process
  • appreciate a system of profound knowledge as a way of thinking
  • understand the relationship between information, knowledge and processes
  • appreciate people as intellectual assets
  • derive a suitable definition of Knowledge Management

1.1 The Context of Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is around for sometime: many organizations are now considering it as their number one priority. In a survey by The Harris Research Center for KPMG, only 2% or respondents considered it a fad, while 43% said they already had KM initiatives in place, and 10% said it had actually transformed their business.

Hoverer, in reality

 

  • lack of KM can be costly
  • most companies are not fully exploiting the technology infrastructure
  • most companies currently have the wrong priorities
  • many organizations are unsure about how to derive a KM strategy
  • some organizations are too lean to exploit the full potential of KM
  • KM does deliver expected benefits

There are some definitional problems about the nature of KM. The current situation, however, indicates a growing knowledge economy, i.e. brain power rather than brawn. KPMG, for example, reckon that nearly 60% of all workers are ‘knowledge workers’, and that 80% of all new jobs are in the information-intensive sector of the economy. Knowledge is the new currency of the economy, becoming the primary basis of exchange and wealth creation.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

What is Knowledge Management

June 27, 2007 0 comments

A summaries of various descriptions of knowledge management.

 


"An Open Discussion of Knowledge Management",Brian (Bo)Newman, 1991:

Knowledge Management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge. In one form or another, knowledge management has been around for a very long time. Practitioners have included philosophers, priests, teachers, politicians, scribes, Liberians, etc.

So if Knowledge Management is such an ageless and broad topic what role does it serve in today's Information Age? These processes exist whether we acknowledge them or not and they have a profound effect on the decisions we make and the actions we take, both of which are enabled by knowledge of some type. If this is the case, and we agree that many of our decisions and actions have profound and long lasting effects, it makes sense to recognize and understand the processes that effect or actions and decision and, where possible, take steps to improve the quality these processes and in turn improve the quality of those actions and decisions for which we are responsible?

Knowledge management is not a, "a technology thing" or a, "computer thing" If we accept the premise that knowledge management is concerned with the entire process of discovery and creation of knowledge, dissemination of knowledge , and the utilization of knowledge then we are strongly driven to accept that knowledge management is much more than a "technology thing" and that elements of it exist in each of our jobs.

 


Dr. Arthur J. Murray provides the following Knowledge Management Argot

  • Argot: The vocabulary used by a particular group, usually an underworld group.
  • Corporate Knowledge: The collective body of experience and understanding of an organization's processes for managing both planned and unplanned situations.
  • Corporate Knowledge Management: The process whereby knowledge seekers are linked with knowledge sources, and knowledge is transferred.
  • Corporate Knowledge Server:
  • Epistemology: The study of the nature and foundations of knowledge.
  • Etymology: The study of the history of change of a linguistic expression.
  • Knowledge: A set of models describing various properties and behaviors within a domain.
  • Morphology: The study of patterns and structure of word formations in language.
  • Ontology: The study of relationships that give rise to meaning of expressions.
  • Taxonomy: A framework for the classification and arrangement of objects (used to build a classification hierarchy).

Thomas Bertels provides the following definition of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is the management of the organization towards the continuous renewal of the organizational knowledge base - this means e.g. creation of supportive organizational structures, facilitation of organizational members, putting IT-instruments with emphasis on teamwork and diffusion of knowledge (as e.g. groupware) into place.

As I am a very practical person I am focused rather more on the practical aspects, how we can improve the reality.

 


Maarten Sierhuis provides the following definition of Knowledge Management and supporting concepts.

Knowledge Management (KM): This is, as the word implies, the ability to manage "knowledge". We are all familiar with the term Information Management. This term came about when people realized that information is a resource that can and needs to be managed to be useful in an organization. From this, the ideas of Information Analysis and Information Planning came about. Organizations are now starting to look at "knowledge" as a resource as well. This means that we need ways for managing the knowledge in an organization. We can use techniques and methods that were developed as part of Knowledge Technology to analyze the knowledge sources in an organization. Using these techniques we can perform Knowledge Analysis and Knowledge Planning.

Knowledge Analysis (KA): In Knowledge Analysis we model a knowledge source in such a way that we can analyze its usefulness, its weaknesses and its appropriateness within the organization. Knowledge Analysis is a necessary step for the ability to manage knowledge. Within Knowledge Analysis we can use knowledge modeling and knowledge acquisition techniques.

Knowledge Planning (KP): When an organization has a grip on its knowledge (i.e. has performed Knowledge Analysis), it will be able to plan for the future. An organization will now be able to develop a multi-year knowledge plan that defines how the organization will develop its knowledge resources, either by training its human agents, or by developing knowledge-based systems to support the human agents, or by other means that allow the organization to stay competitive.

Knowledge Technology (KT): This is, as the word already implies, the (application of) techniques and methods from the field of AI, or to be more specific, the field of knowledge-based systems. KT has been around for quite some time, and most people know about the application of KT in the form of expert systems, and decision support systems. Techniques and methods to design these kind of systems are well known; The best known methodology for building knowledge-based systems is CommonKADS (formerly known as KADS).

Computer Supported Work Systems (CSWS): This is a formal and informal (human) activity system, within an organization where the (human) agents are supported by computer systems. The application of Knowledge Technology is very helpful in such work systems, although definitely *not* the only important factor in the analysis and design, nor in the effectiveness of the activity system.

 


Denham Grey offers the following views on knowledge and knowledge management:

What is knowledge?

Knowledge is the full utilization of information and data, coupled with the potential of people's skills, competencies, ideas, intuitions, commitments and motivations.

In today's economy, knowledge is people, money, leverage, learning, flexibility, power, and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more relevant to sustained business than capital, labor or land. Nevertheless, it remains the most neglected asset. It is more than justified true belief and is essential for action, performance and adaption. Knowledge provides the ability to respond to novel situations.

A holistic view considers knowledge to be present in ideas, judgments, talents, root causes, relationships, perspectives and concepts. Knowledge is stored in the individual brain or encoded in organizational processes, documents, products, services, facilities and systems.

Knowledge is the basis for, and the driver of, our post-industrial economy. Knowledge is the result of learning which provides the only sustainable competitive advantage. Knowledge is the next paradigm shift in computing following data processing 1945-1965 and information management 1966-1995. Knowledge is action, focused innovation, pooled expertise, special relationships and alliances. Knowledge is value-added behavior and activities. For knowledge to be of value it must be focused, current, tested and shared.

 

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is an audit of "intellectual assets" that highlights unique sources, critical functions and potential bottlenecks which hinder knowledge flows to the point of use. It protects intellectual assets from decay, seeks opportunities to enhance decisions, services and products through adding intelligence, increasing value and providing flexibility.

Knowledge management complements and enhances other organizational initiatives such as total quality management (TQM), business process re-engineering (BPR) and organizational learning, providing a new and urgent focus to sustain competitive position.

 

Why should you apply Knowledge Management?

To serve customers well and remain in business companies must: reduce their cycle times, operate with minimum fixed assets and overhead (people, inventory and facilities), shorten product development time, improve customer service, empower employees, innovate and deliver high quality products, enhance flexibility and adaption, capture information, create knowledge, share and learn.

None of this is possible without a continual focus on the creation, updating, availability, quality and use of knowledge by all employees and teams, at work and in the marketplace.


Robert Taylor summarized his views on Knowledge Management by saying:

The vital importance of knowledge in business has always been recognized but, up until now, organizations haven't felt able to manage it because they understood neither the problems and the opportunities nor the strategies and solutions. This picture is gradually changing as models, methods, tools and techniques for effective knowledge management are becoming available and as organizations realize the importance of knowledge and thinking to their capacity to adapt to the changing world.



Karl M. Wiig provides us with the following:

Knowledge -- the insights, understandings, and practical know-how that we all possess -- is the fundamental resource that allows us to function intelligently. Over time, considerable knowledge is also transformed to other manifestations -- such as books, technology, practices, and traditions -- within organizations of all kinds and in society in general. These transformations result in cumulated expertise and, when used appropriately, increased effectiveness. Knowledge is one, if not THE, principal factor that makes personal, organizational, and societal intelligent behavior possible.

Given the importance of knowledge in virtually all areas of daily and commercial life, two knowledge-related aspects are vital for viability and success at any level:

1. Knowledge assets -- to be applied or exploited -- must be nurtured, preserved, and used to the largest extent possible by both individuals and organizations.

2. Knowledge-related processes -- to create, build, compile, organize, transform, transfer, pool, apply, and safeguard knowledge -- must be carefully and explicitly managed in all affected areas.

Knowledge must be managed effectively to ensure that the basic objectives for existence are attained to the greatest extent possible. Knowledge management in organizations must be considered from three perspectives with different horizons and purposes:

1. Business Perspective -- focusing on why, where, and to what extent the organization must invest in or exploit knowledge. Strategies, products and services, alliances, acquisitions, or divestments should be considered from knowledge-related points of view.

2. Management Perspective -- focusing on determining, organizing, directing, facilitating, and monitoring knowledge-related practices and activities required to achieve the desired business strategies and objectives.

3. Hands-On Operational Perspective -- focusing on applying the expertise to conduct explicit knowledge-related work and tasks.

Historically, knowledge has always been managed, at least implicitly. However, effective and active knowledge management requires new perspectives and techniques and touches on almost all facets of an organization. We need to develop a new discipline and prepare a cadre of knowledge professionals with a blend of expertise that we have not previously seen. This is our challenge!"

 


Donna Bible provides us with the following view:

I think that a lot of businesses are overwhelmed by the information explosion in the last several years. Information specialists should seize this time to assist their company's in managing this information overload. The problem is made even more complex by the rapid transition in company personnel which has recently affected lot of organizations. At CTC we are contracted to do many projects, and remembering who has done what is not always possible. The learning process that people undergo once they enter this company all too often leaves with them. Oftentimes a person leaves and takes an entire storehouse of knowledge about their job with them. If a company could somehow capture a part of that person's experience, then the reciprocal relationship between employee and employer would truly be effected once that person left or was placed on another project. Knowledge management is the attempt to secure the experience as well as the work product the individuals who comprise a corporation.

 


Bob Hallsworth, I believe

  • That Knowledge should be just that Not just Information and not just Data!
  • That it should be available from wherever it is needed, to all those authorized to receive it. (Given mainly Commercial / Intellectual Property Rights)
  • That both Input and Output must be simple.
  • That it should only be entered once - and then kept up to date *and* relevant to the enterprise.
  • That the language should be simple and appropriate.
  • That the Information should always support the Learning Organization
  • That the customer probably hasn't fully thought through all the aspects of developing a Knowledge Strategy - Its implications if they do, and Its implications if they don't.

R. Gregory Wenig provides the following views on knowledge and knowledge management:

Knowledge Management (for the organization): -- consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the organization. These activities are executed by marrying technology, organizational structures, and cognitive based strategies to raise the yield of existing knowledge and produce new knowledge. Critical in this endeavor is the enhancement of the cognitive system (organization, human, computer, or joint human-computer system) in acquiring, storing and utilizing knowledge for learning, problem solving, and decision making.

 

Knowledge: -- Currently, there is no consensus on what knowledge is. Over the millennia, the dominant philosophies of each age have added their own definition of knowledge to the list. The definition that I have found most useful when building systems is as follows: knowledge is understandings the cognitive system possesses. It is a construct that is not directly observable. It is specific to and not residing outside the cognitive system that created it. Information, NOT knowledge, is communicated among cognitive systems. A cognitive system can be a human, a group, an organization, a computer, or some combination.

 


Knowledge Management is not easy to define. Let me try to do it from a metalevel according to what people in this field are doing. There seem to be two tracks of activities - and two levels.

Track KM = Management of Information. Researchers and practitioners in this field have their education in computer and/or information science. They are involved in construction of information management systems, AI, re engineering, group ware etc. To them knowledge = Objects that can be identified and handled in information systems.

Track KM = Management of People. Researchers and practitioners in this field have their education in philosophy, psychology, sociology or business/management. They are primarily involved in assessing, changing and improving human individual skills and/or behavior. To them knowledge = Processes, a complex set of dynamic skills, knowhow etc, that is constantly changing. Level: Individual Perspective. The focus in research and practice is on the individual.

Level: Individual Perspective. The focus in research and practice is on the individual.

Level: Organizational Perspective.The focus in research and practice is on the organization. 


Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

Social networking and Knowledge Management (KM)

February 10, 2008 0 comments

Ten biggest problems with most existing Social Software tools:

  1. Inflexible, tedious information architecture ("Why is entering this field mandatory?")
  2. Profile poverty ("This tells me absolutely nothing of value about this person")
  3. No separation between What I Have and What I Need personas (the information about you I care about depends on whether I am 'buying' or 'selling' -- even classified ads 'get' this)
  4. Lack of harvesting capability ("Why do I have to enter this again?")
  5. Populated just-in-case instead of canvassed just-in-time ("Oh, sorry, I no longer work there" and "Oops, sorry, I'm married now")
  6. The most needed people have the least time and motivation to participate
  7. Over-engineered and unintuitive
  8. Lack of scalability and resilience: Centralized instead of peer-to-peer (when it gets too big or goes down, you're out of luck)
  9. Socially awkward ("I'm not going to tell someone I've never met that!")
  10. Low signal-to-noise ratio because of dysfunctional information behaviors (blockages, disconnects, lack of trust) -- these need to be accommodated by Social Software tools, instead of ignored

Once we get these problems solved, Social Networking is poised for tremendous growth, and because its value proposition is so compelling, might just be the application that attracts the 80% of the population still on the other side of the digital divide.

Value Propositions:

  • Find, contact & contract with people more effectively,
  • Tap the wisdom of crowds (close info gaps, improve quality of decisions and accuracy of predictions, improve business processes, assess causalities),
  • Facilitate virtual collaboration,
  • Improve the context & understandability of information
  • Understand why things are the way they are
  • Improve K-worker effectiveness

Strategy:

Stories and conversations automatically canvassed from shared personal repositories for learning and discovery

Content Format:

Graphic & multimedia, organized by application (ontology)

Model:

Connect, canvass, synthesize (Just in Time)

Why did we largely fail to achieve the first-generation KM value propositions?:

  • We set unreasonably high expectations
  • We over-relied on voluntary user contributions to repositories
  • The content we harvested was largely context-poor
  • The Tragedy of the Commons (no one took pride of ownership in shared repositories

We allowed technology companies to co-opt the term KM for software, to the point many companies started to think that is all KM was about ("which KM solution software should we buy?")

focusing on aggregating contributed content and 'integrated solutions', instead of on connection to people and on their knowledge in context in simple, intuitive, stand-alone apps.

In our rush to achieve illusory cost savings and productivity improvements from first-generation KM, we failed to take into account very human 'information behaviors' that impede the sharing of knowledge and collaboration.

Posted by lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management