d. Knowledge Management-a practioner's perspective

collardsdebonairManagement

Nov 6, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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Knowledge Management

A practitioner

s perspective

Agenda




What is knowledge management (KM)


Definition(s)


History


Key concepts


First, what is knowledge


In simplest terms, knowledge is the ability of
an actor to respond to a body of facts and
principles accumulated over a period of time


One way to look at knowledge is as the
apogee of the following continuum


data

information

knowledge


Data=1 unit of fact; information=aggregation of
data; knowledge=potential for action on
information


Data and information have intrinsic properties, the
quality of knowledge depends on the properties of
the agent

What is knowledge management


There is no universal definition for
knowledge management


At its broadest, KM is the

process
through which organizations generate
value from intellectual and knowledge
based assets


Knowledge assets


There are two types of knowledge
assets



Explicit or formal assets like copyrights,
patents, templates, publications, reports,
archives, etc.


Tacit or informal assets that are rooted in
human experience and include personal
belief, perspective, and values


The value of knowledge assets


Knowledge assets are often described
as the the intellectual capital of an
organization


The value of intellectual capital is often
intangible


A popular measure is the difference
between the cost of capital assets and the
cost of replacing them

The value of KM


It is important to manage knowledge assets
because



Organizations compete increasingly on the base of
knowledge (the only sustainable competitive
advantage, according to some)


Most of our work is information based (and often
immersed in a computing environment)


Our products, services, and environment are more
complex than ever before


Workforces are increasingly unstable leading to
escalating demands for knowledge
replacement/acquisition


The development of KM


Knowledge began to be viewed as a competitive
asset in the 80s, around the same time that
information explosion started becoming an issue


The trend was fueled by the development of IT
systems which made it simple to store, display, and
archive classified, indexed information


The process received a fillip after Drucker (and
others) stressed the role of knowledge as an
organization resource, and Senge popularized

learning organizations




Seeds of KM may also be found in business practices
like TQM and BPR to which KM is often compared

The sources of KM


Today, KM draws from a wide range of
disciplines/practices



Cognitive science


Groupware, AI, KBMS


Library and information science


Document management


Decision support systems


Technical writing


Organizational science


Many more

KM today (catch
-
all?)


There is a great risk today of KM over
-
reaching itself


Everything from organizational learning to
business and competitive intelligence has
become fair game for KM


There are KM components to each of these
but these spaces are however best left to
specialized practitioners

The scope of KM


Today, most companies define the
scope of KM as



KM mechanics (tools for information
management)


KM culture (knowledge as a social activity)


KM systems (knowledge sharing as part of
an organization

s DNA)



KM mechanics


Information management may well be
considered the first wave of KM (and is still
often considered synonymous with KM)


Information management tries to make the
right information available to the right person
at the right time though a variety of database
driven information applications


Information management tools try to capture
the human experience of knowledge through
the collecting, classifying, disseminating,
searching, indexing, and archival power of
technology

Limitations of mechanical KM


Reliance on technology produces consensual
knowledge (over
-
reliance on best practices
for instance) and may stifle innovation


The notion that

right information


is
predictable and flows from historical data
may be flawed


Making information available in not enough;
getting people to use it is more critical

KM culture


All knowledge has a social and
evolutionary facet


There is a crying need to continuously
subject knowledge to re
-
examination
and modification


It is important to keep the human and
social elements of organization involved
in all stored knowledge

KM culture through CoP


Communities of practice (or thematic groups)
are a popular way of injecting KM culture in
an organization


CoPs are fora where members share
information and experiences, develop new
insights, assimilate and transform knowledge


CoPs emphasize shared interests and work
across locations and time zones (often using
technology developed during KM

s first wave)

KM systems


KM succeeds fully when it is woven into the
fabric of an organization and becomes
intrinsic to an organization

s processes


Common practices include



Formal KM leadership


Formal rewards and recognition for KM oriented
work


Tools and mechanisms that encourage knowledge
sharing


Development of knowledge bases


Intellectual asset management


Metrics to evaluate KM initiatives

KM systems today


In many ways, the systemic approach is the
logical culmination of KM mechanics and KM
culture


Many KM systems are however not yet robust
enough



KM metrics (surveys, benchmarking, cost/benefit
studies, service evaluation)

are still an inexact
science


Knowledge workers are often KM resistant (KM is
frequently considered an oxymoron)


KM


the report card


Clearly, the jury is still out on KM though
there is increased acceptance that KM can be
central to organizational success


The key achievements of KM have been in
emphasizing that



There is a tacit dimension of knowledge creation
which must be recognized and valued


Knowledge is subjective and interpretative and
distinct from raw data or information


Meaning is central to knowledge creation


Knowledge is social and interactive in nature


Technology is an inalienable aspect of KM


KM readings/references


Good sources on the internet include


The KM forum (
http://www.km
-
forum.org/
)


The CIO magazine

s knowledge management
research center
(
http://www.cio.com/research/knowledge/
)


The KMNetwork (
http://www.brint.com/km/
)


The KM resource center
(
http://www.kmresource.com/exp.htm
)

KM readings/references


contd.


The KM literature is vast, but good starting points
include



Nonaka, Ikujiro, and Hirotaka Takeuchi.
The Knowledge
-
Creating Company.


Senge, Peter M.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of
the Learning Organization


Wiig, Karl, M.
Knowledge Management Foundations:
Thinking About Thinking
-

How People and Organizations
Represent, Create and Use Knowledge


Menou, Michel J. (Ed.). Measuring the Impact of Information
on Development


Harris, Michael H.
History of Libraries in the Western World