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An Alternative for Search and Knowledge Management

Dan Ryan of Stellent writes about the benefits of intranet views, a way for the intranet to cater to staff needs:
"The Intranet Views model applies a multi-site Web content management paradigm to document management repositories, giving employees relevant and useful "views" of all knowledge within a company intranet. Essentially, each View is a micro-site based on a topic — such as products, processes or business functions — within a larger intranet that groups information together, so it is contextually relevant for consumers."

KM Asia goody bag

Early registration goody bag from KM Asia 2005:

"Take advantage of the early bird promotion. The early bird offer expires on 16 September 2005. All conference delegates will receive a personal double-disk DVD, Dave Snowden’s Social Complexity: Tools, Concepts and Methods."

KM Asia 2005

KM Asia is back again. The 2005 event will be held in Singapore on 25-27 October. The lineup is quite remarkable with John Seely Brown, Larry Prusak and Dave Snowden giving keynote addresses. Even more enticing is the slew of workshops covering issues from narratives to social networks to innovation. The Ark Group were kind enough to make me their media partner. This gives me the opportunity to cover the event in its entirety. I'm all excited.

Knowledge Management Methods in New Product Development

This research published in the latest European Management Journal sheds some light on the most successful knowledge management methods practiced in some of Europe's best product development firms. Here are the top three:

  1. Informal Events
  2. Experiences Workshops
  3. Communities of Practice

More interesting is the least satisfactory method: electronic discussion boards.

KM as a Framework for Managing Knowledge Assets

Nice points on KM:

"To successfully understand and manage knowledge in an organization, we need to have a fundamental grasp of an organization’s origins and intent. Why it was founded and what it was supposed to achieve. What are the inputs and what is the planned output? Only humans can communicate those ideas that are the foundation for an organization. Ideas are clearly rooted in the knowledge of the founder. We can all agree that without ideas and the means to communicate, a founder’s knowledge could not be used or useful to an organization."

[thanks ColumnTwo]

KM and Skimming

This is an interesting quote by David Weinberger and is presented in a KM context (the article is actually on Podcasting).

"This is a problem with many—nay, most—KM systems. They're devoted to the art of skimming. It starts at the system level: There is soooo much information in an organization that we should be able to skim it and present the cream. Then we should present the cream itself in skimmable form: I can check my KM portal and check the day's developments in mere seconds. If I see a headline that looks interesting, I can open it up and then skim the contents. Skimming is obviously hugely important. But sometimes you should swim, not just skate on the surface."

KM Conference in Singapore

Just a reminder for the KM conference in Singapore from Dec 13-15. Registration prices are a steal. Dave Snowden, Rob Cross, David Weinberger and Josef Hofer-Alfeis will be keynoting. Also there will be many interesting case studies up for discussion.

KM Asia 2004

Knowledge Management Asia is here again. It is held in Singapore from 2-4 November. Keynote speakers include Peter Senge, David Snowden and Karl-Erik Sveiby. What I like about this year's conference is the case-study approach taken by all conference presenters. This conference promises to deliver tons of KM practitioner experiences.

Intranets look vainly to knowledge management

Good advice on managing organizational knowledge: "Sharing knowledge takes effort and skill, even between two people talking face-to-face. You don't create that by writing stuff down; you create it by creating robust relationships that give people the confidence to ask questions and learn from each other, and by encouraging the disciplines of asking questions without wasting people's time, and of answering questions with clarity and power, of telling vivid stories within a shared value system. These are the things that matter, the things businesses need to be good at."

KM Conference in Singapore

The International Conference on Knowledge Management will be held in Singapore from 13-15 December. It has a very promising lineup of speakers including Dave Snowden, Rob Cross, Josef-Hofer-Alfeis and David Weinberger. Registration fees at USD 380 only (by Oct 30).

KM Stories: Part Five

Talking about real world experience, Bill Ives is blogging his experiences in implementing KM over the past 10 years. Part 5 is about KM and learning. In this story, he goes for the self-service model and replaces a training program with a KM system.

Developing a knowledge management strategy

A detailed article on how to go about crafting a KM strategy with an emphasis on needs analysis.

Arranging ideas: KM in human terms

A wonderful explanation of KM by Amy Garhan. She likens KM to arranging ideas, which consists of 3 core tasks: 1) recording your thoughts, 2) organizing and storing your thoughts and 3) sharing your ideas and observations. The arranging ideas concept not only represents a refreshing way to look at KM but also provides a different framework for analyzing existing KM efforts. I would like to add that arranging ideas can be considered to be a core activity of 'idea practitioners'. The idea practitioner concept represents a different mindset, one that focuses equally on the self and on the image of the self as manifested by social networks. Thus when an idea practitioner contributes an idea, he/she takes special care to make that idea sharable -- by 'arranging ideas so people can use them'. This is also the core of what bloggers do, and thus one can say that bloggers are idea practitioners too. But this is not the case in organizations. A manager at a large control engineering group recently discussed some of his KM related problems with me. His main problem was trying to get engineers to 'arrange ideas' for reuse for the benefit of the organization. The engineers refused to work in the 'sharing ideas for reuse' mode and stressed the importance of working in the 'ideas for me and my project' mode. Now because of this difference a lot of know-how is locked up in project-based silos and this can be only be comprehended by the project members themselves. Now who or what is to blame here? The organization thinks the engineers are the ones not adapting and the engineers think that the organization is not making any sense. Now, although these differences can be reconciled by some extra effort from both sides in the long term, there's a simple quick win solution -- provide a separate space for idea practitioners and grow the sharing culture in a bottom-up, emergent fashion. This space is commonly referred to as communities of practices (CoPs). Thus, the organization should not create CoPs for CoPs sake, but to cultivate and grow the knowledge sharing idea virus to permeate the entire organization. In the engineers' case, it would be best to have the CoP take the initial responsibility to transform the documents from a project based mode to a sharing base mode and thereby start a practice of knowledge sharing.

History of Knowledge Management in Six Parts

Bill Ives takes on the history of KM in six parts: "This serialized work attempts to puts the current state of knowledge management in context, providing a brief historical overview of knowledge management and communication media, and offering a framework for examining issues based on cognitive psychology."

KM tools put users in control

This article discusses two new KM tools: Flow and KnowledgeWorkshop.

Collaboration First, Then Knowledge Management

A very broad and thorough article on online collaboration. Here's a nice observation: "The goals of collaboration should first be to allow knowledge workers to labor together to complete projects and only then to collect that knowledge to be leveraged for the rest of the enterprise. Too many collaboration technology implementations are led by a knowledge management team that may have reversed the order of those two priorities." [thanks ColumnTwo]

Making Knowledge Management Work on your Intranet

An introductory look at how intranets can server as effective KM platforms. Here's a tip we can use: "Your intranet can be optimized to support knowledge management initiatives if you make changes to the existing content, publishing processes, and information architecture of the intranet."

CEN KM Guides

These KM guides from the European Committee for Standardization cover everything from culture to frameworks. Worth keeping as a reference. [thanks ColumnTwo]

Cases as a knowledge management tool

Gilbert Probst has been pushing cases as effective KM tools since long now. He even has an entire chapter devoted to it in the widely popular KM reference -- Knowledge Management Case Book. I think he's got a point here. Cases are in line with After Action Reviews as means of not only distilling what happened but also for creating and more importantly reusing knowledge (in the appropriate form). I feel that such forms of knowledge objects, where the authenticity of the contexts is preserved have a much better chance of being used and reused. Guess what I mean is that knowledge objects should be narratives. This is also Probst's argument -- cases are narrative tools: "If we read the case report as a narrative, and consider the images, metaphors and character descriptions, we find a layer of meaning containing knowledge that would otherwise remain hidden or implicit." Probst's paper on cases is here (PDF file). You can also access other gems from where this came from -- Geneva Knowledge Form.

KM Reinventing IA Reinventing KM

Hurrah! Being a connector, Lou Rosenfeld will finally help spread the merging of these two domains. I would go further and put e-learning into the mix. They all satisfy the same overall goal: to help in the creation and the transfer of knowledge.

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