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KM

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Knowledge Management Basics


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 Management is the explicit and systematic management of vital knowledge ! and its associated processes of creation, organization, diffusion, use and e"ploitation ! in pursuit of business ob#ectives$ There are man% definitions of knowledge management$ &e have developed this one since it identifies some critical aspects of an% successful knowledge management programme'

Explicit ! Surfacing assumptions( codif%ing that which is known Systematic ! )eaving things to serendipit% will not achieve the benefits Vital Knowledge ! *ou need to focus( %ou don+t have unlimited resources Processes ! Knowledge management is a set of activities with its own tools and techni,ues

The val e o! KM" There are two t%pes of knowledge assets ."plicit or formal assets like cop%rights, patents, templates, publications, reports, archives, etc$ Tacit or informal assets that are rooted in human e"perience and include personal belief, perspective, and values Knowledge management #KM$ refers to a range of practices used b% organizations to identif%, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse and learning across the organization$ Knowledge management applications/ knowledge management tools are used to tie organizational ob#ectives to the achievement of specific business outcomes such as improved performance, competitive advantage, and higher levels of innovation$ The need !or Knowledge Management" Some of the most common reasons that makes having a knowledge management solution imperative' 0olumes of unorganized unsearchable knowledge$ Knowledge transfer is time consuming$ .mail overload due to knowledge transfer b% email$ Secure sharing of sensitive knowledge among limited people )oss of knowledge when people leave or hardware devices fail$ 1ngoing securit% and backup of knowledge

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KM

ISiM It is important to manage knowledge assets because 1rganizations compete increasingl% on the base of knowledge 4the onl% sustainable competitive advantage, according to some5 Most of our work is information based 4and often immersed in a computing environment5 1ur products, services, and environment are more comple" than ever before &orkforces are increasingl% unstable leading to escalating demands for knowledge replacement/ac,uisition

The Essentials Most programmes will leverage value through knowledge b% concentrating on #ust a few of these seven levers'

% stomer Knowledge ! the most vital knowledge in most organizations Knowledge in Processes ! appl%ing the best know!how while performing core tasks Knowledge in Prod cts #and Services$ ! smarter solutions, customized to users+ needs Knowledge in People ! nurturing and harnessing brainpower, %our most precious asset &rgani'ational Memory ! drawing on lessons from the past or elsewhere in the organization Knowledge in (elationships ! deep personal knowledge that underpins successful collaboration Knowledge )ssets ! measuring and managing %our intellectual capital$

The development o! KM Knowledge began to be viewed as a competitive asset in the 67s, around the same time that information e"plosion started becoming an issue The trend was fueled b% the development of IT s%stems which made it simple to store, displa%, and archive classified, inde"ed information The process received a fillip after 8rucker 4and others5 stressed the role of knowledge as an organization resource, and Senge popularized learning organizations Seeds of KM ma% also be found in business practices like T9M and :;< to which KM is often compared

The so rces o! KM" 2hethan$M Toda%, KM draws from a wide range of disciplines/practices 2ognitive science =roupware, AI, K:MS chethm3gmail$com

KM Practices )ibrar% and information science 8ocument management 8ecision support s%stems Technical writing 1rganizational science Man% more

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A wide variet% of practices and processes are used in knowledge management$ Some of the more common ones are shown in the table below' 2reativit% Techni,ues 8ata Mining Te"t Mining .nvironmental Scanning Knowledge .licitation :usiness Simulation 2ontent Anal%sis 2ommunities of ;ractice )earning >etworks Sharing :est ;ractice After Action <eviews Structured 8ialogue Share ?airs 2ross ?unctional Teams 8ecision 8iaries

%reating and *iscovering

Sharing and +earning

Knowledge 2entres ."pertise ;rofiling Knowledge Mapping &rgani'ing and Managing Information Audits/Inventor% I<M 4Information <esources Management5 Measuring Intellectual 2apital

Tools and Techni, es A large number of tools, man% computer based, are also significantl% boosting the effectiveness of knowledge management$ &e have identified over 67 categories 4often overlapping5, including'

-n!rastr ct re" groupware, intranets, document management, KM suites

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KM

ISiM Thinking" concept mapping, creativit% tools .athering/ discovering" search engines, alerting, push, data mining, intelligent agents &rgani'ing/ storing"data warehousing, 1)A;, metadata, @M) Knowledge worker s pport" case based reasoning, decision support, workflow, communit% support, simulation )pplication speci!ic" 2<M, e"pertise profiling, competitive intelligence

KM today #catch0all?$ There is a great risk toda% of KM over!reaching itself .ver%thing from organizational learning to business and competitive Iintelligence 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 o! KM o o o o Toda%, most companies define the scope of KM as KM mechanics 4tools for information management5 KM culture 4knowledge as a social activit%5 KM s%stems 4knowledge sharing as part of an organization s 8>A5

KM mechanics A Information management ma% well be considered the first wave of KM 4and is still often considered s%non%mous with KM5 A Information management tries to make the right information available to the right person at the right time though a variet% of database driven information applications A Information management tools tr% to capture the human e"perience of knowledge through the collecting, classif%ing, disseminating, searching, inde"ing, and archival power of technolog% +imitations o! mechanical KM A A A <eliance on technolog% produces consensual knowledge 4over!reliance on best practices for instance5 and ma% stifle innovation The notion that right information is predictable and flows from historical data ma% be flawed Making information available in not enough( getting people to use it is more critical

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KM

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A A A

All knowledge has a social and evolutionar% facet There is a cr%ing need to continuousl% sub#ect knowledge to re!e"amination and modification It is important to keep the human and social elements of organization involved in all stored knowledge

KM c lt re thro gh %oP A 2ommunities of practice 4or thematic groups5 are a popular wa% of in#ecting KM culture in an organization A 2o;s are fora where members share information and e"periences, develop new insights, assimilate and transform knowledge A 2o;s emphasize shared interests and work across locations and time zones 4often using technolog% developed during KM s first wave KM systems A KM succeeds full% when it is woven into the fabric of an organization and becomes intrinsic to an organization s processes A 2ommon practices include - ?ormal KM leadership - ?ormal rewards and recognition for KM oriented work - Tools and mechanisms that encourage knowledge sharing - 8evelopment of knowledge bases - Intellectual asset management - Metrics to evaluate KM initiatives KM systems today A In man% wa%s, the s%stemic approach is the logical culmination of KM mechanics and KM culture A Man% KM s%stems are however not %et robust enough - KM metrics 4surve%s, benchmarking, cost/benefit studies, service evaluation5 are still an ine"act science - Knowledge workers are often KM resistant 4KM is fre,uentl% considered an o"%moron5 KM 1 the report card A 2learl%, the #ur% is still out on KM though there is increased acceptance that KM can be central to organizational success A The ke% achievements of KM have been in emphasizing that - There is a tacit dimension of knowledge creation which must be recognized and valued - Knowledge is sub#ective and interpretative and distinct from raw data or information - Meaning is central to knowledge creation - Knowledge is social and interactive in nature

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KM Technolog% is an inalienable aspect of KM

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KM readings2re!erences A =ood sources on the internet include - The KM forum 4http'//www$km!forum$org/5 www$sk%rme$com The 2I1 magazine s knowledge management research center 4http'//www$cio$com/research/knowledge/5 The KM>etwork 4http'//www$brint$com/km/5 The KM resource center 4http'//www$kmresource$com/e"p$htm5 Alberthal, )es$ <emarks to the ?inancial ."ecutives Institute, 1ctober BC, DEEF, 8allas, T@ :ateson, =regor%$ Mind and >ature' A >ecessar% Gnit%, :antam, DE66 :ellinger, =ene$ S%stems Thinking' An 1perational ;erspective of the Gniverse :ellinger, =ene$ The .ffective 1rganization :ellinger, =ene$ The Knowledge 2entered 1rganization 2sikszentmihal%i, Miahl%$ The .volving!Self' A ;s%cholog% for the Third Millennium, Harperperennial )ibrar%, DEEI$ 8avidson, Mike$ The Transformation of Management, :utterworth! Heinemann, DEEJ$ ?leming, >eil$ 2oping with a <evolution' &ill the Internet 2hange )earningK, )incoln Gniversit%, 2anterbur%, >ew Lealand Senge, ;eter$ The ?ifth 8iscipline' The Art M ;ractice of the )earning 1rganization, 8oubleda%!2urrenc%, DEE7$

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