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Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Knowledge Management Overview 1. Agenda 1. Knowledge Management Basics 2. Implementation of KM System 3. Knowledge Management Evaluation 4. Current Industry Scenario 5. Case Study 3. What is Knowledge Management? Knowledge Components Process — — — — — — To simplify sharing, validation, distillation. Knowledge Management — Steps 1 1. Capture the inherent knowledge of the organisation 2.

Identify the sources, authors, knowledge champions and communities of practice 3. Identify information gaps 4. Categorise information types, build taxonomies eg subject groupings , and prioritise knowledge eg business critical, important, useful 5.

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It was emphasized that a key purpose of the report was both to make recommendations about strategy for senior officers to mull over, and recommendations about tactics for other skippers and submariners to take advantage of McInerney and Koenig, The military has become an avid proponent of the lessons learned concept. The phrase the military uses is "After Action Reports. There will almost always be too many things immediately demanding that person's attention after an action. There must be a system whereby someone, typically someone in KM, is assigned the responsibility to do the debriefing, to separate the wheat from the chaff, to create the report, and then to ensure that the lessons learned are captured and disseminated.

The experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria have made this process almost automatic in the military. The concept is by no means limited to the military. Larry Prusak maintains that in the corporate world the most common cause of KM implementation failure is that so often the project team is disbanded and the team members almost immediately reassigned elsewhere before there is any debriefing or after-action report assembled.


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Any organization where work is often centered on projects or teams needs to pay very close attention to this issue and set up an after-action mechanism with clearly delineated responsibility for its implementation. A particularly instructive example of a "lesson learned" is one recounted by Mark Mazzie , a well known KM consultant.

The story comes from his experience in the KM department at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Wyeth had recently introduced a new pharmaceutical agent intended primarily for pediatric use. Wyeth expected it to be a notable success because, unlike its morning, noon, and night competitors, it needed to be administered only once a day, and that would make it much easier for the caregiver to ensure that the child followed the drug regimen, and it would be less onerous for the child.

Sales of the drug commenced well but soon flagged. One sales rep what the pharmaceutical industry used to call detail men , however, by chatting with her customers, discovered the reason for the disappointing sales and also recognized the solution. The problem was that kids objected strenuously to the taste of the drug, and caregivers were reporting to prescribing physicians that they couldn't get their kid to continue taking the drug, so the old stand-by would be substituted. The simple solution was orange juice, a swig of which quite effectively masked the offensive taste.

If the sales rep were to explain to the physician that the therapy should be conveyed to the caregiver as the pill and a glass of orange juice taken simultaneously at breakfast, then there was no dissatisfaction and sales were fine. The obvious question that arises is what is there to encourage the sales rep to share this knowledge? The sales rep is compensated based on salary small , and bonus large. If she shares the knowledge, she jeopardizes the size of her bonus, which is based on her comparative performance.

This raises the issue, discussed below, that KM is much more than content management. The implementation of a lessons learned system is complex both politically and operationally. Many of the questions surrounding such a system are difficult to answer. Are employees free to submit to the system un-vetted? Who, if anyone, is to decide what constitutes a worthwhile lesson learned? Most successful lessons learned implementations have concluded that such a system needs to be monitored and that there needs to be a vetting and approval mechanism for items that are posted as lessons learned.

How long do items stay in the system? Who decides when an item is no longer salient and timely?

Most successful lessons learned systems have an active weeding or stratification process. Without a clearly designed process for weeding, the proportion of new and crisp items inevitably declines, the system begins to look stale, and usage and utility falls. Deletion, of course, is not necessarily loss and destruction. Using carefully designed stratification principles, items removed from the foreground can be archived and moved to the background but still made available. However, this procedure needs to be in place before things start to look stale, and a good taxonomically based retrieval system needs to be created.

These questions need to be carefully thought out and resolved, and the mechanisms designed and put in place, before a lessons-learned system is launched. Inattention can easily lead to failure and the creation of a bad reputation that will tar subsequent efforts. Communities of practice emphasize, build upon, and take advantage of the social nature of learning within or across organizations. In small organizations, conversations around the water cooler are often taken for granted, but in larger, geographically distributed organizations, the water cooler needs to become virtual.

Similarly, organizations find that when workers relinquish a dedicated company office to work online from home or on the road, the natural knowledge sharing that occurs in social spaces needs to be replicated virtually. In the context of KM, CoPs are generally understood to mean electronically linked communities. Electronic linkage is not essential, of course, but since KM arose in the consulting community from the awareness of the potential of intranets to link geographically dispersed organizations, this orientation is understandable.

A classic example of the deployment of CoPs comes from the World Bank. When James Wolfensohn became president in , he focused on the World Bank's role in disseminating knowledge about development; he was known to say that the principal product of the World Bank was not loans, but rather the creation of knowledge about how to accomplish development. Consequently, he encouraged the development of CoPs and made that a focus of his attention. One World Bank CoP, for example, was about road construction and maintenance in arid countries and conditions.

That CoP was encouraged to include and seek out not only participants and employees from the World Bank and its sponsored projects and from the country where the relevant project was being implemented, but also experts from elsewhere who had expertise in building roads in arid conditions, such as, for example, staff from the Australian Road Research Board and the Arizona Department of Highways.

This is also a good example of the point that despite the fact that KM developed first in a very for-profit corporate context, it is applicable far more broadly, such as in the context of government and civil society. The organization and maintenance of CoPs is not a simple or an easy task to undertake. As Durham points out, there are several key roles to be filled. She describes the key roles as manager, moderator, and thought leader. They need not necessarily be three separate people, but in some cases they will need to be.

Some questions that need to be thought about and resolved are:. KM was initially driven primarily by IT, information technology, and the desire to put that new technology, the Internet, to work and see what it was capable of. The concept of intellectual capital, the notion that not just physical resources, capital, and manpower, but also intellectual capital knowledge fueled growth and development, provided the justification, the framework, and the seed. The availability of the internet provided the tool.

As described above, the management consulting community jumped at the new capabilities provided by the Internet, using it first for themselves, realizing that if they shared knowledge across their organization more effectively they could avoid reinventing the wheel, underbid their competitors, and make more profit. The central point is that the first stage of KM was about how to deploy that new technology to accomplish more effective use of information and knowledge.

Within a few years the second stage of KM emerged when it became apparent that simply deploying new technology was not sufficient to effectively enable information and knowledge sharing. It became obvious that human and cultural dimensions needed to be incorporated. It became clear that KM implementation would involve changes in the corporate culture, in many cases rather significant changes.

Consider the case above of the new pediatric medicine and the discovery of the efficacy of adding orange juice to the recipe. Pharmaceutical sales reps are compensated primarily not by salary, but by bonuses based on sales results. What is in it for that sales rep to share her new discovery when the most likely result is that next year her bonus would be substantially reduced? The changes needed in corporate culture to facilitate and encourage information and knowledge sharing can be major and profound.

KM therefore extends far beyond just structuring information and knowledge and making it more accessible. In particular, the organizational culture needs to be examined in terms of how it rewards information and knowledge sharing. In many cases the examination will reveal that the culture needs to be modified and enriched. Often this will involve examining and modifying how the compensation scheme rewards information and knowledge sharing.

This implies a role for KM that very few information professionals have had to be involved with in the past. A major component of this second stage was the design of easy-to-use and user-friendly systems. The metaphor that was used was that the interface, the Desktop Interface, should appear almost intuitively obvious, like the dashboard of an automobile.

This was of course before the proliferation of chips in automobiles and the advent of user manuals that were inches thick. Human factors design became an important component of KM. As this recognition of the importance of human factors unfolded, two major themes from the business literature were brought into the KM domain. Both were not only about the human factors of KM implementation and use; they were also about knowledge creation as well as knowledge sharing and communication. A good indicator of the shift from the first to the second stage of KM is that for the Conference Board conference on KM, there was, for the first time, a noticeable contingent of attendees from HR, human resource departments.

By the next year, , HR was the largest single group, displacing IT attendees from first place. The third stage developed from the awareness of the importance of content, and in particular the awareness of the importance of the retrievability of that content, and therefore the importance of the arrangement, description, and the syndetic structure of that content. The hallmark phrases emerging for the third stage are content management or enterprise content management and taxonomies.

In , KMWorld added a two-day workshop entitled Taxonomy Boot Camp, which not only still continues today, and is a day longer, but has also expanded to international locations. The hallmark terms for the third stage of KM are taxonomy and content. The third stage continues today and is expanding. The buyer was entitled to voluminous files of company records, but how was Rolls Royce to separate those from other records with valuable proprietary data that was not part of the sale, and that Rolls Royce wanted to maintain as proprietary knowledge, amidst a sea of structured and unstructured data?

The answer was a major project to taxonomize, organize, index, and retrieve massive amounts of data and records. A short demonstration convinced him otherwise. A good idea is to browse the KMWorld website kmworld. The late 20th Century, extending into the 21st Century, was characterized by an almost continuous stream of information and knowledge-related topics and enthusiasms.

Below is a list of those enthusiasms, in roughly chronological order, with the earlier at the top of the list. In some cases, where it is today not so obvious from the name, there is a brief description of what the topic or the enthusiasm consisted of. The list is impressively long, and all these topics and enthusiasms are related to the management of information and knowledge, or the management of information processing functions.

It would be very hard to come up with a very much shorter list of management topics and enthusiasms of the same era that were not related to the management of information and knowledge or to the management of information processing functions.

Knowledge Management: Overview

If the list is so long, and they have so major a theme in common, has there not been some recognition that all these trees constitute a forest? It can further be argued that the typical new topic or enthusiasm, the cloud and big data for example, can be seen as emerging from within KM. A more useful and nuanced categorization is explicit, implicit, and tacit. Nonaka uses the story of the tacit knowledge that was necessary to develop a home bread maker. To understand what was needed to design a machine to knead dough properly, it was necessary for the engineers to work with bread makers to get the feel for how the dough needed to be manipulated.

Top 5 Reasons Why Knowledge Management is Necessary

But frankly the extent of knowledge that is truly tacit, like how to get up on water skis, that overlaps with the interests of KM systems is rather small. What is often very extensive is the amount of implicit information that could have been made explicit, but has not been.

That it has not been is usually not a failure, but usually simply a cost-effective decision, usually taken unconsciously, that it is not worth the effort. The after action comments above under Lessons Learned illustrate this important point.

One long standing KM issue is the need to retain the knowledge of retirees. The fact that the baby boomer bulge is now reaching retirement age is making this issue increasingly important. KM techniques are very relevant to this issue. This idea seems straightforward enough, and debriefing the retiree and those with whom he works closely about what issues they perceive as likely to surface or that could possibly arise is obvious common sense. But only in special cases is the full data dump approach likely to be very useful. Much more likely to be useful is to keep the retiree involved, maintaining him or her in the CoPs, involved in the discussions concerning current issues, and findable through expertise locator systems.

The real utility is likely to be found not directly in the information that the retiree leaves behind, but in new knowledge created by the interaction of the retiree with current employees. The retiree, in response to a current issue says "it occurs to me that Increasingly KM is seen as ideally encompassing the whole bandwidth of information and knowledge likely to be useful to an organization, including knowledge external to the organization—knowledge emanating from vendors, suppliers, customers, etc.

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Looked at in this light, KM extends into environmental scanning and competitive intelligence. The answer certainly appears to be yes. The most compelling analysis is the bibliometric one, simply counting the number of articles in the business literature and comparing that to other business enthusiasms. Most business enthusiasms grow rapidly and reach a peak after about five years, and then decline almost as rapidly as they grew.

Abrahamson, E. Management fashion: lifecycles, triggers, and collective learning processes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, Davenport, Thomas H. Duhon, Bryant , It's All in our Heads. Inform, September, 12 8. Durham, Mary. Srikantaiah Eds.