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Knowledge Management Basics


Knowledge is the human capacity (potential & actual ability) to take effective ... It is often, but not necessarily, accompanied by extensive formal knowledge. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Knowledge Management Basics

Knowledge Management Basics
  • Nancy C. Shaw

Several slides were adapted from a presentation
by Alex Bennet (CKO, US Navy)
  • The basic economic resource is no longer
    capital, nor natural resources, nor labor. It is
    and will be knowledge.
  • Peter Drucker

Knowledge Management Trends
  • Survey of 200 Large Firms found
  • 82 have KM underway in their organization
  • 50 have KM staff budget
  • 27 have a Chief Knowledge Officer (Conference
  • Survey of nations leading CEOs
  • Second top priority Improving KM (88)
  • (Foundation for Malcolm Baldridge Award)

Knowledge Management Trends
  • By 2001, enterprises that lack ongoing KM
    infrastructure will lag KM-enabled competitors by
    30-40 in speed of deployment for new competitive
    programs and products (Gartner Group)

What is Knowledge Management?
  • What is Data?
  • What is Information?
  • What is Knowledge?
  • What is Wisdom?
  • Can Knowledge be Managed?

  • Data are facts, numbers or individual entities
    without context or purpose.
  • Information is data that has been organized into
    a meaningful context (to aid decision making).

  • Knowledge is the human capacity (potential
    actual ability) to take effective action in
    varied and uncertain situations.

Wisdom is a state of the human mind characterized
by profound understanding and deep insight. It is
often, but not necessarily, accompanied by
extensive formal knowledge.
Meeker, Joseph, What is Wisdom, LANDSCAPE, Vol.
25, No. 1, Jan 1981.
Knowledge can take many forms…
  • Concepts, methodologies
  • Facts, beliefs, truths laws
  • Know what, Know how, Know why
  • Judgments expectations, insights
  • Relationships, leverage points
  • Intuition feelings
  • Meaning and sense making

Good things about Knowledge
  • The foundation of the enterprise
  • Grows with use
  • Increases when shared
  • Primary source of value
  • Only solution to understanding complexity

Bad things about Knowledge
  • Usually exists in the minds of individuals
  • Hidden in some forgotten report
  • Knowledge is Power encourages Knowledge
  • Leaves the organization with the employee

Knowledge Management a useful definition
The systematic process of creating, maintaining
and nurturing an organization to make the best
use of knowledge to create business value and
generate competitive advantage.
KM versus Data Management?
  • Data / information management
  • Processing large volumes of facts with little
    human interaction
  • Puts data into organized frameworks
  • Knowledge Management
  • Requires human interaction material must be
    organized to facilitate human access to it.
  • KM provides links between organized frameworks.

WHAT IS… Knowledge Management?
Intellectual Property
Communities of Practice
Teaming Particularly Cross-Functional Teams
Facilitation, Groupware, etc.
Subject Matter Expert Identification and Use
Knowledge Capture Processes
Knowledge Brokering
Lessons Learned, Best Practices, Proven Practice
Knowledge Engineering, Taxonomies, Library
Science, Mapping
Strategic Planning
Processes Reengineering of Such When Appropriate
Workflow, Data Warehousing, Secure Messaging
Change Agent
Story Telling, Peer-to-Peer, Mentor Programs
Incentives, Leadership, etc.
Knowledge Workers
  • Dominant group of workers in the 21st century.
  • Specialists with job-specific skills.
  • Have significant formal education or formal
  • Are self-directed learners
  • Require multiple, continuous learning
    opportunities to maintain their specialized

Major Areas of Knowledge Management
  • Capturing knowledge
  • Storing knowledge
  • Creating knowledge
  • Distributing knowledge
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Using knowledge

Transfer knowledge from the individual to the
collective realm
Knowledge Technology (The hardware, software and
the hype.)
  • Knowledge repositories
  • Neural systems
  • Data-mining tools
  • Contact software
  • Intranets
  • Extranets
  • Water Cooler Technology

Knowledge Repositories
  • Tool used to store information
  • Also known as data warehouses
  • Examples
  • Discussion databases
  • Best practices repository
  • Lessons Learned
  • Learning Histories

Neural Systems
  • Performance support tools for workers who need
    information immediately
  • Example Case based reasoning
  • Characteristics of a problem are entered into a
    system, classified based on a huge statistical
    database of cases, offers up potential solution.
    This case and its resolution is then added to
    the database.
  • Help Desks

Data Mining
  • Attempt by the system to translate huge amounts
    of data into knowledge
  • Analyzes patterns
  • some examples…..
  • Credit Card Companies red-flagging purchases out
    of the norm

Contact Software
  • Facilitates interaction among individuals to
    encourage sharing
  • Email
  • Intranet chat rooms
  • Groupware
  • Whiteboards

  • Usually the first stage of KM implementation for
    most companies
  • HR forms, online resources, work product status…
  • Plan it with the user in mind access,
    flexibility and navigation
  • Putting your cafeteria menu on the intranet does
    not count as KM

  • Centralized electronic repository of information
  • Accessed by clients
  • Advertising, newsletters, client specific
    information, status of orders….
  • Interactive tools for collaboration

Water Cooler Technology
  • A majority of knowledge sharing takes place
    during informal conversation around the water

What does it take?
  • 20 Right Technology
  • 80 Cultural change
  • Behavior of the leaders
  • What type of learning is valued
  • Informal structure of the company
  • How are mistakes handled
  • What is rewarded and what is punished
  • How is information shared

Organizational Phases of Learning
  • Training
  • Instructor led training
  • Learning
  • Self-directed learning, self-paced learning
  • Double loop learning
  • Performance Support
  • learning becomes a byproduct of performance
  • Knowledge Management
  • focus on the use of knowledge for profit and

A Learning Organization
  • Demands self-directed learning from their
  • Promotes mentoring, coaching, facilitating,
  • Widens the concept of performance support to
    focus on outputs, not inputs

Critical Success Factors
  • Support of top management
  • Alignment of culture and reward system
  • Sufficient technology and tools to facilitate
    knowledge sharing
  • Enough time and resources to learn
  • Involvement of everyone

Reward knowledge sharing instead of knowledge
Major KM Organizations
  • Institute for Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge Management Consortium International
  • American Productivity and Quality Center
  • Society for Organizational Learning
  • The International Society for Knowledge
  • The Gartner Group
  • The Delphi Group

Major KM Publications
  • IKM Research Reports
  • KMCI Journal
  • Knowledge Connectionsthe newsletter of IKM
  • Knowledge Management Review
  • Knowledge Management
  • KM Worldmonthly magazine
  • The Systems Thinker--monthly
  • Various big six publications
  • Chipsa Navy monthly magazine

Current Research
  • Human Capital
  • COPs
  • Portals
  • Knowledge measurement
  • Storytelling
  • Tacit knowledge
  • Knowledge creation
  • New IT solutions
  • Managing Knowledge and Change
  • Culture and KM
  • New organizational forms

Getting Started
  • Identify what your most valuable knowledge is
  • Identify where that knowledge is
  • Create a knowledge map (skills, expertise,
  • Build an intranet, use groupware
  • Buy more water coolers