Talk:Knowledge management


Hi. I had created Knowledge technologies, and the baby has been immediately redirected and included into Knowledge management.

I'm not sure that was the right move. KT and KM are clearly related and widely overlapping, but none is including the other. KM uses technologies, but also methods and concepts, and KT are used for management but many other things.

See e.g.

So I would like to see the two pages kept distinct. Is that possible? universimmedia

Hi, maybe you should revisit the article and separate the two, making it clear how they're distinct. Possibly whoever merged them didn't recognize the distinction. Best, Koyaanis Qatsi 22:11 3 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Thanks Koyaanis Qatsi - Maybe I should give *whoever* the chance to do it :) universimmedia

I just want to test the technoglogy

Moved from article

The following stuff is more about MIS management than KM. It is also somewhat problematic (see my comments). Perhaps someone would like to start a KMS article? Banno 18:50, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Para 1 is not too bad, but fails to differentiate between information management and KM, and so is in essence first-generation KM. In other words, it's old hat.

Para 2 is a silly paragraph. By definition, if you can collect, record, organize, filter, analyse, retrieve, and disseminate it, it is not implicit knowledge. Again, this reflects the misunderstandings implicit in first gen KM.

Para 3 and 4 are a combination of weasel words and wishful thinking. Banno 18:50, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Advantages of KMS to the organization

The business value of knowledge management systems (KMS) are:

  1. They facilitate the collection, recording, organization, filtering, analysis, retrieval, and dissemination of explicit knowledge. This explicit knowledge consists of all documents, accounting records, and data stored in computer memories. This information must be widely and easily available for an organization to run smoothly. A KMS is valuable to a business to the extent that it is able to do this.
  2. They facilitate the collection, recording, organization, filtering, analysis, retrieval, and dissemination of implicit or tacit knowledge. This knowledge consists of informal and unrecorded procedures, practices, and skills. This "how-to" knowledge is essential because it defines the competencies of employees. A KMS is of value to a business to the extent that it can codify these "best practices", store them, and disseminate them through-out the organization as needed. It makes the company less susceptible to disruptive employee turnover. It makes tacit knowledge explicit.
  3. They can also perform an explicitly strategic function. Many feel that in a fast changing business environment, there is only one strategic advantage that is truly sustainable. That is to build an organization that is so alert and so agile that it can cope with any change, no matter how discontinuous. This agility is only possible with an adaptive system like a KMS which creates learning loops that automatically adjust the organizations knowledge base every time it is used. Examples : business management systems p2p; business workflow analysis.
  4. These three benefits mentioned above can be extended to the whole supply chain with the use of extranet based knowledge portals.

More problems: The following are problems within first gen KM, not with KM, as the title implies. And again it confuses KM with MIS management. Banno 18:53, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Problems with KMS

  1. There is a reluctance to share knowledge and use KMSs because employees feel that their exclusive control over knowledge gives them power. If they are the only person in the organization that knows how to do a task, they are less likely to get fired, and are more likely to get a raise in pay. Even if they have not taken a microeconomics 101 course, they know that a restriction in the quantity supplied of a good (or skill) will result in a higher price (or wage) for that good (assuming competitive markets and no change in quantity demanded). From an individual's point of view, it makes no sense to share their unique knowledge and skill with others in a competitive situation.
  2. The immaturity of the technology can be a problem. There are problems with integration with other management information systems, particularly older legacy systems.
  3. The immaturity of the knowledge base industry can be a problem. There are few experts and even they are learning as they go.
  4. Cost - a knowledge management system can be expensive.
  5. People thinking in terms of technology first rather than concepts. This will only create confusion. Define first where you are and where you want to go with clear concepts before selecting any tools to implement it.

Implementing an KMS

  1. Make it clear that management is 100% behind the project.
  2. Make it clear that this is a permanent addition, something that employees have to deal with.
  3. Set up a cross-functional team to implement the system.
  4. Set up a much larger cross-functional team from all regions to proselytize, train, mentor, and monitor the transition.
  5. Use numerous incentives. Senior management could have some of their bonus tied to the use of the system. Mid level managers received bonuses if they used the system to generate additional sales. Employees could get prizes if they contributed knowledge that was subsequently useful to someone else.
  6. Encouraging a co-operative corporate culture - As long as the culture is fundamentally competitive there will be an incentive for individuals to withhold knowledge. An employee's decision will be one of comparing the financial incentives to cooperate (bonuses for system usage and commissions from additional sales) against the institutionalized incentives to compete (security of tenure and importance to the firm). The company must stress not how to divide up the rewards, but how to grow more opportunities. This can be done by shifting the incentive system from an individual basis to a team basis. This will make it clear to employees that cooperation, is in their best self-interest. It will mitigate any incentive to compete with other employees. In a non-competitive environment, the principles of microeconomics 101 mentioned above, do not apply. There is no reason to withhold knowledge.
  7. Among sales staff and senior management, highlight the sales-generating abilities of the system. An incentive should be given to an employee when either his/her team uses the system to generate additional sales revenue or another team uses his/her contributions to generate additional sales revenue. In the first case, this could be a double incentive (additional sales commissions, plus KMS bonus). In either case, revenue-generating incentives are spread throughout the whole firm; they are not limited to managers and sales people.
  8. An introductory contest could be useful in getting employees involved. A two-week, all-expenses-paid holiday for two would be enough to get most employees interested. To get a chance at the prize, an employee would have to describe an important part of their work process. This would start people using the system and would "kick-start" the creation of the knowledge base.
  9. Increase the scope of the system - There are network economies associated with this system : the more people use it, the more valuable it is to each user. It should be phased in at all divisions and all functional departments as soon as is feasible.
  10. Incorporating a knowledge portal into the system - The system could be employed on an extranet. This knowledge portal could be used to obtain important information from suppliers and key customers, making it more useful for everybody. Some of the information could also be disseminated to suppliers and key customers.
  11. Incorporating a DSS or AI - The system would be more useful if it drove a decision support system (DSS) or an expert system. Computational and analytical models could be applied to the information in the knowledge base so as to support decision making. An inference engine could be applied to the knowledge base so as to make recommendations. Because some questions are better answered with DSS and others with AI, both types of systems should be used to get the most benefit from the knowledge base..

There is some good material here, but it needs to be put in a better context. The distinction between first and second generation KM is pretty well received now; re-grouping this stuff into an argument for this distinction would make the article more understandable and readable.Banno 19:00, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)