Friday, 29 May 2009

Knowledge Bubbles

I love the idea of Knowlege being something that bubbles to "the surface" where it is easily found by people. This is the idea discussed in another insightful post from the Knowledge Thoughts Blog.

"Traditionally the databases or search engines were relied upon to provide this functionality, and they will continue to do so. However, these systems each have limitations which are important to consider. Knowledge databases suffer from scale with firms having more content to catalog than their KM staff can handle while enterprise search can be challenging in terms of finding relevant results despite advances in faceted search."

I couldn't agree more with this assertion and having already seen how Enterprise Search can not only work but also fail it's interesting that the Blog authors suggest there is another way to make knowledge "more visible" The suggestion by the author of the Blog and also of Lee Bryant of Headshift is to use another form of metadata called attention metadata. Essentially this looks for/finds content based on content you're reading, listening to or bookmarking. Not only is the content more relevant because you might have been reading something related recently but as the post describes...

"...taking this in aggregate and by mixing it with traditional metadata (user, practice, industry or client) can help content to bubble up in front of unsuspecting lawyers. Why is this useful? Well, it helps to raise awareness of what is going on, and what people are using. PSLs, Lawyers and Partners alike can get a sense for the resources being used without having to delve through complex usage reports.

I like to think of it like a lava lamp. Attention metadata will heat up your knowledge goo rise to the surface, cooling down over time and then sinking back down until the next time it heats up."

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Knowledge Management - creating barriers

If I was to sum up this post on the Knowledge Thoughts blog it would be that "Barriers are bad"this is essentially the message they're conveying within this blog post. But what these barriers...

"...as service delivery types, we should know that our clients have a low threshold for things that get in the way, they just want the good stuff. That means we need to make it as easy as possible for them to use the tools we give them, especially if they’ve yet to adopt a new concept / way of working. Examples of barriers to consider:

  • Lack of interest from senior leaders
  • Difficult systems / poor user interface
  • Poor comms materials (too wordy, not wordy enough, confused messages)
  • Poor data
  • Slow systems performance
  • etc. "

A useful insight into some of the barriers that can affect the adoption/update of Knowledge Management tools and initiatives.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Finding an expert

An interesting post here on the Knowledge Jolt blog which looks at the age old problem of "Finding an Expert"

"Assuming your company is large enough that people don't sit with each other, there often comes the painful realization that Sue has just spent two months on a project, only to discover that Pedro has a deep interest in the topic and could have helped Sue shave off a couple weeks' effort. Expert location services come out of stories like this. And they have been considered a staple of knowledge management for quite a while."

The post goes on to describe the attempts by companies to make information experts more widely available. These range from manual systems, where information on expertise is entered by hand usually by the expert and is then made available. Automated systems attempt to identify experts by looking at documents and web-browsing history. Both as discussed in the post can return experts but both are also flawed.

This post is well worth reading if you're thinking about building an expert search in your organisation.

Friday, 22 May 2009

What are the most critical roles in KM?

A short but interesting post on the KM Edge Blog, which asks what are the most critical roles in KM? From the introduction to the Blog post:

"If you are really going to take knowledge management seriously--invest time and resources, engage with senior leadership, and expect to see results--then you need to consider the roles and resources required to support your organization's KM activities"

The post then identifies four roles crucial for the development of KM withing any organisation, they are:

  • "knowledge management leader--focuses on strategy, leadership, and facilitation;
  • knowledge management specialist--focuses on knowledge/content, flow and the impact of knowledge on processes and business/knowledge domains;
  • communication director--focuses on communications and change management; and
  • information technology/business analyst--focuses on IT tools, infrastructure, applications, and content management"

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

How to approach a KM Strategy exercise

Another interesting video recording here from the Green Chameleon blog, which looks at how to approach a KM Strategy exercise. The video looks at how to move ideas around KM Strategy from a "consultants page" into reality.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

It's not about the Tools...It's about the strategy

An interesting post here from the Web Worker Daily which discusses how because of the huge number of tools available for working online and managing/creating content online individuals can become obsessed with the tools, rather then looking at why they want to use the tools.

This is like doing Web 2.0 just because it is cool. So what does the blog post suggest? Well there are five areas that it suggests you need to focus on. These are:

  • Finding your audience. Who do you want to reach or help with these tools?
  • Keep it simple. You shouldn't pick a tool based on the number of features.
  • Stay authentic. This is about ensuring that the content you create using these tools is consistent and authentic.
  • Know when to stop. If something isn't work, then don't keep doing it. Stop and look to use something else instead.