Thursday, March 30, 2006

An Interesting book that I am presently reading!

I am presently reading a very interesting book called "Expertise Locator Systems - Finding the Answers" by The American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC). To find best practices APQC identified more than 40 potential partners, screened seven who met the criteria of having an integrated Exterprise Locator System, conducted phone interviews with this group, and selected five best-practice organizations for site visits. Bascially they have identified 3 different models by which organizations position an ELS. Suggest anyone who is interested in knowing more about expertise locator systems and best practices in leading organizations, read this book from APQC.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Locating Expertise in Organizations

It might sound simple but this is as complex as it gets. First of all who can be called an expert in a particular organization. Even if an organization does identify a person as an expert, are you indirectly saying that someone else is not an expert. Does this cause friction in a team for example? Well what do you do create more experts in your organization. Shouldn't your Learning and Development division work towards this? Does an expert remain an expert? How do you measure the expertise level of an expert? How do you ensure an expert continuously improves his expertise. Even if you do all the above, how do you ensure an expert shares his expertise for the maximum benefit for the organization. I am sure organizations have already thought of these points and have designed a system which can quantify expertise based on the output provided by each expert. I would very much be interested in knowing how systems in organizations are able to combine KM systems and Learning systems together.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Knowledge and Analogy of Water flowing in Pipes

Well it all started when.......I was sitting in my office reflecting on the my job of being a knowledge manager. How great it would be if we had a system which basically followed the same principle which is used to distribute water in pipes. Imagine knowledge as water flowing in pipes. You have a pump, which basically stands for a KM system, as any normal pump takes water from a tank or a repository and pumps the water into the pipes (connectivity). Now when anyone wants to use the water he switches on the pipe leading to a low pressure at the outlet resulting in water flowing out to the area which requires it. Thus water flows from area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. In KM perspective the KM system (pump) pushes knowledge from an area where knowledge is required from an area where it is created or processed.

Taking this one step ahead, imagine we have along with the pump, a purification system which basically helps clean up the water, in this case the knowledge on a regular manner. So you have a source for water which can be looked as knowledge created continuously in an organization and then you have a pump and you have a purifier which helps clean the knowledge captured and remove the impurities or the knowledge which is not useful. Hmm this analogy is getting more and more complex. Do I see a clearer light at the end of tunnel by continuing with this analogy? Will add to this soon. Love to hear comments from the readers on this..........

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Issue of KM ROI in Organizations

One of the major issues Knowledge Management practice in an organization face today are the constant requirement to convince the Management that they are creating value. They are constantly faced with the issue of showing the so called ROI. Of course looking for ROI in any investment is a very good thing but what should be remembered is that ROI in systems like KM cannot be clearly quantified and takes a longer time as its scope extends to the entire organizations and cannot be classified as only front-end or back-end systems. I would love to hear about KM ROI models in various organizations. Ideally if the KM processes are well defined and systems in place ROI calculations should be pretty direct atleast to some extent but as KM processes definiton in organizations vary from each other, it is not very easy to replicate a model of one organization in another.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Knowledge Management - A Definition

An interesting definiton by Davenport and Prusak

Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organizations it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices and norms.

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