Knowledge Management

Practice makes perfect, and the disciplined use of IT tools should always benefit KM.

I have to ApologizeFirst. Jan05

Material in subsequent paragraphs too confusing for me. And in my characteristic way I am now attempting to remodel it to fit with my ability to understand.

I am creating a resources section to list material hopeful of use to other people as well. Original material from this page is left at end and some interesting stuff is extracted for benefit of other beginners.

SemanticWeb Tools

Tools from the SemanticWeb arena, including ResourceDescriptionFramework (RDF) and TopicMaps

Good material copied from sections sourced from this page


SocialComputing Resources Classic writeup on KnowledgeManagement

OK, so I think I did the Wiki thing: I took the meta-discussion to ArgueAgreeIdiomArgue. I hope y'all forgive me ;^) I've also copied the diary-style discussion on this page to KnowledgeManagementArgue in the hope that this will liberate the folk who know about KM to re-arrange the fragments below into something more like a synopsis, so I can read it and learn something about the topic. As it stands, the best-managed component of the data is who said what when, not what's known best practice in managing knowledge, which seems (to me) The Right Thing for this page to discuss ... Eddy/1998/Aug/26.

Knowledge Management is a new front for management. It is the practice that deals with the many aspects of Knowledge. Wiki can be used as a system of KnowledgeManagement. -- YeshaSivan 19980201

The following are taken from the work we do here in Israel:

KnowledgeManagement has been defined in other places. You are encouraged to read about in in the many BooksAboutKnowledgeManagement.


Three steps:
  1. Plan how to do KM.
  2. Implement the KM plan.
  3. Evaluate your implementation (and therefore update the implementation or the plan as needed).

This is what I call the PieModel (in this case of knowledge management).
 -- YeshaSivan 19980720

Talking about structure...The structure of many Wikis I have seen so far need a bit of serious editing. I'm wondering whether you have any ideas on this. Someone like a moderator on a mailing list. An editor. As the wiki is more successful it might just be crushed by its own weight, because it has no structure.

So, who's going to be confident (arrogant) enough to think that she understands what the others actually want to say, and reformat the whole discussion, adding structure, chapters, paragraphs, an index, etc.

Also, it'd be cool when *additions* would be highlighted in bright colours so that you can more easily read up when your already familiar with the wiki.

-- WiebeVanDerWaals? 20000510

Yesha, I am interested to explore how Wiki could be used to advance the creation and sharing of knowledge. Perhaps we should construct some sort of experiment here?

-- PeterMurchland 19980715

I'm keen to experiment here as well. There seem to be interesting aspects of Wiki for KnowledgeAnnealing, for CoAuthorship? of documents, for JointWebsiteDevelopment?, for studying EmerGence? and for compiling a DisTinctionary.

This is an interesting alternative conversational medium.

--DenhamGrey 19980718

[July 20, 1998; DenhamGrey]: I have this feeling that there is a close link between patterns as a representation and process and knowledge. Here is a theory of knowledge presented in the form of a pattern KnowledgePattern.

Perhaps we can explore this further at this site where both knowledge management and pattern folks have collected?

--DenhamGrey 19980720

In the edits at the top of the page (meant to create a clear distinction between the topic - KM - and the discussion about the format), led me to the following point:

Why do I say that knowledge is linked with people and time? Well, because i feel that knowledge without context is of lesser value. There is an old saying "it is not what you know, but who you know" there is a lot hidden in this simple sentence.

-- YeshaSivan 19980723

I can't understand what you're trying to measure.

-- RafaelTeixeira 19980725

I've also been thinking about patterns and knowledge and computation. Patterns are powerful partly because they are generative grammars. Generative grammars are powerful. I'm groping towards some insight involving the ChomskyHierarchy, where simple languages are recognized by finite state machines, more complex ones by push-down automata, and the most complex need full Turing machines. There's some connection between the language we use for talking (and thinking), and the computational power of a Turing machine.

I suspect this is utterly trivial stuff that I knew 15 years ago and I am just rediscovering :-(

On "Who you know" - provenance of ideas is important. If I know who wrote a page, I can discount for known stupidity, or pay more attention to known experts. This is important on the WWW because anyone can put up a web site containing any kind of rotten information. Schoolchildren need to be taught how to discriminate between web sources, and provenance is one of the tools.

Part of WhyWikiWorks is that because anyone can edit anything, the pages reflect, more or less, the consensus of the community. Bad stuff gets deleted, or at least annotated with an explanation of why it is bad. This means the provenance of individual paragraphs is less important for signalling quality. Rather then, "I'm not going to believe anything unless it has Ward's name on it", it's kinda enough to know Ward read it and didn't delete it.

This strikes me as rather radical and unlike the rest of the WorldWideWeb.

-- DaveHarris 19980725

On "enough to know Ward read it" But again, how are you going to know that Ward read the page you are referring to (and didn't delete it)? Maybe the change is very recent, or re-posted regularly...

More generally, I wonder what happen when people would edit the same page at the same time. In other words, what about WikiSecurity?, WikiFileLocking? and the like ...

-- ChristopheVermeulen 19980804

 There are technical issues with this Wiki. They're solvable. It's possible to keep track of who read what and when, and who the author was, etc. Also to detect edit conflicts, to recover accidental or malicious deletions, and the like. You can't reason from the limitations of this Wiki to the limitations of all Wiki-like environments.

-- DaveHarris 19980804

In the sense of "managing useful information", all the above is great, and proven. Has anyone actually listened to, or read, the real KM-speak? It's either TheNextGreatThing? (to save the world) or TheNextSnakeOil?. Patterns had this sort of effect on me, but they've always (mostly) been grounded in models, diagrams, and code. RealKnowledgeManagement (at least to the extent that I've been exposed) is more about buzzwords and doublespeak. Anyone? (no, I'm not bitter)

-- AustinDavid 19980804

I agree there is much hype in the air around KM. The comments in this community on the superiority of patterns is an interesting case I think of GroupThink. I have seen references and appeals to the ScientificMethod and to logic, but patterns like process, carry a certain type of 'blindness', they too are social artifacts.

Many who come to KM will depart with a sense of shallowness and may feel some snake oil but there is an interesting and lasting quality to working with knowledge that parallels the TQM movement. Those who wish to get something of lasting value from KM should look to the social aspects of collaboration, communion and critique, seek opportunity in new perspectives of work practice, learning, innovation and knowledge sharing.

An interesting connection between KM and patterns is the DataMining movement who seek to discover patterns in data streams. Data mining uses algorithms to search for possible patterns and relies on people to interpret the significance and meaning of the 'discoveries'.

Here is an article on the KnowledgeManagement metaphor:

-- DenhamGrey 19980807

I desire knowledge. I am leery of KnowledgeManagement. I love learning new patterns. Most talk about patterns is vapid. I've enjoyed the conversation about ExtremeProgramming because it is concrete and tells me what to do, and I can use it to give concrete advice to others. It is real patterns, not talk about patterns. I like MartinFowler's book on AnalysisPatterns for the same reason.

Wiki would be better off if there were less talk about patterns and more patterns.

-- RalphJohnson

Used to be a content freak at one time. Now I have come to value the synergy, innovation and negotiation in deep dialog. It is through conversation that all patterns are tested, evaluated, appreciated. After you have a closet full of patterns, you realize you have to come into the conversation to use, improve, announce, evangelize and make your patterns work. Sure you can apply them in isolation, but you will reap the rewards in an island economy too.

-- DenhamGrey 19980831

HelpPlease? I have been pondering the use of Wiki for capturing organizational memory. In particular, its use for small research teams where collaborative documentation is the main artifactual representation and product. Can anyone help me locate Wiki examples (templates?) where this genre is used for problem solving, co-ordination, scheduling and tracking commitments, or good exemplars of capturing design rationale?

-- 19980918 DenhamGrey]

I am working in this field also. I've tried to use a Wiki engine but it fell short when dealing with some information (like version handling, lifecycles, rights...) I ran against a product called Enabler for Softlab and it fits the bill for knowledge storage. It would be nice to build a wiki-like interface for it. I will do it in the coming months (or weeks).

--PhilippeBack 19990920

I have used Wiki for some parts of KM, and it works, but only if YOU do...meaning that the onus is on the people who create the Knowledge Map. I'm working toward comingling this with a generic document search tool called Glimpse, plus WebDav. See:

-- KirkKitchen 20020410

My company Freshpond Education is interested in the question of knowledge management in education. We are reading an article by Lisa Petrides and Nodine.

The link is to our internal conversation about that article. -- FreshPond


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