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Showing posts from April, 2006

Fundamental Questions Related to Storing and Sharing Knowledge Items

Any approach that intends to capture, store, and disseminate knowledge items must address some fundamental questions:

1. Assuming that individuals have personal knowledge repositories, how can these repositories be shared? One approach would be to change the corporate culture and allow co-workers to search each other’s personal repositories. While this might be a viable solution in some cases, especially where one employee is a back up for another employee, it is not a generally viable solution due to other problems. One such problem is that personal repositories often contain items that are not of general interest. Another issue is that some kind of information filtering would be needed. In some cases, filtering might not be sufficient and some kind of packaging would be necessary so that the content becomes useful for a third party.

2. How can the common repository be populated? One answer is to enable employees to contribute from their personal repositories. This is a relatively simp…

How blogs and wikis can help knowledge management

The e-consultancy site offers advice on many e-business topics. In a recent post Wayne Robinson discusses how blogs and wikis can help knowledge management. Wayne writes, “From my window, I can see the great cathedral of York Minster,” which certainly makes me envious. He goes on to link the building of this cathedral to how knowledge is gained, including the socialization, externalization, and then the concept of combination.

“Combination is the process of creating more complex and systematic sets of explicit knowledge - it is combined, edited or processed to create new knowledge. Blogs can aid in this process firstly by making the explicit knowledge available in the first place, and then making it possible to add to what exists through linking, quoting or commenting. A wiki enables rapid creation of explicit knowledge, but also makes it incredibly easy to edit and combine. And both provide a readily-accessible store of the new knowledge.”

He then goes on to discuss how knowledge is ex…

Twelve key features for your business portal

TechTarget has compiled a basic list of Twelve key features for your business portal. I say basic because today's intranet or extranet portals have grown beyond these basic features. To really get the employees, partners and customers into the portal and retain them, portal would need to have some extra savvy features. Next post on this blog will go into detail on those. For now, TechTarget says;

Features for the extranet

There is no one answer to which features are mandatory and which are optional in portal design. Despite the lack of agreement on a single list, everyone agrees that there are several important features that you should consider when setting your extranet portal strategy. Those features include:

* Search: Your search functionality should be able to query both structured and unstructured content by keywords. Structured data are the databases and transactional systems, such as an ERP system. Unstructured content includes all of the office documents, proposals, and other…

Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

A critical factor for knowledge and experience sharing is that management creates trust amongst employees, and between employees and management. It should be noted, though, that this is a long-term goal. The fear that information can be interpreted and used against individuals has been acknowledged in other aspects of software engineering, for example in measurement. A solution to this problem is, for example, the one proposed by the Experience Factory (EF) approach. EF clearly states that data collected by individuals must be anonymous and should never be used to judge them.

The core values promoted by the EF for establishing a sharing culture are based on the fundamentals of learning. In order to improve, employees need to learn from past experience, and in order for employees to learn, the organization needs to create a learning environment. The characteristics of a learning environment are that it is allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Experience is not hidden or traded, …