Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 7 Issue 2
KM in North America
First things first, my opening comment in Knowledge Management must be to thank Simon for his outstanding work as editor over the past three and a half years. Not only has he upheld the magazine’s role as a voice for the industry, but his regular Your Say articles and profiles of influential figures, alongside the case studies and thought pieces from KM practitioners, have helped secure Knowledge Management’s position as a highly respected journal. Even though Simon will be keeping a watchful eye over the magazine, he has left big editorial shoes for me to fill; I hope that my size 6 Jimmy Choos are up to the task.
Taking over as editor on any magazine is a challenging task. Starting afresh on a knowledge-management magazine presents a learning curve that is as steep as it is fascinating. From my involvement in the industry so far, the importance of networks and communities is clear. I hope to continue tapping into and fostering these relationships while building new and stronger ones in the future. There is a lot to do and learn; I hope I can count on your support.
Having worked in the background on our last issue and put the ‘difficult second issue’ to bed, it’s time to look at what’s coming up for the magazine. Most immediately on the calendar is KM Europe 2003 in Amsterdam. As Europe’s largest knowledge-management event this is the best opportunity to hear the latest thinking, meet and learn from some of the industry’s most prominent figures, and network with your peers. Simon and I will both be at KM Europe, so we’ll no doubt see you there.
Knowledge Management will also be welcoming new faces to the editorial board. Members now have to work harder for their place on the panel as we introduce a new feature, ‘Put it to the board’. If you have an issue you’re having trouble resolving or a burning question you need answering, drop me a line and you could have one of our board members giving you their advice.
As always, we value your thoughts and feedback. You can reach me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
The promise of computer conferencing
The original idea for computer conferencing surfaced in the 1980s and promised to diminish the need to commute and travel, save time, and reduce expenses. But as face-to-face meetings are still a big part of corporate life, Jan Wyllie believes it is time to re-examine the technology behind computer conferencing. Here he explains how taxonomies are a critical missing element and outlines a case study from the RSA.
Case study: Raising the bar
Through a series of interviews with a partner in a Canadian business-law firm, Vivek Venkatesh and Steven Shaw uncover its KM-related principles and objectives. They describe the issues related to knowledge protection, tacit-expertise transfer and the use of information technologies to support KM, and outline how the firm promotes a culture of reciprocity, knowledge sharing and reputation growth.
Case study: Developing KM technologies
The US Department of Agriculture is made up of highly decentralised field staff that offer technical assistance to rural communities. To help their work, Norman Reid was responsible for developing the technical-assistance information system (TAIS) that gives staff members access to information and tools critical for programmes to work effectively. He describes the development of TAIS and the overall knowledge-management strategy it supports.
Case study: Buckman Laboratories and KM
Despite changes in leadership and corporate strategy at Buckman Laboratories, the reliance on knowledge management as a key competitive advantage has remained constant. Recently named as a MAKE winner in North America, Melissie Rumizen says that the keys to success have been the value given to knowledge within the corporate culture, and how the company has developed and used knowledge throughout its history.
Case study: Knowledge sharing at Nasa
On 31 January 2003, the Nasa portal quietly debuted as the world slept. Ten hours later 75 million people turned to www.nasa.gov to understand what had happened to the Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew. Jeanne Holm outlines how the agency applied its knowledge-management practices to overcome the challenge of sharing knowledge during and after the crisis.
On the web: Engineering a thesaural taxonomy
Continued from the magazine... From the structural engineering design of an opera house to the development-planning consultancy for a new high-speed railway line, projects are what Arup do. But, writes Julian Diamond, it is the firms ability to access project data in order to apply previous experience to new projects that is crucial to the success of the practices business development.
Country focus: The Philippines
Sandra Higgison talks to Nilo Poso about the evolution of knowledge management in the Philippines.
Book review: Virtual Monopoly by Christopher Pike.
Mila Striukova reviews Virtual Monopoly by Christopher Pike.
Five minutes with... Sinclair Knight Merz
Jacquie Bran, head of the Ark Group events team, speaks to Peter Nevin, group manager of information systems, and Colin Saunders, head of knowledge management, at Sinclair Knight Merz. They discuss their involvement in the development of a KM programme at SKM and their experiences with communities of practice, collaboration and cultural change.
Your say: KM in North America
Scores of KM practices and methodologies have been developed in North America since the discipline emerged in the mid-1990s. Sandra Higgison talks to KM practitioners, commentators and experts, and offers a collection of snapshots of the journey so far.
The knowledge: Ciarán McGinley
When it comes to new ideas, Ciáran McGinley has them in spades. As controller of the European Patent Office, McGinley relies on knowledge-management and risk-management principles to ensure competitiveness and economic growth in Europe through innovation. Here he talks to Sandra Higgison about his interest in KM and his forthcoming keynote presentation at KM Europe 2003.