Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 11 Issue 8
Wiki while you work
Recruiting writers and editing this magazine continues to be a new kick to my continuing education. Because we are now devoted to both tacit and explicit – knowledge management (KM) and enterprise information (EI) – the connection has never been more clear. It’s not just a matter of information management ‘supporting’ KM, but rather a sister act. KM is about ‘knowledge in action’; document management (DM) is about ‘knowledge in waiting’. Their missions are both separate and the same.
In this issue we have a pair of case reports that reinforce the point. In the IK section Donna Hendrix and Griet Johannsen tell the story of the Shell Wiki as a platform for learning and collaboration (page 20). It’s a dynamic process. Wikis enable interaction to occur at the document stage. Thus, even before the information is applied, it is knowledge in action. DM has a static phase to it. Items are stored but lie dormant.
In the EI section, Doug Cornelius, senior attorney at Goodwin Procter’s Real Estate Group in Boston, shares his investigation of wikis compared to DM systems. He compares the functionality of both, examines the behaviours attendant in each and then advises on when to wiki and when to use a DMS (page 34).
Whatever happened to SNA?
I also want to call your attention to Patti Anklam’s update on the status of social network analysis (SNA) on page 23. It’s been 10 years since SNA became prominent and five years since Patti wrote a four-part series on it for IK (then KM magazine).
She refers to ONA [organisational network analysis] now, and illustrates her update with many cases where network analysis is being used to improve business results – including the Defense Intelligence Agency, MWH Global, 3M and the International Finance Corporation.
Patti doesn’t miss her chance to share lessons learned from these case studies, so be sure to read the sidebars.
KM games while you work
I hope that you will enjoy the cover feature – and find it useful – on the KM ‘Olympics’ held four years ago by Eureka Forbes in Bangalore, India. I first came across this story two years ago when I met Rudolf D’Souza, the creative lead for the KM team at his innovative company, which started manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door in a country where the nearest competitor – the broom –was a thousand times cheaper. With that kind of history, it is not surprising that D’Souza and company launched a 15-day KM ‘Olympics’ parallel to the real Olympic Games in Greece. D’Souza’s ‘Olympics’ instantly turned knowledge sharing around for his company. He tells you how.
Reviewing multimedia search engines
Multimedia storage and retrieval makes the EI cover feature with professor Stefan Rüger and Adam Rae, at The Open University, reviewing multimedia search engines for searching images, audio and sound files (page 30). There’s lots more. Enjoy.
ei Case study: Wiki versus DMS at Goodwin Procter
The document management system has long been the factory assembly line for most big law firms. In turn, the document management system is the largest searchable repository of knowledge in a law firm. With the rise of enterprise 2.0 technologies and their alignment with knowledge management, the question arises how these new technologies might affect the use of existing technologies, like the document management system. One of the most promising enterprise 2.0 technologies for knowledge management is the wiki.
ei Cover feature: A picture is worth a thousand words
For over 2,500 years humans have kept libraries of information in different forms. From ancient Egyptian archives to modern day computerised distributed databases, data has been gathered and people have found ways of handling this information. Librarians have long used indexes in different forms to help find the resource they are interested in, but search engines and the internet have changed this paradigm. No longer are we restricted to searching solely the data about resources or metadata we can now search the entirety of the data itself.
Update: The development of social network analysis
In May 2003, I published my first article on social network analysis here in IK (then Knowledge Management) magazine. Supported by successive editors, I have contributed a full Social Network Toolkit and a four-part Masterclass series, so I was pleased when I was asked to contribute an article this month on how social network analysis (SNA) has been used in knowledge management (KM) and where it is going.
I am not sure whether this request was prompted by signs of demise, but let me assure you network analysis is becoming an integral part of a mature KM repertoire.
Case study: Shell Wiki
The wiki concept was developed by Ward Cunningham who originally created this evolutionary tool to help programmers share knowledge. The development of the wiki, which means fast in Hawaiian, began in 1994 and by March 1995, the WikiWikiWeb was installed on the internet. Since this time, the concept of wiki has been adopted by many organisations in an effort to enhance knowledge sharing across business and across the globe. Wiki has become increasingly popular in contemporary organisations; it is often used as the main collaborative software and, in some cases, as a replacement for static intranets.
Cover feature: KM Olympics
After centuries of debate, we dont know for sure if it were Hercules the Roman son of Zeus, the Egyptian god Herakles, the younger Greek god Heracles or the so-called Hercules Daktyl (or dactyl, meaning the size of a finger) who originated the world-famed Olympic Games.
But during the run-up to the October 2008 Olympics in Beijing we are pretty sure who started the KM Olympics Rudolf DSouza and his knowledge management (KM) team at Eureka Forbes in Koramangala, Bangalore, India, four years ago. And given the results of those Games, the founder could be called Team Dactyl because it was due to the KM teams Herculean accomplishment that the far-reaching and highly effective KM event in history was carried out Eureka Forbes KM Olympics.
ei: The last word
What a pain e-mail is. And yet, e-mail is now deeply embedded as an essential communications channel for many business processes in almost all sectors.
It causes different sorts of pain for different parts of each organisation. In the IT Operations area, the constantly growing call for storage hurts badly. In the compliance arena, the difficulty of managing huge volumes of dynamic data causes worries for the health of an organisation indeed, the occasional suggestion of instant remedies in the shape of e-mail management systems can threaten to make this even worse. And, of course, users struggle with the headache of dealing with the flood of information and spam.
'Double-dipping is a great term to use in launching an editorial campaign or starting a debate. At once it makes an accusation and passes judgment akin to have you stopped beating your wife? If it happened in a courtroom, a lawyer would object and a judge would sustain the objection because it would be prejudicial.
The knowledge: Ron Dvir
Sometimes brilliant minds move so rapidly mere mortals cant download fast enough. But with Ron Dvir, patterns gradually appear like a double helix a twisting but congruent spiral revealing discoveries and personal ?ah-has personal moments entwined and linked as concepts.
Opinion: Lynda Rathbone
For many of us, the new financial year has begun and were facing a budget for online spending that is, as usual, not enough for the grand plans we have. Furthermore, with the state of the economy the way it is, its probably unlikely there will be extra money or bigger budgets coming anytime soon. So whats an online executive to do? How can you make the most out of the cash you do have?
Book review: Leadership Brand
Browse through the catalogues of e-commerce giant Amazon, or indeed the shelves of any large bookshop, and you are bound to find a selection of books dedicated to discussion of leadership.
Certainly, leadership and the ability to successfully lead have long been viewed as immensely valuable concepts and so are dissected and debated frequently in the press, academic literature and across organisations. Google alone lists a staggering 122 million references to discussion of the elusive subject.
In the current swirl of buzzwords and hype around Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, and no doubt soon, Law Firm 2.0, perhaps we should reflect a little before hitching the wagons.
Many firms have been involved in structured knowledge initiatives since the mid 1980s, with the shoulders of several generations of people and technology so far being applied to the grindstone. These efforts have been to help their firms and lawyers be more knowledge able to be stronger competitors in implementing their business strategies.