Displaying items by tag: Knowledge Management

Friday, 04 September 2020 15:28

Information Modelling

A doctor needs to understand human anatomy as well as physiology to be able to detect and treat diseases. Similarly a knowledge management practitioner needs to understand how information is put into context and the nature of information flows in an organization. This helps such a person develop a framework that enables him or her to map knowledge flows.

 

Developing such a framework that includes knowledge rather than information helps identify what knowledge is available and what knowledge is missing so that gaps in knowledge flows are better identified. The process of identifying the gaps in knowledge flows is called information modelling.

 

 

 Knowledge Mapping

 

 

Information Modelling

 

 

Through a process of information modelling, it becomes possible to identify what knowledge is available and what knowledge is required to either improve a process, solve a recurring problem or seek better marketing opportunities

 

 

 

Sharma Management International has the required expertise to develop suitable knowledge maps as well as undertake information modelling to enable your company manage its knowledge assets better. For us to understand how to help you better, please provide basic information by clicking here

Published in Knowledge Management

As business environments become increasingly embroiled in uncertainty and ambiguity the necessity for critical knowledge retention takes center stage. This is especially so in the knowledge age where people drown in information are starved of critical knowledge of how to continually improve.

 

In the knowledge age, the terrain of critical knowledge changes with time. Determination of critical knowledge is a dynamic phenomenon. It changes with circumstances and time. Many organizations spend time, money and resources acquiring knowledge that is supposedly critical but in reality, is not. Consequently, the applicability of knowledge retained in knowledge repositories declines with time. This short article seeks to provide ideas on how retention of knowledge has to be undertaken to arrest this decline.

 

Retention of such knowledge in the knowledge age requires consideration of a number of issues. They include the value it brings, the support it delivers and the process of retrieval that is required insofar as ensuring that the knowledge retained is applicable in practice.

 

Value Proposition of Knowledge

For any retained knowledge to be fervently consumed, it has to be knowledge that people value. Such knowledge helps employees work better, resolve issues and problems they face and make informed decisions. The higher the value this knowledge brings, the more readily it is acquired and applied in practice.

 

To establish what knowledge is critical requires a consideration of value it brings to the recipient of that knowledge from the perspective of the recipient. This highly valued knowledge for the specific targeted recipients has to be first determined. Only after this is established, the source of the required knowledge is determined. The knowledge source could include new hires, retirees, experienced managers or subject matter experts who have the critical knowledge required by the targeted knowledge recipients.

 

Social network mapping and technical support

Given the volatility of knowledge applicability in practice in the knowledge age, critical knowledge has to be analyzed in two primary context, know how or technical based and know who or social based. People need to be supported in terms of what they need to do as well as whom they need to refer to when this knowledge is required and applied.

 

Developing a checklist of what to do based on input received from a subject matter expert is insufficient. In addition, a social network mapping of who else possess this knowledge, why should this person be referred to, whom to avoid etc. enables a valuable ecosystem of social interactions required for knowledge acquisition to be developed as well.

 

When developing a framework for retaining critical knowledge that remains valuable over time, it is necessary to make adequate considerations for both technical know-how and know-what as well as mapping the flow of accessing knowledge from the right sources within specific domains that relate to the knowledge required.

 

Ease of Knowledge content retrieval

Critical knowledge has to be stored in a way that enables the best knowledge to be assessed by the right people at the right time to accomplish a specific goal. This requires knowledge to be stored in a condensed form and remain easily accessible to whosoever requires it when it is required.

 

Making this possible requires developing readily consumable knowledge nuggets developed based on the existing taxonomy in use. In addition, a process of content validation of knowledge from the source is required so that it may be readily accessible by knowledge recipients. The process of tagging key words or phrases and linking these to the specific content that has been stored is crucial in this regard.

 

In summary for iteratively improving business processes and delivering better products and services over time, critical knowledge required has to be retained and applied in practice. The knowledge retained will be of value only if it incorporates both know how as well as know who to get work done better. In addition, such knowledge should be structured in a way that remains easily accessible to whomsoever needs it whenever it is needed.

For additional assistance on how this may be done and to view a number of templates that have been developed to do this in practice, please contact Sharma Management International here at your convenience.

 

Dr Rumesh Kumar DBA MBA PMP CKM CST

 

 

 

Published in Knowledge Management

As business environments become increasingly embroiled in uncertainty and ambiguity the necessity for critical knowledge retention takes center stage. This is especially so in the knowledge age where people drown in information are starved of critical knowledge of how

to continually improve.

 

In the knowledge age, the terrain of critical knowledge changes with time. Determination of critical knowledge is a dynamic phenomenon. It changes with circumstances and time. Many organizations spend time, money and resources acquiring knowledge that is supposedly critical but in reality, is not. Consequently, the applicability of knowledge retained in knowledge repositories declines with time. This short article seeks to provide ideas on how retention of knowledge has to be undertaken to arrest this decline.

 

Retention of such knowledge in the knowledge age requires consideration of a number of issues. They include the value it brings, the support it delivers and the process of retrieval that is required insofar as ensuring that the knowledge retained is applicable in practice.

 

Value Proposition of Knowledge

For any retained knowledge to be fervently consumed, it has to be knowledge that people value. Such knowledge helps employees work better, resolve issues and problems they face and make informed decisions. The higher the value this knowledge brings, the more readily it is acquired and applied in practice.

 

To establish what knowledge is critical requires a consideration of value it brings to the recipient of that knowledge from the perspective of the recipient. This highly valued knowledge for the specific targeted recipients has to be first determined. Only after this is established, the source of the required knowledge is determined. The knowledge source could include new hires, retirees, experienced managers or subject matter experts who have the critical knowledge required by the targeted knowledge recipients.

 

Social network mapping and technical support

Given the volatility of knowledge applicability in practice in the knowledge age, critical knowledge has to be analyzed in two primary context, know how or technical based and know who or social based. People need to be supported in terms of what they need to do as well as whom they need to refer to when this knowledge is required and applied.

 

Developing a checklist of what to do based on input received from a subject matter expert is insufficient. In addition, a social network mapping of who else possess this knowledge, why should this person be referred to, whom to avoid etc. enables a valuable ecosystem of social interactions required for knowledge acquisition to be developed as well.

 

When developing a framework for retaining critical knowledge that remains valuable over time, it is necessary to make adequate considerations for both technical know-how and know-what as well as mapping the flow of accessing knowledge from the right sources within specific domains that relate to the knowledge required.

 

Ease of Knowledge content retrieval

Critical knowledge has to be stored in a way that enables the best knowledge to be assessed by the right people at the right time to accomplish a specific goal. This requires knowledge to be stored in a condensed form and remain easily accessible to whosoever requires it when it is required.

 

Making this possible requires developing readily consumable knowledge nuggets developed based on the existing taxonomy in use. In addition, a process of content validation of knowledge from the source is required so that it may be readily accessible by knowledge recipients. The process of tagging key words or phrases and linking these to the specific content that has been stored is crucial in this regard.

 

In summary for iteratively improving business processes and delivering better products and services over time, critical knowledge required has to be retained and applied in practice. The knowledge retained will be of value only if it incorporates both know how as well as know who to get work done better. In addition, such knowledge should be structured in a way that remains easily accessible to whomsoever needs it whenever it is needed.

For additional assistance on how this may be done and to view a number of templates that have been developed to do this in practice, please contact Sharma Management International at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at your convenience.

 

Dr Rumesh Kumar DBA MBA PMP CKM CST

 

 

 

Published in Knowledge Management
Thursday, 30 January 2020 14:42

Knowledge Management in an Agile Landscape

We live in a world where major governmental policy changes take place via Twitter. One tweet can change the course of the world’s economy, with billions of dollars and millions of people being affected overnight. In this era, where stability and certainty are words we can only use to wistfully remember the past, agility becomes essential to an organization’s survival.

Being in an agile landscape means being able to adapt in a work environment that changes very quickly and unexpectedly. These emerging changes can be very significant and impactful to an organization. When one is not able to adapt to these changes, their overall performance falls. Consequently, organizational objectives and key performance indicators are not met.

The realization of the importance of adaptation within this changing environment is important. Why is it so difficult to adapt to perform better in an agile working environment? What should be done to adapt better with others as changes become increasingly common?

People work best when they know what to do and how to do it. This is usually only possible when people have the experience and expertise to do what is needed. However, when their responsibilities deviate from the norm, uncertainty crops in. They may not have the expertise or experience needed, and as such are unable to perform as required. Therefore, in order to effectively perform their roles, they will then have to seek and access relevant pieces of knowledge, to ensure that their expertise and experience matches up with their role and responsibilities. If they are unable to effectively access the knowledge needed to adapt to the changing requirements, the organization will lose their ability to grow more resilient in the face of these uncertainties.

As per the above, the one effective method to combat uncertainly is effective knowledge management. One of the ways to more effectively manage knowledge is to ensure a better understanding of issues, which comes from developing accurate and deep insights of expertise from many different perspectives. This requires connecting with people who possess the required expertise and experience needed to deal with emerging problems or requirements.

Once better understanding is achieved, organizations may wish to to further explore beyond the boundaries of existing expertise and capabilities. This involves developing better mechanisms for optimizing existing knowledge assets.

In short, organizational agility is the byproduct of effective knowledge management. Investing in optimizing knowledge assets, by acquiring, creating and integrating knowledge, will lead to a greater ability to confidently respond to the turbulence that uncertainty causes. This leads to improved performance. Hence, knowing how to optimize knowledge assets is the key to succeeding in an agile landscape.

Dr Rumesh Kumar

January 2020

Published in Knowledge Management

Under pressure, a spring recoils to take the pressure as it is agile. However, a thin plastic sheet cracks as it is fragile. The consequence of what happens depends on the characteristic of the spring and the plastic sheet. The pressure applied is akin to challenges posed in this ever-turbulent environment that breeds disruptive technologies at an alarming pace. Organizations are either able to adapt to this turbulence or disintegrate due to it, depending on how agile or fragile they are.

The desire to and realization of the importance of becoming agile is predominant. How exactly does a business entity become agile and what should be done to avoid becoming fragile in the face of the relentless onslaughts of challenges being faced?

With the advent of disruptive technologies, business entities have to shift their preference to remain agile. Otherwise they become fragile and susceptible to failure. As long as they plan strategically, learn when necessary and exploit existing opportunities, they remain fragile. The degree to which these preferences shift towards scenario planning, unlearning and relearning continually as well as exploring beyond existing opportunities, they become increasingly agile.

 

Scenario Planning over Strategic Planning

Strategic planning involves structured consideration of internal and external issues to develop the one true ‘best way forward’. Scenario planning involves developing different scenarios and analyzing different ways of moving forward. Strategic planning is premised on a predictive approach to strategy development that assumes it is possible to predict the future. Scenario planning is premised on an adaptive approach that embraces change and incorporates this into a planning horizon.

This involves asking and seeking answers to the “what if” questions, rather than assuming all will work well once a strategic plan has been established. When business entities encourage senior management to ask “what if” questions regularly, they remain agile. Otherwise they become fragile, susceptible to the changing business terrain.

 

Unlearning and Relearning over Learning

As uncertainty takes center stage within the business ecosystem, the need for better understanding increases. Better understanding comes from developing accurate and deep insights of issues from many different perspectives that require unlearning previously held perspectives.

A willingness to unlearn, learn and relearn continually is required to adapt and remain agile. Acquiring knowledge only when necessary without sufficient understanding leads to fragility, especially whenever the need for new processes and systems overwhelms the capacity to develop them. Comfort zones are the enemy of growth.

 

Exploration over Exploitation

When the focus is in exploiting the existing business model, fragility sets in whenever the existing boundaries of exploitation are approached. Many car manufacturers in the US suffered huge losses when to the exploitation of their existing patents and intellectual property led to market fatigue and declining sales margins. Their inability to innovate and ‘explore’ led to their downfall, and the rise of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk, an ‘explorer’ in the truest sense, managed to forge a path for himself beyond the self-imposed boundaries of the auto industry, and challenged the very notion of ‘driving’, and the concept of ‘cars’.  Only when faced with increased competition did the traditional car manufacturers relent and explored other possibilities, such as electric vehicles and self-autonomous vehicles.

To explore beyond the boundaries of existing expertise and capabilities requires agility and adaptability. Better mechanisms for optimizing existing knowledge assets are sought for exploration to occur. Knowledge acquisition, creation and integration on a regular basis becomes a mainstay that facilitates agility and adaptability. By exploring what lies beyond what they are doing, they remain agile.

To be agile, business entities should shift their preference towards scenario planning, unlearning and relearning and engage in exploration over exploitation. By doing so, they remain agile, otherwise, they become fragile in the face of disruptive technologies they encounter.

 

Dr Rumesh Kumar

January 2020

Published in Diagnostics

Harnessing knowledge does not necessarily lead to people working better. People do not work better because they know more. They work better because they feel a sense of ownership and demonstrate that ownership by working better.

Published in Knowledge Management

An alternative approach to dealing with volatility, uncertainty, complexity ambiguity in the new world

Unleashing the powers of the mind has been one of the more enduring and yet elusive goals of mankind. As we embark on a perilous voyage into the realm of ambiguity, the need for seeking solace through introspection has never been so acute as it is now. Despite a plethora of suggestions on how to addresss complex, ill structured and ambiguous challenges, little has been done to demonstrate how this can occur in practice.

Published in Knowledge Management

How Knowledge Management is crucial for Digital Transformation 


I had a chat with a Chief information Officer of a business conglomerate the other day. His company embarked on a Digital Transformation strategy recently. Millions of dollars were invested in cloud computing and data analytics but he lamented that the efficient return on these investments are difficult to realize. As we spoke it became clear to me that this was a common problem most companies embarking on a digital transformation experience. I enquired on the basis for selecting the digital technology in question and his response was that it appeared to be the best available. Evidently, it appears that the allure to invest is there but grounds for doing so efficiently remain unclear. Let me share my thoughts on how better knowledge management helps identify what needs to be digitized and how to select the digital technology that gives the best returns for investing in digital transformation. 

Published in Knowledge Management

 

Anyone responsible for managing knowledge in an organization needs to develop a game plan or strategy for doing so. This provide guidance on what needs to be done and why it is necessary. Without a business strategy, a business cannot grow as intended. Likewise, without a knowledge management strategy, attempts to optimize knowledge cannot proceed as intended.

We may be clear of what a business strategy entails. However, a lot of uncertainty surrounds the development of a knowledge management strategy. What should such a strategy comprise of? How do we begin developing one? Who should be involved in its development?

How can we get funding for such a strategy? These are very pertinent questions that need to be addressed.

Answering these questions maybe done systematically through the adoption of a simple three step approach that involves;

 

Published in Knowledge Management

The 4th Industrial Revolution has revolutionized the way society functions and the nature of work itself. We witness staggering changes it has brought and are left wondering how to deal with this new phenomena. This article provides a glimpse of what has transpired and how to navigate around this bewildering episode called the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This revolution has brought in its wake, a blistering array of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies have indeed to a large extent improved the quality, speed, or price at which value is produced. We have new discoveries made in the field of genetics and a huge vista of business opportunities opened to people who have ventured to capitalize on the new value propositions available.

Published in Knowledge Management
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