Is technology necessary for Knowledge Management?

This article has been moved here…..

A large percentage of my posts so far have touched upon technology in the KM sphere. Now, while a portion of you practicing KM out there might feel that technology has no place in KM i still feel that in this day and age creating a robust technology platform that can support a KM initiative is one of the most important milestones you can set for your company.

Let me be very clear about the meaning of my statement above, technology is not Knowledge Management. As stated in earlier posts, a warped understanding of the term “Knowledge Management” have led a large number of companies to re-christen their information system initiatives under this umbrella. This aside, i do feel very strongly that unless you have a strong technology framework your KM initiative will not be as widespread as it should.

A prime example would be in the area of communications. The single biggest challenge to sharing knowledge in any organization are its barriers to communication. Once you’ve opened those up knowledge automatically starts flowing. Environment management, that’s what KM is all about.

Technology helps overcome personal limitations as well. A considerably large number of people are not very outspoken in the corporate world. These people are just as smart, if not more, than the outspoken ones. Creating a communications framework to allow them to contribute should be an organization wide goal. A technology solution, something as simple as a discussion board, would solve this problem almost instantaneously.

One thing that you need to keep in mind when creating a technology framework is, do NOT over-engineer. While you might build the most advanced KM system, at the end of the day what determines the application’s success is how well its received by the end-users. Engineer the system around their requirements and there is a good chance you’ll walk away from an application that truly helps with knowledge management.

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3 Responses to Is technology necessary for Knowledge Management?

  1. Bong says:

    Arjun hello!

    I found your blog’s link from Semantic Web Group site. I thought of giving a comment.

    First, I have no doubt that technology is necessary for knowledge management.

    Second, when you said, “A technology solution, something as simple as a discussion board, would solve this problem almost instantaneously.” I thought of the effectiveness of the approach (forum as a form of communication means) to help people express openly their ideas/beliefs/emotions, answer any of their questions, clarify any of their issues, and discuss what they learned on a subject concerns. However, the effectiveness of the means would not be possible if the people lack of participation skills and techniques even if they have that interest and understanding to engage and/or contribute on the KM purpose, direction, and/or concerns. what’s your stand on this?

    One good example on this is the lack of reasoning process knowledge (techniques) of a person. Here communication is so difficult because at each steps in the process there is a major potential for error, such as: failure to make distinctions between different meanings of words and make good judgement. It could promote poor communication as a result of lost in some of meaning in the discussion.

    Thus, participation skills and techniques are essentials to think about how they could influence other people in a forum discussion.

    Moreover, what if we place ourselves into relationships that are destined to disintegrate with others due to having belief differences in the forum discussion? The belief problem arises because of uncertainty elements affecting or influencing our decision-making. The situation is influenced by our perspective, a view one thinks or takes of matters. The manifestation of our belief crisis explains why our behavior behaves positively or negatively in achieving favorable results.

    So what would be the obstacles? Think this type of condition initiates crisis problem that could cripple them to embrace the same values and reap the potential benefits, esp in knowledge sharing. Typically, the split can express profound differences between connections like differences in culture, administration, and institutional context.

    IMHO, the answer to these difficulties is belief that must increase first by a person. Belief is required to get people together and ask them to work willingly and effectively for the achievement of a given direction and/or concern like KM direction. People may use consensual and dialectical process together with the participation skills and techniques to identify (reach a mutually agreeable outcome, remove confusion, and put order) and generate agreement (set standards, exchange accurate and adequate information, strive to understand what others’ issues, and use disagreement to identify where more information is needed) out of disagreement. really, it promotes mutual education within the process.

    Seems like I made a long comment about this, communication. Really ‘m just providing just 2 helpful opnion out of those communication problems in an organization. If you’re interested, I could give some extracts to help you more to understand some more problems with communication.

    btw, what is environment management?

    Kind regards,

    Bong

    Quoth – a knowledge management tool for strategic planning
    xxox: you may visit my blog at: http://www.qfp.blogspot.com

  2. Arjun Thomas says:

    Bong,

    Appreciate the response. I agree with your statement above, a lack of certain skills would certainly hamper a persons ability to contribute effectively to a forum. I was just making an observation that moving to an online collaboration environment would give a much large population the ability to involve themselves in a discussion.

    Environment management, is a term i used as an alternative to the term “knowledge management”. I feel very strongly that at the end of the day at most you can manage the environment around knowledge, not the knowledge itself. Which is why the term KM is so confusing to the average person as they can’t wrap their head around how knowledge can be managed. Am putting together a more detailed post on this term.

    Cheers,
    Arjun.

  3. Bong says:

    Arjun,

    Thank you for the kind response and enligthenment.

    Another essential consideration – key factor – to think about how we could influence other people in a forum discussion is right organization culture. By reason of, organization culture influences our communication. The same is true in managing the environment around knowledge.

    Moreover, I thought of administration in this context as a work activity relating to managing and supervising knowledge. It is an ability to direct, couch, decide, assist, support, delegate, provide, maintain, monitor, update, and/or budget knowledge.

    Viewing this, it leads me to think back to your original question, is technology necessary for knowledge management? Think without the technology, knowledge management would not breathe.

    Kind regards,

    Bong

    Quoth – a knowledge management tool for strategic planning
    xxox: you may visit my blog at: http://www.qfp.blogspot.com

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