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Mobilization +

Mobilization +



Text to accompany presentation on Knowledge mobilization

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    • Mobilizing Knowledge + Presented to Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum Albert simard albert.simard@DRDC-RDDC.gc.caThis paper describes four related knowledge management processes: monitoring the environment,producing intelligence, mobilizing knowledge, and integration. It is extracted from a KnowledgeServices Architecture currently being developed for Defence Research & Development Canada. Figures(except for integration) are in the associated presentation. Section, figure, and table numbering are copiedfrom the full document.4.1 Monitor the EnvironmentMonitoring the environment is an essential first step for any organization to survive, succeed, flourish, orlead in the knowledge economy. DRDC must monitor defence, security, and public safety environmentsto remain aware of conditions and trends. Monitoring involves acquiring, filtering, and organizingrelevant external data, information, and knowledge needed to determine present and future defence,security, and public safety opportunities, threats, risks, and hazards. This can also be seen as sensingconditions, situations, changes, or responses to organizational actions in the external environment.Monitoring is an ongoing process, that is done in both real space and in cyberspace.The emphasis here is on acquiring openly available national and global content. Classified intelligence orthat acquired through other means is the purview of security operations and is not included here, althoughsimilar methods may be applicable. Compiling intelligence may be done through internal systems,externally through commercial services, or more typically, a combination of both. Monitoring thedefence and security environment involves multiple pathways to detecting a pattern while capturingobservations requires an additional two steps (Figure 12). Support services vary for each pathway. Theyare not shown in Figure 12 due to space limitations, but they are listed in Table 3. Although not shown inFigure 10, cyberspace and research may flow directly to interpretation because pattern detection mayrequire quantitative analysis prior to human reasoning. Because monitoring reports are an intermediateproduct, they flow directly to producing intelligence for further processing prior to decision making. Insert Figure 12. Environmental Monitoring ViewThere are ten pathways for detecting an event, pattern, or trend of interest in the external environment.Several can be either digital or physical and formal or informal. Each pathway requires differentcombinations of services. Some require significant services to support them while others require little tonone. Many of these activities also need approval and resources, but these are not considered to beknowledge services and are not included here.Monitoring cyberspace involves searching for digital Internet or Web content containing predeterminedwords or phrases. Comprehensive searching often includes Web sites that are questionable from asecurity perspective, in which case downloaded content must first be isolated and screened prior toprocessing. It is essential to filter the masses of content resulting from automated searches to reduce it toa manageable volume. Artificial intelligence techniques can be used to good advantage for this purpose. 1
    • This is usually 90 percent effective. However, 10 percent of a large number is also a large number.Consequently, filtered output must also be scanned by subject-matter experts to determine whether or notthere is something of potential interest to the organization, in which case, a detection report is generated.Directed searching can also be done manually, although the span of a manual search must be limited towhat individuals can reasonably process. Conversely, when large amounts of data are accessed throughthe web, this pathway branches directly to the analysis step of producing intelligence. Support servicesare a Web portal, automated search engine, and artificial intelligence filters.Monitoring the media is similar to monitoring cyberspace except that the content is not digital (digitizedmedia content should be searched electronically). Unlike digital searches, in which the major challenge isin filtering masses of content, the key limitation here is the relatively high cost of human processing. It ispossible to digitize printed and audio material prior to scanning, which would greatly reduce the effortinvolved. Alternatively, an organization could subscribe to a commercial service that provides “readerservices” and recoups their cost by providing results to many organizations. Monitoring is supported bymedia subscriptions, a Web portal, and document scanning.Research involves ongoing or ad hoc activities related to accessing and analyzing data from the externalenvironment. Focusing on key sources in areas of interest to the organization yields manageabledatabases. Automated pattern detection routines are normally employed, such as discriminate analysis,trend analysis, and artificial intelligence pattern recognition applications. Because analysis is a precursorto pattern detection when large amounts of data are involved, this pathway bypasses corroboration andvalidation and branches directly to producing intelligence. Research is supported by data access,acquisition, and analysis applications.Accessing literature differs from the previous two approaches in that, despite the burgeoning volume ofmaterial, it is only a tiny fraction of that available in cyberspace or the media. The literature includesboth scientific journals and professional publications. Although this could be done centrally, it is far moreeffective when done by many individuals, each with specialized knowledge in a particular area. Theliterature can be accessed either digitally or through a physical library. It is far more likely that a patternor development of interest would be noticed by one of many than by an individual. Clearly, supplementaldialogue between the searcher and the author of a paper will go a long way to clarifying material ofpotential interest. Accessing literature is supported by a library, media subscriptions, a search engine, andindexing.Attending conferences provides a narrower range of searching than the literature, but includes anopportunity for rich exchanges of complex information and knowledge through conversations andnetworking. As with the literature, both academic and professional conferences are included here.Participation in on-line workshops, conferences, and symposia eliminates the need for travel, butgenerally provides a more limited scope and networking opportunity. Conferences are supported by listsof conference announcements and a Web portal.Participating in communities of practice provides a wealth of opportunities for monitoring theenvironment and detecting trends and patterns at an early stage. Employees act as gateways to bringexternal community knowledge into the organization. As more employees belong to more communitiesthis becomes an increasingly rich source of emerging external content. New information and knowledgeare often discussed in such communities before they are presented at conferences or published in theliterature. Communities also provide an opportunity for rich dialogue and for validating content.Participation is supported by lists of communities and a Web portal. 2
    • Soliciting from practitioners provides highly focused information related to specific issues and problems.Inputs may take the form of documented best practices, responses to survey questionnaires, or discussionabout previous experiences, or simply thoughts and opinions on possible approaches. This approach isnormally through directed interactions by designated individuals. Prior selection of respondents andquestions yields inputs that are relevant to the problem and the organization. Soliciting is supported bysurvey design, lists of contacts, a response template, and a Web portal.Reviewing experience generally involves interactions among partners and groups. This approach tends toget deeper into the details of experience, and captures what actually happened, rather than just what maybe formally recorded and shared. This may involve formal after-action reviews led by external agenciesthat result in documented lessons learned. Alternatively, it may involve informal dialogue among theparticipants in an activity. Reviewing experience is supported by after-action reviews, la essons-learnedtemplate, a collaboration site, and a Web portal.Discovering by individuals can be anything that someone becomes aware of, finds, or comes across, inthe normal course of their work, without having undertaken a search. The key to discovery is individualinsight that enables connecting what they observe in a different context to something that might berelevant to the organization. Although discoveries are filtered by employees prior to reporting, their adhoc nature requires more comprehensive validation than inputs obtained through predetermined searches.Conversely, they are more likely to yield insights that are qualitatively different from those resulting frommore routine interactions. Discovery is supported by social services.Receiving unsolicited information through a variety of channels is common in all organizations.Although this may result from a desire to provide assistance or share something useful, more often thecontent primarily serves the self-interest of the provider. Consequently, unsolicited information requiresrobust validation prior to consideration by decision makers. Unsolicited information is supported by aWeb portal and e-mail.Observing something of interest in the external environment provides little value to the organizationunless the observation is input into a process that can result in action. A simple, intuitive, and quickprocess is needed for capturing observations for subsequent consideration by analysts. The minimumamount of information required must be balanced with the amount of effort that an observer is willing toinvest in preparing a report. More information helps the analyst but decreases the likelihood thatsomeone will take the time and make the effort to provide a report. Conversely, less informationincreases the chance of reporting, but makes analysis more difficult. The two can be balanced with aprocess that minimizes reporting requirements and includes dialogue between the person submitting areport and the analyst.Document – The observation, its source and its implications should be described in a standard format. Atemplate standardizes the content of the report which, in turn, facilitates consistent analysis.Documenting is supported by office applications and a monitoring report template.Store – Storing a report in the intelligence repository makes it available for sharing today and preserves itfor future use. The same repository may be used for both original monitoring reports and finalintelligence reports, as long as the two are identified separately. Storing is supported by a monitoringrepository.Table 3 provides a service framework for monitoring the environment. It lists the work involved in 3
    • monitoring, the associated management regime, the type of person doing the work, the input to and outputfrom each step, and the support services needed. Note that “gatekeeper” is used here in the sense of anindividual or group who links one or more internal domains to the outside world, brings content into theorganization, and ensures that the responsible individual is made aware of the report. As shown in Figure10, detection involves parallel work, in which only one of the ten approaches is likely to be used for aspecific activity. The inputs vary for each approach to detection, but all approaches result a tacit“observation” which must be captured and entered into the monitoring repository. Repositories may beeither digital (primarily for unclassified content) or physical (for classified content). Services markedwith * are common to many types of work and are described in greater detail elsewhere. Table 3 Service Framework for Environmental Monitoring. Work Person / Group Input / Output Services Monitor cyberspace all employees downloaded file *Web portal, automated search engine, AI filtering Monitor media communications published article subscriptions, *Web portal, document scanning Research analyst quantified pattern data access, acquisition, & analysis applications Access literature scientists, published paper subscriptions, *Library, professionals searching, indexing Attend conferences scientists, presentation, list of announcements, professionals conversation *Web portal Participate in participants dialogue, list of communities, Communities conversation *Web portal Solicit practitioners representatives response survey design, contact lists, response template, *Web portal Review experience representatives discussion *Web portal Discover individuals miscellaneous engagement Unsolicited submissions individuals miscellaneous *Web portal, e-mail Document observer monitoring report monitoring template Store author, stored monitoring monitoring *Repository content manager report*See specific views for detailed descriptions of these services.4.2 Produce Intelligence 4
    • Intelligence is data, information, or knowledge that has been acquired, extracted, and interpreted to revealunderlying patterns about an event, situation, or trend of interest to an organization. This worktransforms observations about the external environment into recommendations that can lead toorganizational action. Producing intelligence involves six steps: corroboration, validation, analysis,interpretation, reporting, and storing (Figure 13). When large quantities of data are acquired throughcyberspace or research, producing intelligence begins with analysis to detect and quantify patterns.Examples include epidemiology to detect disease outbreaks and spread, market research to evaluatemarket size and share, and surveys to determine traffic flows and volume. The output of this work isactionable intelligence that is used to support two DRDC processes - setting research priorities andlearning which leads to organizational adaptation. Insert Figure 13. Intelligence Production View.Corroborating individual monitoring reports is the first step of producing intelligence. Findingadditional, corroborating evidence to confirm the pattern identified in the monitoring report involvessearching related content repositories, finding experts or practitioners, and having discussions with them.Corroboration is supported by a sharing site, a Web portal, and a directory of expertise.Validating the observed pattern involves determining the extent to which it represents reality. This isdone through dialogue in a community of practice or committee discussions. Validation is supported by acollaboration site.Analysis or synthesis is the core of intelligence work. It is used to distinguish between noise and patternsof interest to an organization. Analysis is the use of analysis tools coupled with deductive reasoning todifferentiate, study, and interpret individual processes to yield deeper, broader, or more precise meaningor understanding. Synthesis is the use of synthesis tools and inductive reasoning to integrate, study, andinterpret the collective functioning of many processes to yield broader or higher-level meaning orunderstanding. Analysis and synthesis are opposite approaches to reasoning (top-down and splitting vs.bottom-up and grouping, respectively). Analytic processes include: science, engineering, andbureaucracy; synthesis processes include ecology, the systems approach, and policy development.Analysis and synthesis are combined as one step because although the reasoning differs, the same servicesare needed to support either approach. Analysis is supported by a sharing site, data management, analysisapplications, and pattern recognition applications.Notwithstanding the computational power of contemporary analysis or synthesis tools, the human mind isthe most effective way to identify connections between ideas that were not previously linked and identifyhidden patterns in apparent noise. Subject-matter expertise coupled with strong analytic or synthesiscapabilities are essential. However, individuals tend to be good at one or the other, but generally notboth. Consequently, individual abilities should be considered in assigning work.Interpretation involves a subject-matter expert construing, conceiving, or explaining the implications ofthe detected pattern to the organization or its environment. For DRDC, this may consider existing orpotential defence, security, or public safety threats, risks, and hazards, the probability of their occurrence,and the severity and consequence of adverse effects. Alternatively, interpretation might focus onorganizational problems or opportunities. Finally, it might emphasize emerging or disruptivetechnologies relevant to national defence, security, and public safety. Interpretation is supported bysocial services. 5
    • Documentation assembles and integrates content that has been compiled and analyzed for a specificintelligence task. It states the facts, interprets their meaning, explains the consequences of organizationalaction or inaction, and recommends a course of action. Reports may be in the form of a document ormulti-media presentations. Documentation is supported by office applications and an intelligencetemplate.Storing a report in the intelligence repository makes it available for sharing today and preserves it forfuture use. The same repository may be used for both original monitoring reports and final intelligencereports, as long as the two are stored separately. Storing is supported by an intelligence repository.Table 4 provides a service framework for producing intelligence. It lists the work involved in producingintelligence, the associated management regime, the type of person doing the work, the input to and/oroutput from each step, and the support services needed. The process begins with corroboration formonitoring pathways that result in individual reports and it begins with analysis for pathways that acquirelarge amounts of data. Key services include: sharing, collaboration, expertise directory, and anintelligence repository. Table 4. Service Framework for Producing Intelligence Work Person / Group Input / Output Services Corroborate practitioner, expert monitoring report / *Sharing, *Web portal, corroborated report *Expertise directory Validate community, group validated report *Collaboration Analyze analyst input data / quantified *Sharing, *Data management, report analysis applications. Interpret subject-matter expert interpreted report *Social Document author intelligence report *Office applications, monitoring report template Store author, data manager stored intelligence intelligence *Repository report*See specific views for detailed descriptions of these services.Mobilizing knowledge involves acquiring, integrating, and interpreting diverse data, information, andknowledge in the context of a complex problem or issue resulting from an event, situation, or condition.Mobilization has a number of elements in common with monitoring the environment and producingintelligence, except that in this case, the search for content is limited to the need arising from theidentified problem or issue. Consequently, although many of the channels identified in monitoring maybe used, the focus is generally on internal and external sources known to have relevant content rather thanrandom searching. Further, short time constraints for issue analysis often preclude channels involvinglonger time frames, such as attending conferences. Finally, there is no need to identify and validate theexistence of a pattern of interest to the organization. Mobilization involves seven steps (Figure 19). Insert Figure 19. Mobilizing Knowledge 6
    • Compiling is the first step of mobilizing knowledge. Internal repositories or other sources of relevantcontent, such as the organizational infrastructure, subject-matter knowledge, the organizationalenvironment, resource availability, and organizational culture must be accessed, searched, and relevantcontent retrieved and stored in an issue repository. Internal subject-matter experts should also beidentified and consulted.Acquiring takes place in parallel with internal compilation. External repositories or other sources ofrelevant content, such as interagency agreements, subject-matter knowledge, the external environment,resource availability, and inter-organizational interactions must be accessed, searched, and relevantcontent retrieved and stored in an issue repository. External subject-matter experts should also beidentified and consulted.Processing is normally required to transform diverse material from multiple sources into a standard,compatible, or interoperable format appropriate to the issue in question..Integration involves combining, aggregating, or blending diverse content from multiple sources into acohesive whole (see section 4.10 for greater detail).Interpretation is construing, conceiving, or explaining the meaning of content in generallyunderstandable terms, in the context of the issue at hand. It involves filtering through truth-acceptancecriteria of perception, authoritativeness, consensus, and coherence with what is already known.Documentation involves preparing a status report, issue report, or providing advice or recommendationsrelated to an issue.Storing issue-based outputs in an issue repository makes them available for demonstrating sue diligenceor for future use in subsequent analyses of related issues.Table 11 outlines a service framework for mobilizing knowledge. It begins by compiling, acquiring, andprocessing inputs from multiple internal and external sources. It then integrates and interprets the contentfrom the perspective of a specific issue, question, or problem. It concludes by documenting the resultsand recommending appropriate action. Key services include: Web portal, library, search engine, expertisedirectory, collaboration, and a mobilization repository. Table 11. Service Framework for Mobilizing Knowledge Work Person/Group Input/Output Services Compile analyst, librarian, internal content / *Web portal, *Library, collected content *Search engine, *Expertise directory, mobilization *Repository, Acquire analyst, librarian, external content / *Web portal, *Library, collected content *Search engine, *Expertise directory, mobilization *Repository 7
    • Process analyst, standardized content *Data management, content manager *Content management, analysis tools Integrate analyst, synthesizer integrated content synthesis tools, decision support system Interpret analyst, synthesizer interpreted content *Expertise locator, *Collaboration Document analyst, synthesizer, documented status, *Office applications, author advice, report document templates Store content manager. stored status, advisory, mobilization *Repository author reporting document*See specific views for identified services4.10 Integrate knowledgeIntegration is combining, aggregating, or blending diverse inputs from multiple sources into a coherentwhole. Integration requires underlying standards – an intellectual infrastructure that enables, supports, orfacilitates the use of diverse inputs to produce a common output. Integration is also one step ofmobilizing knowledge (section 4.8), in which the primary purpose is to address a complex issue. Here,integration is examined in greater detail from a different perspective – producing integrated knowledge asan organizational output. Integration involve three stages: input (collecting and standardizing),transformation (synthesis, analysis, and interpretation), and output (document, store, and transfer). 4.10.1 InputIntegration inputs comprising different types of content and diverse processes must be collected frommultiple sources. Once collected, it must be transformed to standard formats to allow it to be integratedand made interoperable. The integration input view is shown in Figure 21. Insert Figure 21. Integration Input ViewCollect from sources – Inputs must be accessed and compiled from internal sources or acquired fromexternal sources. Source can be viewed from four perspectives: jurisdiction, scale, function, and systems.Considerations include the degree to which the source is ready, willing, and able to provide access andmethods used to transfer the content.Standardize sources – Inputs must be standardized to a common structure that enables them to beintegrated into a larger whole. Considerations include: jurisdiction (intended use, unbiased content,intellectual property rights, use permission, privacy, confidentiality, and security, function, and system);scale (strategy, management, operations); function (e.g., human resources, finance, policy); and systems(common architecture, modular design, interfaces).Collect content – Inputs must be accessed and compiled from internal data, information, and knowledgerepositories or acquired from external repositories. Considerations include the degree to which thecontent owner is ready, willing, and able to provide access and methods used to transfer the content. 8
    • Standardize Content – Data, information, and knowledge must be aggregated into comparable data,information, and knowledge bases. Data attributes to consider include: collection methods, qualityassurance, scale, and utility. Information attributes include: transmission efficiency, semantic meaning,relevance, and information flow. Knowledge from dissimilar domains must be comparable in terms ofrelevance, measurability, interactions, and usefulness.Collect processes – Inputs must be accessed and compiled from internal process repositories or acquiredfrom external repositories. Considerations include the extent to which information and knowledge aboutrelevant processes are available and methods used to transfer the content.Standardize process – Diverse processes must be made comparable or interoperable so that they may becombined into a larger system. Natural processes can be grouped into individual categories, such asphysics, chemistry, or biology or integrated categories, such as the environment or ecology. Integratingacross different processes can be problematic as content from one process is likely to require significanttransformation to be comparable with another. 4.10.2 IntegrationMultiple inputs must be integrated into a whole through synthesis and/or analysis (Figure 22). Themodel is then exercised and the results are interpreted holistically. Insert Figure 22. Integration ViewSynthesize system – Develop an integrated model of the key relationships among system inputs, theirtransformation by the system, and the resulting system outputs.Analyze system – Run the system model with varying combinations of changes to the inputs to determinepatterns of system behavior and changes to system outputs.Interpret results – detect and explain patterns and relationships between changes to system inputs andresulting system behavior and outputs. Describe the implications and consequences of these patterns andrelationships. 4.10.3 OutputThe system description, analysis, and interpretation are documented, stored in a repository, andtransferred to users.Document – Prepare written or multi-media documents and presentations that describe the inputs thatwere compiled or acquired, methods used to standardize them, the system that was developed to integratethem, the analysis and interpretation of system behavior and outputs, and their implications.Store – Storing integration documents in a repository makes them available for transfer to users and forfuture integration and analyses of related complex systems.Transfer – Integration results must be conveyed, copied, or caused to pass from an organization to apartner, client, or stakeholder. This involves one or more knowledge markets: communications,transaction, parallel, sequential, cyclic, or network. It also involves one or more channels: on-site, off- 9
    • site, kiosk, mail, e-mail, on-line, file transfer, telephony, or fax.Table 13 outlines a service framework for integrating knowledge. It can be divided into three stages –input (collecting and standardizing), transformation (synthesis, analysis, and interpretation), and output(document, store, and transfer). Primary services include search & retrieval, repositories, contentmanagement, standards, analysis and synthesis tools, office applications, and knowledge transfer. Keyservices include: Web portal, search engine, expertise directory, standards, content management, systemstools, an integration repository, and knowledge transfer. Table 13. Service Framework for Integrating Knowledge Work Person / Group Inputs / outputs Services Input Collect from sources coordinator, analyst, multiple sources *Web portal, *Repository, (compile + acquire) secretariat, librarian *Search engine, *Expertise directory Standardize sources content manager common structure *Content management, interoperability standards, Collect content coordinator, analyst, various content *Web portal, *Repository, (compile + acquire) librarian *Search engine, *Expertise directory Standardize content content manager, aggregated content *Data, information & analyst *Knowledge management, content standards, Collect from process coordinator, analyst, diverse processes *Web portal, *Repository, (compile + acquire) librarian *Search engine, *Expertise directory Standardize analyst, synthesizer comparable process analysis, synthesis & processes process standards Transformation Synthesize system system developer system model system synthesis & interface applications Analyze system systems analyst system outputs and system analysis behavior applications Interpret results systems analyst, policy understood system *Expertise directory, analyst outputs and behavior *Collaboration Output Document systems analyst, policy system documents *Office applications, analyst templates 10
    • Store content manager stored system *integration repository documents Transfer publisher, librarian, transferred system *multi-channel and multi- communicator, expert, documents market transfer services Web Master, distributor, content manager, facilitator*See specific views for identified services. 11