The Epistemology of Living Organizations
―
Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications
Access my research papers fr...
Notes
 This presentation is based largely on
material drawn from a hypertext book I am
writing: Application Holy Wars or ...
My Background
 Early life: physics / natural history / cytogenetics / evolutionary
biology (PhD Harvard, 1973)
– Defining...
Understanding the relationships between
knowledge and life
 Answering questions from my corporate career
– Organizations ...
• Popper, K.R. 1972. Objective Knowledge – an Evolutionary
Approach. Oxford University Press / Routledge.
• Popper, K.R. 1...
Popper's first great idea:
“three worlds” ontology
6
Energy flow
Thermodynamics
Physics
Chemistry
Biochemistry
Cybernetic
...
Karl Popper's second great idea from Objective Knowledge:
Knowledge = solutions to problems
7
Pn a real-world problem face...
• Maturana, H.R., Varela, F.J. 1980. Autopoiesis and Cognition
– the Realization of the Living. Kluwer.
• Nelson, R.R., Wi...
What makes a system living?
 Autopoiesis
– Self-regulating, self-sustaining, self-(re)producing dynamic entity
– Fundamen...
10
Varela et al. (1974)
 Six necessary and sufficient criteria for recognizing an
autopoietic system
– Bounded
 System c...
Structure of autopoietic system
11
Constraints and boundaries, regulations determine what is physically allowable
Energy (...
12
Spontaneous co-emergence of autopoiesis and
knowledge
 (Stuart Kauffman) The dynamic vectors of the present instant
re...
Organization, knowledge, and life begin with
historical constraints
13
Ellis (2006) Evolving block
universe (Newtonian)
El...
Hall, W.P. 2013. Evolutionary origins of Homo sapiens.
Extract from Application Holy Wars or a New Reformation:
A fugue on...
15
Our family tree
White et al’s (2009) depiction of the adaptive plateaus achieved by the different species
grade shifts ...
We are tool-using apes
 Our close primate cousins, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and
bonobos live in organized social...
 Grave risk of predation by big cats & other carnivores
on savanna
 Gangs of chimps can cooperate to deter cats
 Anthro...
Development & sharing of cultural knowledge opened
the savanna
 A tiny technological improvement was all that was
needed ...
Genetic vs cultural heredity (mechanisms for
knowledge transfer)
 Shared heritage defines the species/group
 Adaptation ...
20
Increasing tool complexity in archaeological record
• Development of increasingly
complex stone tools (after Stout
2011...
• Hall, W.P., Dalmaris, P., Nousala, S. 2005.
A biological theory of knowledge and applications to real wor
. Knowledge Ma...
22
 Knowledge-based
autopoietic systems
may emerge at several
different hierarchical
levels of organizational
structure
–...
Personal (i.e., human) knowledge
23
●Sense making
– W2 process
constructing tacit
understanding in
context
– We only know ...
24
Creating and building knowledge is cyclical
 Knowledge is solutions to problems of living
– Iterated cycles of creatio...
Personal vs organizational knowledge
 Important difference
– individual knowledge (in any form) is known only by a person...
Cyclic construction of tactical/strategic knowledge
Achieving strategic power depends critically on learning more, better ...
27
OODA system of systems in the knowledge-based
organization
ORIENT (PROCESS)
PEOPLE
CULTURE &
PARADIGMS
INFRASTRUCTURE
“...
Building and processing knowledge in the
organization / community
Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011.
Exploring the foundations of...
29
Hierarchy of knowledge building cycles
 3 stages in building reliable knowledge
– Personal/individual
– Group/team
– P...
• Hall, W.P., Dalmaris, P., Nousala, S. 2005. A biological
theory of knowledge and applications to real world
organization...
Enterprises exist in contexts that must be
addressed as imperatives if they are to survive
 Enterprises are living entiti...
 Fixed price contract (only adjusted
for currency changes)
 Procurement - 80% subcontracted
 17 years in production
 I...
Imperatives for delivering knowledge or using it in
an engineering/production environment
 Customer end user's knowledge ...
34
What does an imperative look like?
 10 ships must be accepted ≈ $A 7 Bn project value
 Payment depends on acceptance!...
Objective knowledge development lifecycle for a
large project
Project A
Design Study
Review, edit, signoff
Negotiate
Revie...
The full support engineering knowledge
management environment
Tenix Navy
Tenix ANZAC’s measured improvements from KM
solution
 Tenix’s Ship 05 delivery challenge
– For safe maintenance “document...
END
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The Epistemology of Living Organizations ― Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications

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Here I try to answer some questions from my corporate career, where I have concluded that organizations are complex adaptive living systems. The answers are the result of more than 10 years of research trying to combine my understanding of evolutionary biology and corporate experience. Five topics are addressed:
o Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology
o Defining life - autopoiesis
o Human biology
- Adaptation
- Genetic vs cultural heredity (knowledge transfer)
- Origins of culture and social organization
o Theoretical foundations of organizational knowledge
o Putting theory into practice

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  • Begin here to emphasize that organizations are organic entities whose continued existence depends on satisfying their imperatives for continued existence. Taking a holistic view of organizations and their problems that would benefit from architectural reengineering reduces the likelihood that important issues and the benefits from resolving them will be missed in the initial analyses. An important aspect of this analysis is to understand the organizational imperatives – both from the viewpoint of an independent observer, and from what the organization itself thinks are its imperatives. The latter are ordinarily expressed in high-level formal documents within the organization. However, such documents are often platitudinous and do not reflect true situations.
  • Direct Business Drivers for Performance Based Logistics? Warranty Latent Defects Operational Availability Assessment Period Our Build Program for ANZAC is winding down, so we are shifting to In Service focus for ANZACS. This presentation will focus in the data management needs in this in-service environment. Warranty & Latent Defect Clearly important from a Tenix perspective Data to support warranty claim resolution with customers, suppliers and sub constractors Includes time of install, serial number, planned design usage profiles Operational Availability Assessment Took 10 ship years of operation data (4 x 1, 3 x 2, 2 x 3, 1 x 4) Everything done in that time recorded Sparing activities Failures Maintenance This was designed to uncover issues Proud to say the ILS package survived the test well, only requiring minor tweaks. This was a very large logistics expertise – one of the largest we’ve ever conducted because of the amount of data involved. Used OARRS (operational assessment recording & reporting), superceded by CSARS (???) Constant refinement of ship support package based on operational performance metrics. E.g. recommending reduced sparing holdings to save $, Or recommending part super-session by reviewing failure analysis Lead into product lifecycle management and the product data management to support this.
  • What are the overriding goals for the delivery of operational knowledge to fleet managers and operators? Correct and consistent - use same words to describe the same actions wherever they occur. Applicable and Effective Availability of the documentation - this is an important issue. (It didn't exist for Longford.) Explicitly documented knowledge is useless if it sits on a shelf and isn't readily accessed when and where decisions need to be made. (Westralia?? Sensible procedural documentation existed . Why wasn't it followed?) Usable - discoverable, understandable and relevant to the end user (e.g., an operator or maintainer) and manageable in whatever kind of knowledge management environment the fleet operator uses. (Library shelves full of paper manuals is one form of knowledge management - a bad one) Capturing, managing and delivering knowledge is a cost and risk burden Minimise cycle times - new information and changes must be deployed to the end-users when and where they need it Maximise quality - knowledge capture, production processes must deliver a high quality product or the product won't be used or will cause more problems than it solves. Minimise costs - data/documentation is a cost against the needed capability to be minimised wherever possible - but not at the expense of increasing risk. "Faster, better, cheaper" - but not at the risk of catastrophe. Up front saving is worthless if the project fails - e.g., the Mars Lander.
  • Explicit knowledge for a long lived project is expressed in its documentation. Project documentation is developed through a number of phases, and at least for defence engineering projects the same information and knowledge is often contained in many different documents, in both similar contexts and in different contexts. A major issue is to manage this redundant content consistently over the life-cycle in relation to changing product configurations and to reflect project experience. The remainder of the presentation discusses architectures and tools we have implemented in Tenix to do these things.
  • This slide shows the complete knowledge cycle for ANZAC Ship maintenance procedures. The green area encompasses the parts of the system implemented by Tenix (now being managed by the ANZAC Alliance). The knowledge to manage maintenance is originally assimilated from a number of sources including system and component definitions maintained in the ILS Database into text and maintenance management metadata by technical authors and ILS analysts according to the maintenance philosophies developed in the technical maintenance plans. Authoring now takes place under control of the TeraText DB. Released documents and associated maintenance management metadata are transferred electronically into the AMPS system. When a maintenance procedure is triggered and the job raised, AMPS prints instructions to the maintainer(s), who do the job and enter completion details back into AMPS. Job histories (including spares use and maintainer comments) are periodically downloaded into the CSARS system for analysis. Analysis will highlight systems with low availability or high maintenance costs for attention, and will help to define causes of the problems. On further investigation, engineering or documentation changes will be suggested, defined and implemented. Part of the engineering change process is to incorporate configuration and documentation changes into the maintenance procedures and associated metadata, which are then fed back into the AMPS system as the engineering changes become applicable and effective.
  • Although we were delivering a high quality of wordprocessed documentation, the client threatened not to accept the 5th ship unless we solved the data quality issues impaired AMPS's ability to link all of the metadata contained in the routines. We were also required to enter new H&S warnings and cautions into virtually every routine. The document conversion to SGML had to satisfy these requirements for the deliverable to be acceptable to the client. 4,000 (one each RAN and RNZN) ship specific WordPerfect routines were converted to SGML. These were reviewed and the latest routine of each type was edited to produce a dual language instance applicable to the whole class of 10 ships. Edits included adding new warnings and cautions to almost all routines, standardising the routines’ logical structures, checking for consistency between line item lists and text references, and rewriting many routines to improve consistency for the relevant systems and routines of that type. This conversion process stress tested the system far beyond what any normal authoring process would have: with more than 6000 live documents in the repository (RAN, RNZN and Class), and more than 2,000 active workflow items. W e could not have managed to enter all the warnings and cautions in the WordPerfect environment and maintain any semblance of document quality - which would very likely would have triggered the payment of liquidated damages against a failed Ship acceptance. By doing everything required to move the documents into SGML in the TeraText environment, we saved the bacon. Volume reduction was achieved primarily by single sourcing (one routine applies to both RAN and RNZN fleets and can apply to more than one configuration item on each ship). Data delivery is the difference producing between full ship-sets each year to delivering net changes against the class set in near real time. We eliminated a significant “documentation quality” issue which could not have been realistically solved in our WordPerfect environment, and which could have indefinitely delayed acceptance of our fifth ship.
  • The Epistemology of Living Organizations ― Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications

    1. 1. The Epistemology of Living Organizations ― Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications Access my research papers from Google Citations A unique area in the state space of the Mandlebrot set An attractor Presentation for Philosophy Forum, 6 October 2013 Attribution CC BY William P. Hall President Kororoit Institute Proponents and Supporters Assoc., Inc. - http://kororoit.org Associate EA Principals – http://eaprincipals.com william-hall@bigpond.com http://www.orgs-evolution-knowledge.net definition
    2. 2. Notes  This presentation is based largely on material drawn from a hypertext book I am writing: Application Holy Wars or a New Reformation - A Fugue on the Theory of Knowledge. A preview, some topical extracts, and a working draft can be found by clicking here. Comments would be welcome on william-hall@bigpond.com.  Slides in this presentation are hot-linked to source documents. Click underlined words, etc. to access the linked documents. 2
    3. 3. My Background  Early life: physics / natural history / cytogenetics / evolutionary biology (PhD Harvard, 1973) – Defining life as a physical phenomenon – Understanding how it evolves  1981-1989: Computer literacy journalism, technical writing, commercial software development, banking  1990-2007: Documentation and knowledge management systems analyst/designer for Tenix Defence/$ 7 BN ANZAC Ship Project – Tenix grew to be Australia’s largest defence engineering prime contractor and then failed. – How did Tenix succeed and why did it fail?  2001-now: Researcher trying to understand what organizational knowledge is and why organizations have such major problems managing and applying it3
    4. 4. Understanding the relationships between knowledge and life  Answering questions from my corporate career – Organizations as complex adaptive systems – James Martin’s Cybercorp (1996) – < 2001: trying to combine my understanding of biology and corporate experience  Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology  What is life - autopoiesis  Human biology – Adaptation – Genetic vs cultural heredity (knowledge transfer) – Origins of culture and social organization  Theoretical foundations of organizational knowledge  Putting theory into practice  This talk only scratches surface - see my publications4
    5. 5. • Popper, K.R. 1972. Objective Knowledge – an Evolutionary Approach. Oxford University Press / Routledge. • Popper, K.R. 1994. Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem – in Defence of Interaction. Routledge. • Hall, W.P. 2003. Managing maintenance knowledge in the context of large engineering projects - Theory and case study. Journal of Information and Knowledge Management, Vol. 2, No. 2 - http://tinyurl.com/3yqh8j Evolutionary Epistemology (Karl Popper) In his later work, Popper applied evolutionary biology to his theory of knowledge
    6. 6. Popper's first great idea: “three worlds” ontology 6 Energy flow Thermodynamics Physics Chemistry Biochemistry Cybernetic self-regulation Cognition Consciousness Tacit knowledge Genetic heredity Recorded thought Computer memory Logical artifacts Explicit knowledge Reproduce/Produce Develop/Recall Drive/Enable Regulate/Control Inferred logic Describe/Predict Test Observe World 1 – External Reality World 2 Organismic/personal/ situational/subjective/tacit knowledge in world 2 emerges from world 1 World 3 The world of “objective” knowledge “living knowledge” “codified knowledge” The real world
    7. 7. Karl Popper's second great idea from Objective Knowledge: Knowledge = solutions to problems 7 Pn a real-world problem faced by a living entity TS a tentative solution/theory. Tentative solutions are varied through serial/parallel iteration EE a test or process of error elimination Pn+1 changed problem as faced by an entity incorporating a surviving solution The whole process is iterated • All knowledge claims are constructed, cannot be proven to be true • TSs may be embodied as “structure” in the “knowing” entity, or • TSs may be expressed in words as hypotheses, subject to objective criticism; or as genetic codes in DNA, subject to natural selection • Objective expression and criticism lets our theories die in our stead • Through cyclic iteration, sources of errors are found and eliminated • Solutions/theories become more reliable as they survive repetitive testing • Surviving TSs are the source of all knowledge! Karl Popper, Objective Knowledge – An Evolutionary Approach (1972), pp. 241-244
    8. 8. • Maturana, H.R., Varela, F.J. 1980. Autopoiesis and Cognition – the Realization of the Living. Kluwer. • Nelson, R.R., Winter, S.G. 1982. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Harvard Uinv. Press. • Kauffman, S.A. 1993. The Origins of Order – Self- organization and Selection in Evolution. Oxford Univ. Press • Hall, W.P. 2005. Biological nature of knowledge in the learning organization. The Learning Organization  12(2):169-188. Autopoiesis (theory of life) Knowledge and life are inseparable. One cannot be understood without understanding the other.
    9. 9. What makes a system living?  Autopoiesis – Self-regulating, self-sustaining, self-(re)producing dynamic entity – Fundamentally cyclical, continuation depends on the causal structure of the state in the previous instant to produce autopoiesis in the next instant (ref Popper; Maturana & Varela) – Selective survival builds knowledge into the system one problem solution at a time 9 Self producing structures in a cellular automaton (Conway’s Game of Life) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 5 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 5 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1- 1 1- 2 1- 3 1- 4 2 - 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 5 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 5 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1- 1 1- 2 1- 3 1- 4 2 - 1
    10. 10. 10 Varela et al. (1974)  Six necessary and sufficient criteria for recognizing an autopoietic system – Bounded  System components identifiably demarcated from environment  E.g., organizational badges, logos, reception desks, gates, etc. – Complex  separate and functionally different subsystems exist within boundary) – Mechanistic  System dynamics driven by self-sustainably regulated economic cash flows or dissipative “metabolic” processes – Self-defining  System demarcation intrinsically produced  E.g., employment policies, procedures, etc. – Self-producing  System intrinsically produces own components  E.g., recruitment & training programs – Autonomous  self-produced components are necessary and sufficient to produce the system.  Autopoiesis is a good definition for life
    11. 11. Structure of autopoietic system 11 Constraints and boundaries, regulations determine what is physically allowable Energy (exergy) Component recruitment Materials Observations Entropy/Waste Products Departures Actions ProcessesProcesses "universal" laws governing component interactions determine physical capabilities The entity's imperatives and goals The entity's history and present circumstances HIGHER LEVEL SYSTEM / ENVIRONMENT SUBSYSTEMS / COMPONENTS Constraints and boundaries, regulations determine what is physically allowable Energy (exergy) Component recruitment Materials Observations Entropy/Waste Products Departures Actions ProcessesProcesses "universal" laws governing component interactions determine physical capabilities The entity's imperatives and goals The entity's history and present circumstances HIGHER LEVEL SYSTEM / ENVIRONMENT SUBSYSTEMS / COMPONENTS
    12. 12. 12 Spontaneous co-emergence of autopoiesis and knowledge  (Stuart Kauffman) The dynamic vectors of the present instant result from causal events in past instants as reflected in the adjacent possibles of the immediately prior instant – Historical connections (heritage) determine the vectors in state space of the present instant.  Chaos: divergent paths lead to incoherent structures that dis- integrate and lose the historical thread of successful autopoiesis  Attractor basins: convergent paths may become coherently autopoietic, such that the ensemble structure of a convergent state in one instant generates an ensemble structure that remains convergent in the next instant.  Any convergent ensemble that remains after dis-integration of divergent outcomes retains “structural” knowledge that solved a problem of survival Kauffman, S. 1993. The Origins of Order. Oxford Univ Press, London. Hall, W.P., Else, S., Martin, C., Philp, W. 2011. Time-based frameworks for valuing knowledge: maintaining strategic knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 1: 1-28. Hall, W.P. 2011. Physical basis for the emergence of autopoiesis, cognition and knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 2: 1-63
    13. 13. Organization, knowledge, and life begin with historical constraints 13 Ellis (2006) Evolving block universe (Newtonian) Ellis & Rothman (2010) Crystallizing block universe (quantum mechanical)  Past is fixed  Present is determined in the instant of becoming  Future is undetermined  Solid line – what happened  Stuart Kauffman – adjacent possible – t1 Dashed lines represent all of the possible future states that can be reached in the next instant from the present instant – t2 One state was realized at t1 , Dotted lines lead to states that could have happened at t1 but didn’t/can’t happen. Dashed lines represent states that can still be reached from the state at t2  Future possibilities are continually and progres- sively constrained by
    14. 14. Hall, W.P. 2013. Evolutionary origins of Homo sapiens. Extract from Application Holy Wars or a New Reformation: A fugue on the theory of knowledge [in preparation] - http://tinyurl.com/kqrcxsf Human origins & cognitive evolution Humans are bipedal apes who became top predators on the African savannah
    15. 15. 15 Our family tree White et al’s (2009) depiction of the adaptive plateaus achieved by the different species grade shifts in the Pliocene radiation of hominins as our ancestors became more adapted to more open and arid environments. CLCA = chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.  CLCA was a forest ape using simple natural and biodegradable tools to increase dietary range probably a lot like today’s chimps and bonobos  Changing climates broke up forest into grassy woodlands. Ardipithecus adapted by developing bipedal locomotion and use of tools for self-protection and to harvest wider dietary range.  Australopithecus became a successful savannah dweller  Homo became top carnivore in Africa and Eurasia
    16. 16. We are tool-using apes  Our close primate cousins, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos live in organized social groups that make and use tools – Orangutans live in small single mum families but are effective tool users and teachers  Another video shows mother taking boat to raid a fish trap for a meal – Chimpanzees work in larger social groups with a lot of interaction 16 Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans - BBC Earth - http://tinyurl.com/avl8yby Charlotte Uhlenbroek Chimpanzees' sophisticated use of tools - BBC wildlife – http://tinyurl.com/lj8ejt2
    17. 17.  Grave risk of predation by big cats & other carnivores on savanna  Gangs of chimps can cooperate to deter cats  Anthropoid apes aren’t the only primate tool users Pleiocene climate change forced some apes onto a savanna – a tough neighbourhood to survive in! 17 From Tattersall (2010) Masters of the Planet, p. 49 see Kortlandt 1980. How might early hominids have defended themselves against large predators and food competitors? Journal of Human Evolution 9, 79-112 – http://tinyurl.com/l5z5vu2
    18. 18. Development & sharing of cultural knowledge opened the savanna  A tiny technological improvement was all that was needed for defence and stealing cats’ dinners 18  Easy step from waving a thorn branch to throwing a spear for hunting  Evolutionary epistemology accounts for the rest Guthrie (2007) Haak en steek – the tool that allowed hominins to colonize the African savanna and to flourish there. (in) Roebroeks, W. (ed). Guts and Brains, pp 133-164 [download book]
    19. 19. Genetic vs cultural heredity (mechanisms for knowledge transfer)  Shared heritage defines the species/group  Adaptation = change through time  Natural selection eliminates entities with maladaptive genes/knowledge – Genetic heritage from one gen. to next is slow to change) – Cultural heritage can lead to more rapid change  More plastic but may not durable unless reinforced  Can be shared laterally  Capacity for language is very recent  Linguistically expressed language can be criticized & peer reviewed  Tacit vs explicit sharing & transfer  Self-selection / criticism to eliminate errors – Memory of and learning from history – Speech, writing19
    20. 20. 20 Increasing tool complexity in archaeological record • Development of increasingly complex stone tools (after Stout 2011), correlates with increasing brain capacity (and more social intelligence?) • Exponential growth in technology continues up to today with development of cognitive tools: speech, writing, printing, computers and the internet. • Today computing technology is growing hyper-exponentially See extract from my draft book
    21. 21. • Hall, W.P., Dalmaris, P., Nousala, S. 2005. A biological theory of knowledge and applications to real wor . Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific, Wellington, N.Z. 28-29 November 2005 • Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011. Exploring the foundations of organizational knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 3: 1-39 Knowledge sharing and foundations of organizational knowledge Understanding organizational knowledge and how to manage it flows naturally from the biological point of view
    22. 22. 22  Knowledge-based autopoietic systems may emerge at several different hierarchical levels of organizational structure – Nation – State – Council – Community group – Person – Body cell  For effective action, flows of knowledge, decision and action must pass through several hierarchical levels Scalability and the complex organizational hierarchy Hall, W.P. 2006 Emergence and growth of knowledge and diversity in hierarchically complex living systems . Workshop "Selection, Self-Organization and Diversity CSIRO Centre for Complex Systems Science and ARC Complex Open Systems Network, Katoomba, NSW, Australia 17-18 May 2006.
    23. 23. Personal (i.e., human) knowledge 23 ●Sense making – W2 process constructing tacit understanding in context – We only know what we know when we need to know it Nickols, F. 2000. The knowledge in knowledge management (KM). in J.W. Cortada and J.A. Woods, eds. The Knowledge Management Yearbook 2001-2002. Butterworth-Heinemann (W2) (W2) (W3) (W2) (W2/W3)
    24. 24. 24 Creating and building knowledge is cyclical  Knowledge is solutions to problems of living – Iterated cycles of creation and destruction (Boyd, Osinga)  Creation = assembly of sense data and information to suggest claims about the world  Destruction = testing and criticizing claims against the world to eliminate those claims that don’t work – Popper: solutions are those claims which prove to work (at least most of the time)  Knowledge is mentally constructed  Cannot logically prove that any claimed solution is actually true  All claims must be considered to be tentative (i.e., potentially fallible)  Follow tested claims until they are replaced by something that works better  Knowledge building cycles are endlessly iterated and may exist at several hierarchical levels of organization
    25. 25. Personal vs organizational knowledge  Important difference – individual knowledge (in any form) is known only by a person – organizational knowledge is available and physically or socially accessible to those who may apply it for organizational needs – Even where explicit knowledge exists, individual knowledge may be required to access it within a useful response time.  People know: – what knowledge the organization needs, – who may know the answer, – where in the organization explicit knowledge may be found, – why the knowledge is important or why it was created, – when the knowledge might be needed, and – how to apply the knowledge  This human knowledge is critical to the organization  Snowden, D. 2002. Complex acts of knowing: paradox and descriptive self-awareness. J. Knowledge Management 6:100-111 – Personal knowledge is volunteered; it cannot be conscripted. – People always know more than can be told, and will tell more than can be written down. – People only know what they know when they need to know it. 25
    26. 26. Cyclic construction of tactical/strategic knowledge Achieving strategic power depends critically on learning more, better and faster, and reducing decision cycle times compared to competitors. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop. AO OBSERVE (Results of Test) OBSERVATION PARADIGM EXTERNAL INFORMATION CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES UNFOLDING ENVIRONMENTAL RESULTS OF ACTIONS ORIENT D DECIDE (Hypothesis) O CULTURE PARADIGMS PROCESSES DNA GENETIC HERITAGE MEMORY OF HISTORY INPUT ANALYSIS SYNTHESIS ACT (Test) GUIDANCE AND CONTROL PARADIGM UNFOLDING INTERACTION WITH EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT John Boyd's OODA Loop process
    27. 27. 27 OODA system of systems in the knowledge-based organization ORIENT (PROCESS) PEOPLE CULTURE & PARADIGMS INFRASTRUCTURE “CORPORATE MEMORY” SENSE ANALYSIS SYNTHESIS PEOPLE PEOPLE GENETIC HERITAGE DATA CONTENT LINKS RELATIONS ANNOTA- TIONS OBSERVE DECIDE, ACT DOCS RECORDS Boyd 1996 see Osinga, F.P.B. (2005) Science, Strategy and War: the strategic theory of John Boyd. Eburon Academic Publishers, Delft, Netherlands [also Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group (2007)] - http://tinyurl.com/26eqduv
    28. 28. Building and processing knowledge in the organization / community Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011. Exploring the foundations of organizational knowledge. 28 IFK (W2) FK CK EK } Semantics of explicit knowledge are only available via World 2 processes Code: EK – Explicit Knowledge CK – Common Knowledge FK – Formal Knowledge IFK – Integrated Formal Knowledge For the purposes of this diagram CK and FK are expressions of explicit knowledge (EK) WORLD 1 WORLD 2 PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD 3 KNOWLEDGE BUILDING PROCESSES KNOWING ORGANIZATION (including organizational tacit knowledge) ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXTS SEMIPERMEABLE BOUNDARY ? ? DRIVE & ENABLE ANTICIPATE & INFLUENCE OBSERVE, TEST & MAKE SENSE KNO W LEDG E FLO W S & EXCHANG ESIFK (W2) FK CK EK } Semantics of explicit knowledge are only available via World 2 processes Code: EK – Explicit Knowledge CK – Common Knowledge FK – Formal Knowledge IFK – Integrated Formal Knowledge For the purposes of this diagram CK and FK are expressions of explicit knowledge (EK) WORLD 1 WORLD 2 PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD 3 KNOWLEDGE BUILDING PROCESSES KNOWING ORGANIZATION (including organizational tacit knowledge) ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXTS SEMIPERMEABLE BOUNDARY ? ? DRIVE & ENABLE ANTICIPATE & INFLUENCE OBSERVE, TEST & MAKE SENSE KNO W LEDG E FLO W S & EXCHANG ES
    29. 29. 29 Hierarchy of knowledge building cycles  3 stages in building reliable knowledge – Personal/individual – Group/team – Peer review/formal publication W1 Context Individual NOOSPHERE Peer review / formalization Rework Publication Group/team review/extension W1 Context Individual NOOSPHERE Peer review / formalization Rework Publication Group/team review/extension world knowledge- base application of existing knowledge Knowledge construction cycle Vines et al. 2011 Hall, Nousala 2010 Nousala et al. 2010 Hall et al. 2010
    30. 30. • Hall, W.P., Dalmaris, P., Nousala, S. 2005. A biological theory of knowledge and applications to real world organizations. Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific, Wellington, N.Z. 28-29 November 2005 • Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011. Exploring the foundations of organizational knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 3: 1-39 Putting theory into practice Understanding how to manage organizational knowledge flows naturally from the biological point of view
    31. 31. Enterprises exist in contexts that must be addressed as imperatives if they are to survive  Enterprises are living entities – Require cash flow & replacement of staff departures – Failure to satisfy imperatives leads to disintegration  No enterprise or subsidiary component should be considered in isolation from its existential contexts – What are its imperatives for continued existence?  to maintain survival and wellbeing  to maintain resource inputs necessary to survival  to produce and distribute goods necessary to survival  to survive environmental changes  to minimize risk  to maintain future wellbeing – Organizational systems satisfying imperatives must track continually changing contexts with observations, decisions and actions31
    32. 32.  Fixed price contract (only adjusted for currency changes)  Procurement - 80% subcontracted  17 years in production  In service for 27 years  Warranty – 12 months for each ship – 2 year latent defects period – 10 ship years of Operational Availability Assessment Period The 17 year $7 Bn ANZAC Ship Project  Design & systems integration  Fabrication and assembly  10 ships (8 RAN + 2 RNZN)  3 training facilities (2 RAN + 1 RNZN)  Support engineering (without this the ships are scrap metal) – Full ship fitouts & supply chain spares – Crew training – Operations manuals – 2000+ maintenance procedures per ship
    33. 33. Imperatives for delivering knowledge or using it in an engineering/production environment  Customer end user's knowledge imperatives – Correct  Correct information  Consistent across the fleet / product range – Applicable/Effective  Applicable to the configuration of the individual product  Effective for the point in time re engineering changes, etc. – Available  To who needs it, when and where it is needed – Useable  Readily understandable by those needing it  Readily managed & processed in computer systems  Supplier's knowledge production and usage goals – Fast – High quality – Low cost
    34. 34. 34 What does an imperative look like?  10 ships must be accepted ≈ $A 7 Bn project value  Payment depends on acceptance!  Non acceptance = non-payment, project delay, liquidated damages + reputational damage
    35. 35. Objective knowledge development lifecycle for a large project Project A Design Study Review, edit, signoff Negotiate Review, agree, amend Project A Prime Contract RFT and Bid Review, edit, signoff Project A Bid Documents RFQs Bids Negotiations Project A Subcontracts Review, agree, amend Project A Procedures, Design Docs Review, edit, signoff Project A Support Documents •20 - 50 year lifecycle Project B Design Study Review, edit, signoff Project B Design Study Review, edit, signoff Project B Design Study Review, edit, signoff Operational experience Negotiate
    36. 36. The full support engineering knowledge management environment Tenix Navy
    37. 37. Tenix ANZAC’s measured improvements from KM solution  Tenix’s Ship 05 delivery challenge – For safe maintenance “documents” must be understood by human maintainers and computerized maintenance management system – Document & engineering change management issues – Client threat to not accept 05 if still dissatisfied  Structured authoring solution resolved the issue – Condensed 8,000 procedures for 4 ships to class-set of less than 2,000 ‘structured records’ for 10 ships  Routines delivered for Ship 5 CUT 80%  Subsequent content deliveries CUT 95%  Keyboard time for one change CUT more than 50%  Change cycle time CUT from 1 year to days  $ 7 Billion 17+ year long project completed successfully – Each ship delivered on time - every time – For the stringently fixed price – no cost overruns! – For a healthy company profit – The customers are still happy with the ships  The company failed on its next largish project because it did not transfer its learning from the old project to the new one
    38. 38. END

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