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Knowledge management - the basic ingredients


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A presentation by Judy Payne and Martin Fisher for APM South Wales & West of England branch on 3rd July 2013

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Knowledge management - the basic ingredients

  1. 1. Knowledge management – the basic ingredients Judy Payne – Hemdean Consulting Martin Fisher – WRAP
  2. 2. APM Knowledge SIG team
  3. 3. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
  4. 4. Key messages • Knowledge is not the same as information. • Knowledge can never be captured completely. • KM has to connect people to people, not just to information. • The environment is more important than the techniques you use. • Be clear about your KM purpose.
  5. 5. Your experiences of KM What tools and techniques do you use for managing knowledge?
  7. 7. Data, information and knowledge
  8. 8. Explicit and tacit knowledge Explicit: knowledge that can readily be codified into words and numbers. Easy to share. Difficult to protect. Tacit: knowledge that is personal and difficult to express. What we don’t know we know. Difficult to share. The most valuable kind of knowledge.
  9. 9. Why does this matter? Managing explicit knowledge Capture and codify as much as you can. Share. Quite easy to do – and easy to copy. Document management, case studies, lessons learned databases. Managing tacit knowledge Encourage people to connect, communicate and collaborate. More difficult to do – and more difficult to copy. Communities of practice, conversations, apprenticeships.
  10. 10. What happens if you don’t have a working definition of knowledge?
  11. 11. DIKW data information knowledge wisdom Data does not create information; information does not create knowledge and knowledge does not create wisdom. People use their knowledge to make sense of data and information. People create information that represents their knowledge, which can then be more widely shared. Harold Jarche
  12. 12. A working definition of knowledge Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organisations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organisational routines, processes, practices and norms. Davenport and Prusak, 1998
  13. 13. Knowledge and knowing Things an individual can express Things a group can express Individual skills, intuition, judgement Shared understanding Knowing (as action) Explicit Tacit Individual Group Cook and Brown, 1999
  15. 15. The Wheelbarrow Test
  16. 16. Knowledge flows Right, I’m going to tell you everything I know about KM Actually, I’ve already told you a lot. You got it yet? Erm, yes. Of course. We’re not stupid, you know. Good, off you go then and be good at KM. Thank you. No idea what she’s talking about....
  17. 17. Knowledge flows
  18. 18. More knowledge flows...
  19. 19. What helps knowledge to flow? • Time, trust and territory (Miles, Snow and Miles) • Hire smart people and let them talk to one another (Davenport and Prusak) • Shared language • Strong business relationships It’s the environment, stupid!
  20. 20. Hierarchies ....and networks • Relationships mandated • Top-down control • Good for sharing information and managing explicit knowledge • Tend to be formal • Managed ‘traditionally’ • Relationships voluntary • Emergent, bottom-up • Good for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, learning and managing tacit knowledge • Tend to be informal • Managed by letting go
  21. 21. KM isn’t an exercise in collecting... With thanks to Chris Collison for the butterflies metaphor Neither is it an IT project!
  23. 23. Some basic questions... What are we trying to achieve? What knowledge processes are needed? What’s needed to make the knowledge processes work? What methods and tools does this suggest?
  24. 24. Back to your KM techniques... 1. Are they based on knowledge or information? 2. Do they focus on knowledge stocks or knowledge flows? 3. Do they achieve their purpose?
  25. 25. @judypayne @fishmart