Reflections on knowledge management practice case study


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This presentation provides some early reflections of a KM start up project related to Victoria's agricultural sector (Australia) some 16 months after commencement. It also draws upon some work undertaken at the University of Melbourne on the topic of regulatory burden reduction

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Reflections on knowledge management practice case study

  1. 1. Reflections on Knowledge Management Practice (15 months into a KM start up project related to Victoria’s agricultural industries) 20th March 2012 Richard Vines Knowledge Management Specialist Victorian Department of Primary Industries Hon Fellow: eScholarship Research Centre, Uni of Melb
  2. 2. Where arewe talking about? Victoria Melbourne
  3. 3. An introduction to knowledgemanagement in AustraliaShared context = working across complex (cultural) boundaries
  4. 4. Victoria’s agricultural industries Overview – Produces goods worth around $9 billion – Export contribution of 26% of the total national value – Dairy, beef, horticulture, poultry, sheep meat and wool industries etc – Pioneered the “Landcare Movement”
  5. 5. Context of KM project The changing role of Government in agricultural extension – Victoria’s commitment to Agricultural industries via extension – Better Services to Farmers strategy (BSTF) – Underdeveloped capability in knowledge management – Inconsistent client & stakeholder management systems – National Research, Development & Extension Framework – The equivalent context on the US (the land grant institutions, etc) National R, D and E Framework: Encouragement of greater collaboration and promotion of continuous improvement in the investment of RD&E resources nationally. National industry strategies for Dairy, Beef etc
  6. 6. KM project (Dec 2010-) Three overarching deliverables – Consolidation of disparate approaches to client information – Knowledge hubs across different industry sectors – Capability development in relation to KM
  7. 7. Discussion of five inherent boundary tensions** (boundary tensions - between nodes of competition and complementarity) 1. Indicators of success Customer intimacy < - > Product service leadership < - > Operational excellence 2. Domain focus KM < - > Other 3. Process Knowledge < - > Business 4. Control Agency < - > Value network 5. Support system reform Organisational < - > Inter-agency / national Conclusion Developing capability around KM involves mediating the tension: Learning based on the familiar < - > Learning by accessing the unfamiliar Learning could be personal or organisational in nature** I acknowledge the influence of a KM colleague of mine – Dr Tony English - with whom I appreciated a collaboration in the 1990’s on matters to do withcross cultural eductation. I refer to material outlined in his book “Tug of War: the tension concept and the art of international negotiation” .
  8. 8. <-> Boundary tensions associated with KM start up 1. Indicators of success Example to be discussed Established initiative here Example to be discussed will not be discussed** I thank Stephen Northey, DPI for bringing this general framework to my attention
  9. 9. Harmonising client data <-> <-> <-> <-> <-> Common scaffold for capturing client related information whilst retaining diversity of industry social languagesDiscussion • Approach • Tacit culture • Semantics • Privacy
  10. 10. This, in principle is the same challenge ascreeping regulatory burden Print based culture
  11. 11. Visualisation of fivedifferent quality standards Department of Planning and Community Development
  12. 12. Then mapping areas of semantic equivalence across these documents - an example of a visualisation not visible via print-based work culturesThis represents only around 40% of the complexity This is the face of burden creep
  13. 13. Knowledge hubs: Providing client information as a serviceFarmers work within increasingly complex operating environmentsresource constraints such as water rights, increasing input costs,erosion of the ability to enhance productivity gains, increasing and uncoordinated regulatory compliance intrusions or uncertainty about market access requirements etc
  14. 14. User’s perspective and experience What’s the reality of accessing relevant information?KnowledgehubsDiscussion • Search • Fragmentation • Authority • Spatial relevance
  15. 15. What might a farm centric approach to service support look like in say 5 years? In relation to public knowledge and benefit can the noise be reduced? Business decision Infrastructure support for carbon tools assurance systems Soil health data Farm business (localised) data (de-identified) Seasonal climate Up-to-date, on information demand, information (localised) Profitability & Farm & catchment sustainability planning tools information Communities of Hot topics of interest support interest systemsThis approach will require innovation across the informationpublishing and the spatial services industry sectors
  16. 16. KM should allow users to filter out the noise
  17. 17. KM should allow users to filter out the noise Research organisations such as DPI, Dairy Australia, Grains Research andService support Development Corpsystems,infrastructure andnetworks Filtering based on modular Up-to-date, on knowledge system Current focus demand, information Near farm networks, service providers, wholesalers, farm User (farmer, service groups etc provider etc)
  18. 18. <-> Boundary tensions associated with KM start up 2. KM <-> other domainsDiscussion • Organisational case study
  19. 19. <-> Boundary tensions associated with KM start up 3. Knowledge Process < - > Business Process Customer intimacy Adapted from Aujirapongpan, S. , Vadhanasindhu, C., Chandrachai, A., Cooparat, P. 2010, Indicators of Product service knowledge management capability for KM. The leadership Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems. Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 183-203 Operational excellence Discussion• Business Excellence Framework• Capability development program developed
  20. 20. <-> Boundary tensions associated with KM start up 4. Agency control < - > value network collaboration Publicly Impact defined monitoring problem and public context benefitDiscussion • Context with the National R, D and E framework • Constraints
  21. 21. <-> Boundary tensions associated with KM start up5. Organisational <-> Inter-agency / national reformNational and statement Government policy framework Public utility is enhanced ifPractice change outcomes are information created by Govtshaped by highly local or <-> departments is made accessiblecontextual factors to its citizens through open access release frameworks*** Policy statements from the Primary Industry Ministerial Council* (2009, Public Records Office of Victoria p 3) and the Australian Productivity Commission Report 2011**, p 123) Conclusion: What has not emerged yet in any coherent way is the need to think about both these policy developments in relation to each other References: * National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework, Statement of Intent, 17 June 2009. ** Productivity Commission, Rural Research and Development Corporations, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No 52, Final Inquiry Report, Commonwealth of Australia, 10 February 2011. *** Public Records Office of Victoria, 2011. Victorian Public Sector Information Release Framework (PSIRF) DRAFT Principles. Site accessed on 23/01/2012.
  22. 22. Contextual information management … this is understood as the representation of complex networks consisting of entities (people, organisations, committees, divisions, events etc.) published resources, archival resources and digital objects linked by relationships. All entities, published resources, archival resources, digital objects and relationships are dated so that both are understood within a time continuum Context entities act as surrogates for real life objects, events, ideas, document structures etc. CSIR CSIRO (short description) was previous to (short description) (Dates: 1926-1950) (Dates: 1950-present)Based on the principles of the Encoded Archival Context (EAC) standardExample of EAC installation in the US:
  23. 23. Context entity networks in agriculture Information publishing < - > spatial services Fictitious case study Located in Gippsland Farmer Bob’s Farm (2010-) Is member of is ascribed PropertyLamb innovation network Identification 2003- Code is member ofGippsland value chain project (2008-) was preceded by Loddon value chain project (2002-2008)
  24. 24. eScholarship Research Centre Example of inter-agency contextual information network: Who Am I? project and Pathways website CSO Archival Govt centre Dept State Library The sector as a context entity network ‘Manages the records of’Source available here
  25. 25. Contextual information .. can help visualise inter-relationships between entities that guide the administration of regulatory interventions at particular points in time Legislators Family Services and Out of Home Care StandardSource available here
  26. 26. Use of EAC as a means of reducing regulatory burden Reducing the burden - increasing the impact: final reports prepared for the Office of the Community Sector, Better Integrated Standards and Quality Assurance Systems (BISQAS) Project 1 and 2. eScholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Department of Planning and Community Development, June 2009, (Vines, Richard; McCarthy, Gavan; Jones, Michael) Cities, human well-being and the environment: conceiving national regulatory knowledge systems to facilitate resilient knowledge, knowledge based development and inter-generational knowing. In Knowledge Cities World Summit, Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Victoria, Australia. 2010 (Vines, R., McCarthy, G., Kirk, C., & Jones, M.Other standards concerned with context-based metadata ISO/TS 23081-2:2009 establishes a framework for defining metadata elements consistent with the principles and implementation considerations outlined in ISO 23081-1:2006. One of the purposes of this framework is to enable standardized description of records and critical contextual entities for records, Registry Interchange Format for Collections and Services (RIF-CS) RIF-CS is a data interchange format that supports the electronic exchange of collection and service descriptions. Open Archives Initiative – protocols for metadata harvesting (OAI-PMH) OAI‐PMH is a low‐barrier mechanism for repository interoperability. Data Providers are repositories that expose structured metadata via OAI‐PMH.TROVE as a national aggregation serviceThis forms part of the National R, D and E framework
  27. 27. …. in contrast to web publishing approach Department of Primary Industries – Sitemap (Detail)[1]
  28. 28. Robert Heinlein, 1950"The greatest crisis facing us is not Russia, not the Atom Bomb, notcorruption in government, not encroaching hunger, nor the morals of theyoung. It is a crisis in the organization and accessibility of humanknowledge. We own an enormous encyclopaedia - which isnt evenarranged alphabetically. Our file cards are spilled on the floor, nor werethey ever in order. The answers we want may be buried somewhere inthe heap, but it might take a lifetime to locate two already known facts,place them side by side and derive a third fact, the one we urgentlyneed." Thanks to Michael Jones from the eSRC (Uni of Melb) for bringing this quote to my attention
  29. 29. Concluding remarks:Being a KM specialist covers a very diverse practical and intellectual territory. It is still going to take time to develop a coherent domain of practice called KM and any traction will continue to be hard earned. This domain requires sustained commitment. Thank you Richard Vines Knowledge Management Specialist Farm Services Division Department of Primary Industries +61 - 417 104144