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Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management. MIS 650. Course Objectives. Arrive at a working definition of knowledge. Justify the need for a knowledge management system. Build a team and leadership for building a KMS. Building a KMS prototype. Evaluating KMS. Course outline. Knowledge management. Module A

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Knowledge Management

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  1. Knowledge Management MIS 650

  2. Course Objectives • Arrive at a working definition of knowledge. • Justify the need for a knowledge management system. • Build a team and leadership for building a KMS. • Building a KMS prototype. • Evaluating KMS.

  3. Course outline Knowledge management Module A Concepts Module B Building the KMS Module C Deploying the system Define knowledge Knowledge management platform Prototyping and Deploying the KMS Knowledge management sub-processes Designing the team and leading Evaluating the KMS Organizational Learning Building a Knowledge management System

  4. What is Knowledge? • Knowledge, as different from data and information. Knowledge Information Data

  5. Data • A collection of discrete, objective facts about events. • In organizational terms data are structured records of transactions. • Organizations have realized the importance of having data. • Investments have been made to gather, store and retrieve data. • Data quality issues have been stressed. • “Gather enough data and objectively correct decisions will soon follow.”

  6. Information • Data that makes sense is information. • “Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose.”- Peter Drucker • “Inform” means “to shape.” • Two parties are involved when information is shared: Sender and receiver. • Also important is the medium: hard and soft networks.

  7. Information contd. • Data becomes information when it is: • Contextualized-The purpose for which data were gathered is specified. • Categorized- Data is organized into key components. • Calculated- Some kind of mathematical or statistical analysis is done. • Corrected- errors have been removed. • Condensed-Summarized in a concise form. • Role of information technology- is medium the message?

  8. Knowledge • Resides in human minds. • “Knowledge is a justified, true belief.” Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995. • Working definition: • “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 the knowers.” Davenport and Prusak 1998.

  9. Knowledge • Information transform into knowledge through: • Comparison- How does information about this situation compare to other situations that we have known? • Consequences- What implications does this information have in terms of making decisions and taking actions. • Connections- How does this bit of knowledge relate to others? • Conversations- What do other people think of this information?

  10. Illustration • Sally applies for a credit card and provides some details about herself to the customer support representative. • These details are then “processed” to calculate a credit score for Sally. • This credit score and her credit history aid the credit analysts in making a decision about whether to issue Sally a credit card or not. • If Sally is a good customer, then credit analysts devise ways to keep her.

  11. Key components of knowledge • Experience • “Experts” are often the ones that have more knowledge about a subject because they have “experience.” • Experience helps people put new events in perspective. • Ground truth • Knowing what really works and what doesn’t. • Ground truths as opposed to heights of theory or generalizations. • Ground truth helps appreciate the gaps between what “should” happen and what “does” happen. • Large gaps between the what should happen and what actually happens, provides a learning experience.

  12. Components of knowledge • Complexity • Knowledge deals with complexity in a complex way. • Knowing more usually leads to better decisions than knowing less. • Since what you don’t know can hurt you, it is important to have an idea of what we do not know. • Example of a new variety of tomato that can be picked and shipped much later than current varieties. • Scientific success but a commercial failure.

  13. Components of knowledge • Judgment • Knowledge, like a living system, grows and changes as a result of interaction with environment. • Judgment is used to • Evaluate new situations in the light of already available information/experience • Revamp the current body of knowledge in response to changes in the environment. • Rules of thumb and intuition • Heuristics- Shortcut solution to new problems that are similar to old problems. • Intuition is “compressed expertise”- Karl Weick

  14. Components of knowledge • Values and beliefs • Organizations are made up of people who have values and beliefs. • These influence their thoughts and actions. • Depending on the organization's age, the organization itself might have corporate beliefs and values. • Corporate culture is one such value system. • Values and beliefs determine the way people “see” situations or events. • Example of how different publication executives hold different “views” on the proliferation of online technology.

  15. Organizational knowledge • Knowledge is being recognized as a corporate asset • Technology can be replicated sooner or later • Knowledge that develops within a firm provides the firm with a continued competitive advantage. • Knowledge-based view of the firm- Grant and Spender. • Intellectual property issues. • Corporate size and KM • Chrysler’s “engineering books of knowledge.” • Computer networks- enablers of knowledge exchange.

  16. BP’s virtual teamwork program • In 1993 BP Exploration organized its business centers into 42 separate business assets. • These units had the freedom to develop processes and solutions appropriate to their problems. • These “local” innovations could be used elsewhere in the company. • VTP was initiated to provide a virtual collaboration platform for these units.

  17. Characteristics of BPX’s VTP • Network of people- not a data, information or knowledge store. • Standard email, video conferencing systems, shared chalkboard, document scanner etc were present. • Emphasis was on “coaching” as opposed to “training.” • Four out of five groups that used virtual teamworking succeeded. • Instant access to experts which can save money and time.

  18. Members of knowledge community were identified and then linked by technology. Relationships were built through actual and virtual face-to-face meetings. Technology was used for communication and collaboration; training emphasized goals, not hardware and software. Training and upper management support emphasized the importance of new behaviors. Lessons learned from BP

  19. Lessons learned from BP • Upper management initiated the project and authorized funds and the core team. • Five test groups allowed for variety and clear, limited goals. • Savings and productivity increases were quantified; expanding VT use and participant enthusiasm were qualitative measures. • In addition to having specific goals, the project left room for the unexpected.

  20. Summary • Defined knowledge. • Differentiate among data, information and knowledge. • How knowledge is being recognized as a corporate asset. • Key components of knowledge. • BPX case and KM principles.

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