is power”- lets face it
like the sand in a beach house that follows your footsteps
everywhere, information is all- pervasive: unconfined and
unfettered. Invoices, processes, employee skills,
technologies, comments, best practices-data is everywhere.
But how do you manage it? For the millennium worker of today,
the challenge is twofold: how to manage what we know and
how do we manage what we don't know? Keeping track of important
information that we have been exposed to by combining memory
with a good filing system or an online archive, getting
a quick answer in response to a question when we do not
have the knowledge or the expertise-organizations all over
the world are focusing on sharing information and pinpointing
who has these answers, or for that matter locating and contacting
the experts in a particular field for help. Organizations
are linking structured data, such as reports created by
business-intelligence tools, with unstructured information,
such as telephonic conversations, and surfacing this linked
information through a Web browser to enable anytime, anywhere
information.Indeed, Knowledge Management or KM has become
the latest business fad. A search on the Net would spit
out more than 40,000 Web pages on the topic. Add to that
the number of conferences and magazines and Knowledge Management's
popularity worldwide is undeniable!
we really manage Knowledge?:
knowledge management, the business strategy of the organization
must acknowledge the requirements to capture the knowledge
and actively foster and effort. Knowledge exists is people,
not technology, and as such will require a massive human
effort. Technology can help to capture information, but
it can not create knowledge. Useful technologies include
search engines, scanning technology, optical character and
voice recognition software, intelligent agents, database
management systems, document management systems, and repositories.
the information is identified, collected and managed, it must
be transformed into knowledge. This requires classification,
analysis and synthesis. This step, too, requires human intervention.
Knowledge can not be created by technology only a human being
can render information into a format that causes it to be
easily transformed into knowledge by another human being upon
retrieval. Useful technologies for this phase of the knowledge
management process include statistical analysis software,
data mining tools etc.
goes into KM:
Dedicated knowledge roles involve the day-to-day
work of KM. So organizations need people who will extract
knowledge from those who have it, put it in a structured
form and maintain or refine it over time. KM jobs are proliferating
rapidly. One of the challenges of these emerging fields
is for these knowledge workers to identify one another and
begin to develop an occupational community. To perform well
Knowledge initiative managers should have facility in project
management, change management and technology management.
KM project manager should speak the knowledge workers’ language
and understand their value system and the manager must work
with humility. The manager of a knowledge project performs
such typical project management functions as:
and managing teams
and managing customer expectations
project budgets and schedules
and resolving project problems
firms in the United States and a few in Europe have now
appointed Chief knowledge officers (CKO) to lead the knowledge
management charge. Others have created ‘chief learning officers’,
a related role that involves both the management of knowledge
and the facilitation of organizational learning. Both of
these positions are senior management roles on the level
of chief information officers, heads of the human resources
organization and other functional and business unit leaders.
role of a CKO is complex and multifaceted. The CKO of an
or ‘evangelize’ for knowledge and learning from it.
implemented and oversee a firm ‘s knowledge infrastructure,
including its libraries. Knowledge bases, human and
computer knowledge networks, research centers and knowledge-oriented
relationship with external providers of information
and knowledge and negotiate contracts with them.
critical input to the process of knowledge creation
and use around firm, and facilitate efforts to improve
such processes if necessary.
and implement a firm’ s knowledge codification approaches.
and manage the value of knowledge either by conventional
financial analysis or by ‘anecdote management’.
the organization’s professional knowledge managers,
giving them a sense of community, establishing professional
standards and managing their careers.
the development of knowledge strategy, focusing the
firm’ s resources on the type of knowledge it needs
to manage most and the knowledge processes with the
largest gaps between need and current capability.
of these CKO responsibilities, there are particularly critical-
building a knowledge culture, creating a knowledge management
infrastructure and making it all pay off economically.
key point to note is that the software is not the solution,
but how much you can use it to translate available information
in knowledge without information overload. After all, Francis
Bacon wasn't kidding when he said, "Knowledge
and Knowledge Management: From an SAP perspective, Knowledge Management focuses
on streamlining the process of connecting “those who know”
with “those who need to know”. But only employees themselves
can judge how well company comes to grips with knowledge
management. The questions to consider are simple: Is it
easy to get hold of relevant knowledge? Is it easy to share
knowledge with others? SAP provides both the infrastructure
and the content to ensure that the answer to both questions
is “yes”. Knowledge management with SAP offers you need
to create, manage and distribute knowledge content efficiently.
Where required, SAP also delivers all the necessary documents
(training materials, instructor guides and documentation)
for SAP-related knowledge transfer, and updates these materials
knowledge: Managing knowledge successfully demands sophisticated,
s why SAP’ s knowledge management solution comprises components
that are united by the SAP.com Workplace. Depending on the
type of organization and role of the individual employee,
different systems work in together, but area accessed from
a single interface- the workplace. This smooth interaction
between business and knowledge transfer process ensures
effective knowledge management and real return on information.
While the SAP knowledge warehouse takes care of knowledge
transfer, MySAP.com handles alignment and integration with
SAP Knowledge warehouse- A Team Player:
the highest level, one can distinguish between three types
of data in the business world: transactional, analytical
and unstructured. With SAP knowledge warehouse, we can access
all three types from a single interface:
SAP Knowledge Warehouse manages unstructured, non-transactional
data such as Intranet content, documentation, training materials,
e-learning contents and links to other mySAP.com components.
Business Information Warehouse (BW), the Advanced Planer
and Optimizer (APO), and Strategic Enterprise Management(SEM)
supply analytical and strategic data.
solutions such as SAP Business-to-Business Procurement (B2B)
and links to other components drive business process over
a stand-alone product, the SAP Knowledge Warehouse consists
of a range of tools for modeling, creating, modifying, translating,
distributing, and managing knowledge content. Customers
also have the options of receiving shipment of the latest
SAP content (documentation, training materials, QMmanual).
This combination of tools and contents enables a significant
increase in the speed at which knowledge is transferred.
blocks in Knowledge Management: Effective
KM cannot take place without behavioral, cultural and organizational
change. The installation of Notes, the web or CBR software
will not in itself bring about that change.
is also relatively less helpful when it comes to knowledge
creation. There are technologies that purport to enhance
these activities, but at best operate on the margins of
the problem. Group decision support systems involve a small
group of people, usually in the same location, attempting
to employ technology to some form of group knowledge out
of their beliefs and experiences. Out-lining tools, frequently
used by writers, might be viewed as a means of converting
unstructured tacit knowledge into structured and explicit
knowledge. Systems for analyzing clinical data could help
create medical or pharmaceutical knowledge. Just as systems
for analyzing market data attempt to turn it into market
possible bump along the path to Knowledge Management implementation
is lack of knowledge. Some organizations “fly by the seat
of their pants” without knowing much about the competition,
the market, their customers, etc. Organizations with this
problem, though, will soon face greater problems than the
inability to implement knowledge management.
more frequently occurring problem is lack of time to capture
knowledge that does exist. Competitive information may exist
only in the head of the sales person, but he is on the road
and closing business to make those quarterly numbers. So
management may “mouth” their commitment to knowledge management,
but act otherwise by encouraging immediate concerns over
(such as knowledge management).
many, the feeling is that "knowledge is power"
and that to surrender what one knows or to reveal "too
much" to others is to make oneself redundant and possibly
disposable within the organisation. Most people are reluctant
to "bare all" when it comes to telling others
what they know. If these concerns are not addressed, the
amount of knowledge or expertise that is shared in an organisation
will likely be minimal. KM thrives only when the human communication
network operates freely across the shortest path between
knowledge providers and knowledge seekers.
of Knowledge Management:
is still an emerging field that is being explored primarily
at companies where business and organizational environments
are changing rapidly. Therefore, any company embarking upon
KM should be prepared to adjust its structure and roles
frequently. As one researcher put it with regard to organizational
structures in fast- changing Silicon Valley firms:
The pivotal importance of informal networks in high-technology
companies is due to the fact that the productivity of knowledge-
based entities depends on employees’ capabilities, commitments,
motivations, and relationships. They cannot be programmed
around pre-determined roles and positions in a machine-
like hierarchy. Moreover, continuous change typically renders
institutionalized roles and positions somewhat obsolete”.
knowledge management is over-hyped and misunderstood. It
is not a technology, but an amalgamation of strategy, technology
and people. There are no panaceas where you just plug in
some new technology and “bang” you have knowledge management.
But the proliferation of “knowledge” throughout an organization
is unquestionably a good thing. Start today to understand
what it is and work together toward a plan that maps out
a knowledge management strategy for your organization. Or
plan to lose business to those companies that do! In all,
knowledge has become a much greater factor of production
than land, labour, and capital. Today's dot com entrepreneurs,
fired with "bright ideas" and zealously backed
by venture capitalists, are a testimony to it.