2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
December 2016 - Magazine No. 207
December 2016 - Magazine No. 207

The need
Fostering is not a trivial arrangement. The state decides to remove a child from his/her home and temporarily (a period of time that can stretch over several years) place him/her in another home and family. This arrangement is specifically less trivial since unlike adoption in which the child receives a substitute set of "parents", in this case the child continues to maintain a relationship with his biological parents while living elsewhere.
In 2001, the State of Israel decided to privatize foster services. In 2004 (three years after the process had been both implemented & stabilized) a research was conducted in order to examine the state of fostering in Israel (Korazim & Liebowitz, 2014). Along immense success derived from the privatization process (reducing the amount of 'collapses' by orders of magnitude) several substantial challenges the state faced had been detected. These challenges mainly involve professional knowledge, the ability to create a policy at the state level, oversight capacity and professionalism level of supervision teams.
The answer to all these, it was concluded, is shared knowledge and shared learning: studying the various competing field factors together; this- together with the daily oversight and complementary staff factors.

Initiating a unique process
In early 2007, the first learning group was set up. This group's self-defined purpose was to bind and develop knowledge on identifying signals and preventing foster 'collapses'.
Since then, a process which can possibly be considered unique (at least in Israel) has been implemented for an entire decade: all major changes in processes originated by the field are accompanied by sharing and knowledge development processes. Every new policy is enforced by learning processes detailing the required professional tools and processes for the application of the relevant idea/approach/change. Occasionally policy changes are derived from learning processes which raised awareness for the necessity of such change.
During this decade, operation strategies and approaches have been analyzed, defined and decoded using professional tools based on these learning processes- in 10 different subjects. The subjects cover all aspects related to fostering from recruiting foster families through selection & sorting, matching children to families, training parents for the task, accompanying families during the fostering period, sexual assaults during fostering, abnormal fostering (relatives, children with special needs) etc.
The process was led by the planning and training department headed by Mr. Couty Saba and the national inspector, Mrs. Shalva Liebowitz.
I was fortunate to serve as director of learning processes for knowledge sharing and development.

Learning method
The learning was conducted as a series of meetings (10 meetings avg. for each subject) in which approximately 12-15 individuals participated; field personnel, instructors, managers, supervisors, team-leaders and staff personnel were included. The participants represented various demographics (general, delopmental cognitive disability, Arabs, etc.). The learning took place as a series of structured, methodical brain-storming sessions. In between meetings, the participants were requested to share the insights with their surroundings and present their feelings and opinions at the next meeting. When central milestones had been reached, the content and questions were uploaded to the knowledge community thus including all relevant parties, allowing the group to discuss responses.
There were methodical breaks between each subject for (relative) refreshment. Implementation of these subjects led to interpretation; new insights which rose were later implemented into resulting learning products and the model, professional doctrine and complementary tools were updated. Much effort has been invested in the implementation of this knowledge and it has become binding (initially in policy and later in work agreements with fostering organizations and supervision processes).

Results and conclusion
A recently published study (Brookdale, 2016) presents a highly positive state of matters. Professional conduct, most (95%) children feel a sense of belonging to their foster families and even fit into it (98%). Most children (68%) stay with their initially matched family, a fact which shows of fostering stability. Another study conducted these days (Levy, 2017) which already includes initial findings shows that the knowledge is indeed used known (97%), used, accessible and according to most (95%) workers it contributes to their performance.
Something good is happening in the field of fostering and since these changes are knowledge-based ones, it can be said that Knowledge Management is a substantial part of this change.


Written By Mascit Robinshtein

Our cellular phones know us better than ourselves and 'open doors' for us even before we request them to do so.
Let's say I'm searching for a restaurant for dinner. Searching for the phrase 'Italian restaurant' might seem at first too general, yet Google already knows to filter the search according to my needs and offer restaurants located nearby -using location technologies and restaurants I've tried before- based on my search history, etc.
The widespread use of mobile detection features has been beneficial to us users as it allows us to not only locate restaurants located nearby but also find the fastest route to each one (including when the bus will arrive or how to best avoid traffic). When searching for some businesses, Google can warn us that it is rush hour and perhaps it is better to return later or choose another chapter of this chain (located nearby as well).
Businesses profit this technology quite a bit, assuming they utilize its abilities correctly. Beside pushing ads on Google according to user location, businesses can improve their time management by analyzing rush hours. Businesses in the field of communication or infrastructure can use location detection technology. For example, companies which employ technicians that arrive at customers' houses can identify the technician's location and present to him local or regional malfunctions (typical or real-time).
Back in April 2016, journalist Aaron Friedman foresaw in an article titled "The Future of Search Engines is Context" that the future of search engines is the context-based search. In other words, matching search results to the users' needs at time of said search. This isn't personalizing UX; this is the next step- fitting the search for a specific user at a specific time and specific place.
Recently, Google has coined the term "micro moments", i.e. moments in which people turn to their cell phones in order to learn, watch, buy or discover something. During those moments the user expects to receive the most relevant information; this calls for a context-based search. Google must guess the user's intentions.
The transition to the new phase of context based search requires the ability to retrieve and adapt data from several sources. For example, if devices contain a specific credit card's app, the search engine might suggest restaurants which offer a discount for card holders. If my schedule features a meeting in Jerusalem the same evening, restaurants in Jerusalem would be preferred. If my device features a diet app the restaurants offered would be only those which offer a dietetic menu. The moment we enable this connection (for the price of some part of our privacy) we allow the app to guess our will and intentions.
How can this be applied in the world of Knowledge Management? As Ella Antes wrote in the October 2Know issue, this is the age of the mobile organizational portal. This is an advanced platform for promoting intra-organizational communication. Organizations which implement this solution should probably consider using location detection technology for context based search in order to provide workers with an optimal UX.


Written By Dana Neuman- Rotem

Lately, I have been struggling with the definition of "customer language". The definition is seemingly obvious: a simple language which is comprehensible to all parties and doesn't require translation or a learning process; in short, an intuitive language. While in recent years most organizations are involved with the world of self service in order to make information accessible to company customers in a simple and friendly manner via company website or social networks, they haven't initiated a similar process regarding intra-organizational Knowledge Management systems. While the reason for this phenomenon seems seemingly obvious as well (information used solely inside the organization doesn't need to be translated to customer language), this is simply not the case.

Consider this: is the data accessible to our internal user intuitive and doesn't require prior preparation? Is it simple enough and ensure the user a positive user experience? Are the professional terms and language used necessary? Perhaps they can be omitted?

 Hereby are a few thoughts I've had on the manner:

  1. In a Knowledge Management system our goal is to bridge gaps, transmit messages clearly and precisely, finding the information and the required answer in minimum time. This goal is shared by internal and external Knowledge Management: to allow the customer (whether internal or external) receive clear information, quickly and effortlessly.
  2. In a Knowledge Management system, we strive to convey new content and vital messages in as few channels as possible (less instructions and long learning processes) so that they can serve out users permanently. Again, same goal: making information accessible without prior preparation or learning.
  3. In a Knowledge Management system, we wish our users to execute processes simply, easily and with minimal cognitive investment, similarly to the manner in which we make self service processes on our website accessible to company customers. The goal is common to both areas: quick and simple process execution.

Now, let's step the game up and review the language in which we write content in out KM systems:

Is the language used simple and understood by all or does it require prior learning/preparation in order to comprehend the professional jargon?

While some (rightfully) claim that an internal user must be well versed in professional jargon, workers should not be required to use a dictionary: when the system does not use customer language, a user's expertise is required in order to adapt the content for customers. This is a complex, time-consuming process to perform in real time.

So, how do we alter language?

  1. Briefly review the written content used in your KM system: can a layman understand these instructions? Request an actual layman to assist.
  2. Based on your conclusions, formulate guidelines for correct writing. One of them must be "the information must be understood by absolutely everyone".
  3. Together with your work partners, formulate guidelines for optimal data presentation. Your partners and content suppliers are an integral part of this process. One mandatory guideline is uniformity.
  4. Test yourself: implementing change is difficult, and we occasionally 'slip' into our old habits unaware. Create environments which support a review-conclude-change-validate process.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that internal users are similar to external ones: we wish to quickly convey simple, easy and intuitive information. Our writing should be performed accordingly: no interpretation should be necessary. The information should be simple; involve your content suppliers in the process in order to attain uniformity in all organizational communication channels. And finally, review constantly: is your content comprehensible to a layman unfamiliar with the organization/system?

I wish us all luck.

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
Fax 077-5020772 * Tel 077-5020771/3 * Bar Kochva 23 st., Bnei Brak Postal: 67135