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Personal Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management, with which we are all familiar, is a process which focuses on Knowledge Management from a socio-organizational perspective. Personal Knowledge Management, on the other hand, focuses on a process related to the individual- the Knowledge Management of the individual worker and his/her needs from a personal-individual point of view. It is required since personal Knowledge Management assists the worker to deal with the information overload surrounding him/her and the need for communication and sharing knowledge with others. Presenting strategies and work processes for dealing with information overload by intelligently using information technologies and social networks as well as purchasing information search, collection and organization skills.

 

Personal Knowledge Management skills:

Personal Knowledge Management requires three main skills:

  • Content-handling skills: includes information activities such as evaluation, organization, presentation, security and sharing.
  • Social skills in order to communicate information and knowledge. Relates to activities such as inquiring (who), Asking questions (what) and sharing with others.
  • Knowledge Development skills: structuring new knowledge and information out of what was communicated; interpreting the knowledge and implementing it.

As in organizational Knowledge Management, Personal Knowledge Management deals with tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge and shared knowledge. As in organizational knowledge management, skills are not separate rather are a lifecycle in which each action feeds the following action and thus enables developing the knowledge, sharing it, structuring/incorporating and implementing it while developing it as new knowledge (The Nonaka and Taukachi model).

Naturally, personal Knowledge Management is different from organizational Knowledge Management.

 

Individuals usually organize and store knowledge and information in context with the situation and their mental state during its purchase, not necessarily according to subjects. This way, which mimics its manner of conduct from the human brain, serves the worker better when knowledge and information are required intuitively. In personal Knowledge Management, the worker learns skills which empower him/her and maximize his/her information potential. The worker becomes the main person responsible for the quality of the knowledge and information he/she holds and initiates an active search for information while organizing information in a manner that will best serve his/her individual work requirements. There is no one way to implement personal information management. It is by definition personal and therefore depends on circumstances and situations.

 

An employee, committed to managing his/her personal information, is a worker committed to his/her professionalism This is a worker who becomes essential and more efficient to the organization. Mainly, this is a worker who can exceed and succeed.

Personilazation

Personalization deals with adjusing a portal’s content and/ or look & feel  by an individual for its needs or comfort. The level of personalization can change from tool to tool and is based on what this individual is allowed to alter.

 

 

The personalization can be performed in many way, enabling the individual to choose portlets, panels, colors, etc. from a variety of options.

If the customization process (adjusting portal to groups’ needs) is performed correctly, the level of personalization required should be low.

Personalization is very important, because it serves, together with Customization, as the basis for a content-customized and structure-customized according to the needs of every official in the organization.

In other words, collective customization and private personalization may be the base for an effective portal.

Portal

For years, the term portal has confused us. This confusion is due to the term 'portal' being used for three different (yet related) purposes:

  • As a type of KM solution which combines data, information and knowledge for the users in their field of work and therefore improves their performances as functionaries. This portal was initially referred to as a "work space portal" but was popularly known as a "job related portal".
  • As an one-stop-shop preceding all Knowledge Management application and serving as an organizational 'entrance', renewed interant based on a technologically advanced technique. The organizational 'entrance' is also referred to as a portal.
  • A software platform which enables setting up portal solutions (of the two aforementioned typed).

 

Recently, in order to differentiate between the three 'portals', the first type of portal i.e. the 'job related portal' has been referred to as a "desktop" or “digital workspace” due to the functions it is used for. Some refer to it as an 'icon-less desktop" in order to differentiate between it and the desktop users are familiar with via using the operation system which serves as background for all applications and screens and is full of many icons representing the applications and documents frequently used. We welcome all positive change and therefore request IT personnel to provide us with new names for these new installments. All we ask for is that these changes be named differently in order for us to be able to follow.

Process Intelligence

Process Intelligence (PI) is code for various technologies that expose knowledge hidden in business processes and assist us to use it more efficiently. Its purposes are improving productivity, improving product quality and service quality, as well as improving business profitability by making information and knowledge clearer to understand and improving process-oriented information more efficiently. Process Intelligence assists organizations to use the process information in order to improve competition. PI is utilized as a mediator between technical management and business management through access to business databases; locating central business processes in which knowledge is concealed; integrating knowledge in important periods in the organization's timeline (constructing schedules and simulators) and planning means for monitoring and forecasts that can be of assistance when making decisions.

Process Intelligence provides the process engineers and managers with tools for making better decisions. Examples of these tools include:

Information Discovery which enables learning about how decisions are made in various altering settings (for more on the subject, I refer you to the article Knowledge Discovery, published in the June 2007 edition of KM-2Know Magazine).

Advanced Generic Algorithms which construct schedules in real time & merge financial processes into a framework of production time. These algorithms reduce inefficiency by exploiting production capacity through integration of the inventory, considering current orders and product planning. This integration includes adjusting the schedules, examining alternative schedules and quick allocation of orders.

Online analysis, which simulates and predicts the measures of expensive process complicated to forecast. These are easily-updated virtual sensors which save the organization time and money by predicting changes.

 Process Intelligence offers technologies that may be of assistance when dealing with the current information overflow and apply the required information in the most effective way in order to maximize competitiveness.

Professional Network

A Worker's professional network is an array of work documents which serves as the worker's professional toolbox. Since these work documents are linked, they can be referred to as a network. Till recently, worker's mainly/exclusively used traditional Knowledge Management tools: portals, websites and knowledge communities for managing knowledge in organizations. While the perception which dictates that professional knowledge should be concentrated in one location is still fairly common in many organizations, recent years have seen the development of WEB2 tools which have become widely used both in organizations and the web. These tools are today utilized as professional sources of information as much as traditional tools.

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Push

We are all familiar with the difference between knowledge items one has to pull and those one has to push:

  • A knowledge item that must be pulled is one that in order to be reached one has to perform a certain action. For example, a received email must be opened in order to be read. Another example: in many organizational interant websites the news and messages are presented only by title and the user must click the title in order to read the entire item. Clicking in order to reach information implements the 'pull' principle.
  • A push knowledge item is the exact opposite. The user receives the information without performing any activity. Common mechanisms include popping messages, alerts, RSS feeds and other notifications.

The push and pull knowledge principle have existed for a while and have been used in several media. But what is Pull-Pushing?

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Push Flags

When managing knowledge, we must assume that the workers don't have time to search for the knowledge. Furthermore, the workers don't always know what knowledge they need and where to find it. Therefore, we must provide a solution that combines the 'push' element, i.e. pushing the knowledge to the worker at the right time, in the right context. These solutions, which enable knowledge distribution, are called 'push flags'. These knowledge flags can be integrated into the worker's regular tools and work processes. For example, integrating knowledge about the client, such as when is best to contact him/her, into the Outlook.

Push Notifications

When managing knowledge, we must assume that the workers don't have time to search for the knowledge. Furthermore, the workers don't always know what knowledge they need and where to find it. Therefore, we must provide a solution that combines the 'push' element, i.e. pushing the knowledge to the worker at the right time, in the right context. These solutions, which enable knowledge distribution, are known as push notifications or push alerts. These knowledge notifications can be integrated into the worker's regular tools and work processes. For example, integrating knowledge about the client, such as when is best to contact him/her, into the Outlook Calendar.

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