The future of Knowledge Management is here- a new approach to Knowledge management
1 April 2014
I've been involved in the field of Knowledge Management for over 4 years. I was initially excited to learn a new field. Although not entirely new, the field of Knowledge Management is still developing. As time went by, every new project and client excited me with their uniqueness and challenges and I continued to learn and develop with the field.
I love the field. It includes a combination of creativity and analytical thinking, focused actions and routines, technology and culture-and most importantly-it are still needed.
Nevertheless, lately I feel that we are stuck. In an age of information inflation, quick application development and Wisdom of crowds, Knowledge management is (in my opinion) is confined to its traditional formats (with some innovative renditions once in a while).
In many organizations, especially in our tiny country, there is a substantial gap between "external" Knowledge management (working with the client) and "internal" (managing the organization's workers knowledge). Eventually, organizations will understand that in order to survive and win the constant competition and win the clients over they need to bridge this gap somehow, use the external KM tools and slowly kill Knowledge management.
But…there is still hope. I would like to suggest a new approach to Knowledge Management (both internal and external): The QI Method. I formulated it after many miles of work with clients, thinking: "well, what's next?" In a world in which everything is 'instant', so should the Knowledge Management be. If it's not quick and interesting, it's irrelevant! Quick-locating the relevant knowledge immediately, interesting-required, relevant and focused (not everything we search for necessarily interests us, yet we still need it).
How is this implemented? There are two methods.
Responsive KM: the term is originally used to describe a website (a responsive website is a site that adjusts itself to the size of the screen used by its viewer). Responsive KM guides and focuses the user during his/her search and provides the user with very small knowledge items withdrawn from a database base as search results. In other words, you easily (=quickly) find only what you were searching for (=interesting).
For example: A trip to Thailand-everything you must know
The kingdom of Siam, as it was once called, is a beautiful country that has become the unmatched queen of tourism for thousands of families, newlyweds, bored bachelors, hikers, ocean enthusiasts, and all those who love parties and the good life. If you are intending to stay in Thailand for a period of 30 days or less, you needn't issue a visa since you will automatically receive a 30 days permit when entering the country. Usually, there is no need to dwell in Thailand for more than a month. Nevertheless, if you want to extend your visa, it is optional to extend it to seven additional days by paying the municipality of Immigration. For further stay, you must issue a visa at the Thai embassy. The visa expires after 60 days, but can be extended for 30 additional days as long as one doesn't leave the country (this service is obviously not free). If you're planning to stay for more than month, during which you wish to leave and return to Thailand, it is preferable to issue a visa that includes several entrances (up to 3 entrances are available). When leaving Thailand, the previous visa is cancelled (even if not fully used) and reentering will initiate the new Visa. A visa can be issued at any Thai embassy.
In the responsive format the subject will be organized 'behind the scenes'. The following table is based on the passage above:
* The information fields will be defined by the organization according to its needs. You may add fields for: action, work process, and any other parameter.
The user interface should show only one search window (the following example is functional, yet not designed):
Implicational Knowledge Management: Implicational Knowledge Management is making knowledge functional (=interesting). For example, if a procedure explains the benefits the client can receive (which clients, type of benefit, calculating the benefit)-instead of explaining about the benefits, this procedure should calculate the benefit. Another example: instead of describing a task>perform it. This means using more e-forms, calculators, automatic work flows, etc. implicational knowledge saves time otherwise invested in reading and comprehending explanations and prevents human errors.
The main challenges we face when implementing this approach are:
Processing the knowledge- deciphering the knowledge and translating to a function and/or a database is a complicated task.
The cost of creating functional tools and creating data base (at least the initial stages of their establishment) may be high.
In conclusion, the future of Knowledge management is a new, simple approach: Quick and Interesting-responsive and implicational.
What do you think?