Thursday, March 10, 2005

Introduction to KM

A definition of KM from the Arc Group

Knowledge management aims to manage the ways in which we create, discover, exploit, disseminate and retain the expertise, understanding and practical know-how that individuals and organisations possess.
A concrete example of a KM application is maintaining a FAQ list. A software tool, which facilitates the capturing, organizing and distributing of frequently asked questions is an example of a KM tool. No pun intened, here is a FAQ about KM.

See the definitions of KM on google, define:knowledge management.
Also see google, define:knowledge,
and google, define: tacit knowledge

For a broad view of KM going back to the beginnings of civilization see the following by Bill Ives
"History of Knowledge Management in Six Parts: Introduction"

In this article Bill Ives says,
Out of this milieu, the modern discipline of knowledge management merged. Knowledge management, in its current sense, is the effort to make the knowledge of an organization available to those who need it, where and when they need it,and in the form that allows them to perform better. This is little different than the purpose of those racks of clay tablets buried in the ruins of ancient Mesopotamian cities. It is not the basic requirements that have changed, but the enormous volumes of nformation, the speed of content changes, and the transformation of the workplace, including the need to often work virtually.

KM has been going on since the beginning of civilization. It is based on a common sense idea: capture, organize and distribute the information needed to accomplish the goals of your organization. Over time technology provides better tools for supporting the goals of KM.

An influential person in KM is Karl-Erik Sveiby
Curriculum Vitae ,

"Knowledge management is the art of creating value from intangible assets", Karl-Erik Sveiby, founding father of Knowledge Management and editorial board member of Knowledge Management magazine.

From Hanken

Karl-Erik Sveiby is often described as one of the founding fathers of Knowledge Management, having pioneered many of the fundamental concepts. In 1986 he published his first book in Sweden in which he explored how to manage the rapidly growing "Knowledge Companies", organisations that have no traditional production, only the knowledge and the creativity of their employees. It became an instant bestseller and inspired the very early "Swedish movement" in Knowledge Management in both research and practice. His book 1990 (Sw. "Kunskapsledning") was a world-first with "Knowledge Management" in the title.

The view of KM from different areas of specialization

People in the KM movement want to capture knowledge but I don't think that means they are commited to the idea that computers can reason with knowledge bases. On the other hand, people in the AI movement do want to encode knowledge in computers so that the computer can reason with it. How do people in the AI community view KM (see the editorial at the end)? KM workers would be happy if AI workers could make computers reason but they are not waiting for that. They can get organized, as well as possible, now.

How does KM address the problem of transfering knowledge from human to computer?
How about from human to human? It seems to me that KM is an inherently applied field: The problem of how to transfer knowledge to humans or computers falls into other areas of study. KM wants to apply the findings from these other fields to its goals of capturing, organizing and distributing knowledge.

How can tacit knowledge be caputured? How can the knowledge that is tacit in one person's head be managed?
For a skeptical view see T.D. Wilson's article,The nonsense of knowledge management.
Also see the seven myths of KM.

Magazines of KM
KMWorld magazine
Magazines poublished by the Arc group

Other magazines, articles and tutorials

Lots of articles on KM at

KM products of the year

KM Glosary

KM Books
Knowlewdge Management, By Paul R. Gamble

What are the top open source knowledge management projects?