Monday, March 11, 2024

Two Layers of Knowledge Architecture

I've come across two different approaches or definitions of "knowledge architecture", and by extension, "knowledge architect".  I'm not sure whether talking about them as two layers is accurate, but these two approaches are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, they complement each other.  

#1: Strategic Framework:
Knowledge architecture as the framework for knowledge management, which could be the foundations for a knowledge management strategy and would include the traditional people, process, technology, and governance.  This is a domain much more closely associated with organization development and learning, integrating elements to leverage both tacit and explicit knowledge. 

#2: Organizational Schema: Knowledge architecture as the rules and schemas for organizing knowledge, which focuses on explicit knowledge and/or data (structured and unstructured). This is a domain much more closely associated with information management and now with AI, big data, etc.  It's the domain of taxonomies, ontologies, and knowledge graphs.

This is not a new story in knowledge management, but with each wave of new technology, we need to be reminded of the need for a basic knowledge management framework, a Strategic Framework (#1 Knowledge Architecture), preferably before diving into the exciting depth of the Organizational Schema (#2 Knowledge Architecture). For one, it would help organizations approach technology vendors and assess technology solutions.

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