Saturday, January 08, 2011

Links of the Week (01/08/2011)

Read Knowledge Management Below the Radar
January 4, 2011, by Adam Richardson
My Comments:If my own experience is of any value, it's best to allow KM to thrive "under the radar" wherever it wants to sprout across the organization rather than try to control it centrally from a KM Office.  The challenge is that letting KM-related activities emerge and grow organically may result in a multitude of pockets of knowledge and associated technologies that are not necessarily well integrated or connected.  You can end up with knowledge silos.  So, the KM Office, if there is one, has a role to play in connecting the dots and providing broad guidance as well as... and this is very important, filling the gaps... doing what is critical from a KM perspective that isn't already being done. 

A good example of that are the case studies our office develops based on the experience of projects.  Project teams may focus on their own lessons learned, which they should, ideally, handle internally, with the KM Office's support as needed  However, the project teams are not likely to spend time writing a case study meant to disseminate what they've learned to other projects.  It's something the KM Office can take on as a service to the organization as a whole, facilitating the transfer of lessons from one project to the rest of the organization.

Related Links
  • Office of the Chief Knowledge Officer, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA (that's where I work)

  • NASA Case Studies

  • Read How to Make Use of Your Organization’s Collective Knowledge – Accessing the Knowledge of the Whole Organization - Part I, by Nancy Dixon

    My Comments: Nancy Dixon's posts aren't your typical blog posts, they're well thought out essays.  They usually come in a series on a particular topic. She talks about "sensemaking" as the first step in making use of an organization's collective knowledge.  In a practical setting, we call it "Pause and Learn," and it's a two-hour team reflection activity that enables members of a team to have a conversation about the salient aspects of a particular project experience. For project teams, one of the challenges is accepting the fact that this relatively simple conversation is valuable (i.e, worth spending precious time on).

    Related Link
  • Knowledge Management at Goddard: Pause & Learn

  • How do Rocket Scientists Learn?

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