How to convince your organization that it needs a Taxonomy

NetIKX will hold an event on July 3rd 2014 which addresses the above issue. Two speakers from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) will speak about their taxonomy and its potential to the organization. Anna Burmajster is Head of Information Services at the ICAEW. Alice Laird is the Taxonomy Project Manager at the ICAEW. In addition, Phil Carlisle will speak. Phil works at English Heritage and has a wealth of experience (both nationally and internationally) in explaining the need for taxonomies and developing them for the historic environment community. This event will be held at the British Dental Association in Wimpole Street.

robrosset 02/04/2014

Blog Post : Incentivising knowledge sharing behaviours

35 people attended this NetIKX event held at the British Dental Association on the afternoon of Tuesday March 18th 2014. Steve Dale spoke on the ‘hot topic’ of  ‘gamification’. Quite simply, ‘gamification’ is the process of applying game elements to non-game applications using the fundamentals of human psychology to address motivation, ability levels and ‘triggers’ in individuals. The ultimate aim is to increase individual, team and organisational performance. Steve instanced a number of examples – from a multitude: within the NHS (a gamification app to encourage exercise); within local government (Halton Borough Council puts RFID tags on bins to track correct recycling by households and rewards good practice by awarding points that can be redeemed at local shops); within the market place (Supermarket club cards and loyalty cards). Steve cautioned against an  unthinking approach to adopting ‘gamification’ within an organisation. He emphasised the need to think carefully about organisational culture and to ensure that organisational goals are clear. After Steve’s talk and questions we moved on to syndicate sessions where five groups devised a gamification strategy to achieve an objective within their organisation. We then talked about the strategies. The event closed with networking, wine and nibbles. For Steve’s presentation go to http://www.slideshare.net/stephendale and for more information on Steve go to http://about.me/stephendale

Graham Coult has done an excellent write up of this event for the journal “Managing Information” Vol. 21 Issue 2 2014 pp. 26-28. ISSN13520229. This is a subscription journal go to http://aslib.com/resources/mi_intro.htm

robrosset NetIKX ManCom

 

 

 

Event report: Knowledge organisation – past, present and future

Our latest NetIKX event on 26th November was all about information and knowledge management within organisations. We took a look at how IKM has evolved and where it’s likely to go next. Our speakers were Dr David Skryme, Analyst and Management Consultant at David Skryme Associates and Danny Budzak, Senior Information Manager at the London Legacy Development Corporation.

Dr David Skryme
In his presentation ‘The 7 Ages of IKM in Organizations’ David talked us through the development of information and knowledge management over the past few decades.

Dr David J. Skyrme

Dr David J. Skyrme

David sees capturing the most important information as being a vital part of knowledge management. Communities are essential for developing tacit knowledge, through people talking to other people and sharing their knowledge. Work organisations are really social places, about human relationships and people.

In the beginning knowledge was passed down verbally – the Icelandic sagas are a good example. Storytelling has come back into popularity as a tool for knowledge managers to bring knowledge management to life.

1995-1997
David compared the development of IKM to Shakespeare’s seven stages of mankind. He dates the formal emergence of knowledge management as a topic discussed in boardrooms by senior managers to 1995-1997, when Nonaka & Takeuchi’s seminal book ‘The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation’ was published. This highlighted many advantages of knowledge management for organisations, particularly from a research and development point of view.

  • 1997-1998 – IKM still adolescent, growing up, coming of age
  • 1998-2002 – Segmentation/consolidation
  • 2003-2005 – Re-evaluation and re-definition. Reaching middle age, maturity
  • 2005-2012 – social media emerges as ‘grass-roots’ IKM. Wikis are increasingly used as a good way of harvesting information.
  • 2013 – Big Data & Analytics. What do you do with it all? Are we overlooking the human element, getting carried away with IT?

“The true success of knowledge management is when it disappears” – that’s when it becomes part and parcel of working life.

The American Productivity & Quality Center’s website AQPC.org has lots of survey data on knowledge management through the years. Challenges between 1997 and 2013 have consistently been achieving knowledge capture and reuse, but there are new challenges now – social media, visualisation, ramification, co-creation with customers. Still, David feels we shouldn’t necessarily prefer the snazzy new vs the proven old; there are a lot of solid knowledge management techniques already out there.

Danny Budzak
Next Danny talked us through how he is developing data, information and knowledge management at the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), in his role as Senior Information Manager.

Danny Budzak

Danny Budzak

The LLDC has a big job to do in its role to regenerate the Olympic Park and surrounding area. There are lots of policies at local and national level to comply with, and complex financial data that must be published in an annual report.

Danny feels that information professionals can benefit from linking good data quality to risk management. For example, LLDC health and safety files need to be well maintained to avoid fines and keep employees safe.

At a conference he attended, Danny heard an analogy that chief executives are like nursery school children – they like simple things and primary colours! Use bright graphics, try and capture your organisation’s knowledge pictorially. Big paper maps on the wall can be a good way of capturing and displaying information in an easy way to see, while mind maps can be a fast and effective way of taking notes at a conference.

Email encapsulates a lot of knowledge – but unfortunately accounts are set up individually. The metadata is hard for others to access again. To try and overcome this, LLDC has set up a collaborative environment for employees to communicate within. The organisation is now not going to fall over if key people leave.

To make sure document management is more efficient, Danny has introduced document control templates and version control to make sure documents are numbered properly – e.g. v0.1 for a first draft, v0.2 for a second draft. There have been issues with some people renaming the documents in their own way, but most people are using the new system.

In Danny’s opinion, information professionals are too timid. Nothing should be too complicated or complex for us – it should all be knowable. We should get very involved in our organisations. Go to meetings you’re not invited to, offer training sessions without being asked.

Once others trust you, they will share dark secrets and opinions, like ‘If I buy my own laptop, it won’t be subject to freedom of information‘.

Make data visible – say how many files you have in total and how many of these are duplicates. People understand concrete numbers and will appreciate how much it’s costing them.

Some really good ideas to take in here. Finally, think it was Danny that mentioned this delightful Dilbert strip, Knowledge worker!

Further reading: Our Storify collection of tweets from this event.

Blog post by Emily Heath. Many thanks to both our speakers.

Knowledge management and organisational strategy – NetIKX March 2011 seminar

Another lively and thought-provoking NetIKX seminar took place on Thursday 24 March at the British Dental Association which is fast becoming our preferred location as healthy numbers of people continue to support our programme. Flooding at Trafalgar Square, power cuts on the underground and speakers stuck on trains gave us a few hairy moments but in the end nearly 40 participants enjoyed 2 different but very good speakers, Dr Nick Milton (not Wilton as per the feedback sheets!) from Knoco Ltd and Linda Wishart from the Department of Health, followed by syndicate work on Nick’s Boston boxes, Working across cultures, Exit interviews and What is KM all about?. The overriding message was that KM is necessary now more than ever.

Nick offered us a model of knowledge based on competence in 4 different areas – Potential competence (in business terms looking at emerging markets), Competitive competence, Core competence and Others’ competence. The “Others” box led to some interesting discussions during a brief Q & A session at the end of his presentation. Nick’s view was that this led to Outsourcing and Quality assurance but he admitted that his views were likely to change as a result of the debate! It is good to see NetIKX influencing the minds of today!

He then gave us 2 stories – the first on a successful deployment of KM principles leading from Strategy to Activity and Results. Although I never got to understand how Mars chocolate can stop melting in India, the successful outcome was that sales trebled and the profit % doubled. Nick then offered us a cautionary tale when these principles are not followed. It was a sobering scenario about the disaster at Longford refinery in Australia which was caused by a knowledge failure resulting in 2 deaths and 8 people injured as well as a loss of power in the area for 20 days!

Linda’s presentation on the challenge of implementing KM in changing times when central government is heading towards significantly reduced workforce and resources, shared services and no money, Information Assurance and risk management, coupled with the government’s transparency agenda, was all too familiar to colleagues from other government departments. Linda did admit that DH was the first department to be taken to task by the Information Commissioner who had concluded that their FOI requests and record management was not up to scratch. After providing some insight into the myriad of different roles which the DH Knowledge worker will be facing in 2015, Linda shared her strategy of facing up to the KM challenge. This strategy was based around improved technology where possible, improved information access, knowledge capture and transfer, training and awareness, and engagement with workgroups. Linda was unfortunately unable to stay for the syndicate work but she was able to answer a couple of questions. Very similar to Nick’s premise that KM has never been more important, in response to the question “How does FOI impact on people’s willingness to record knowledge?”, the answer was that it is all about managing information properly. So there you are then – Knowledge Management – does it still have a role in organisational strategy? The answer was a resounding yes!

There were lively discussions at the 4 syndicate groups and the report back was interesting and well-received.

Melanie Harris