Eric Minick


1) I really enjoyed reading an article written from the perspective of people who are out doing practical work in this field. While examples relating to oil drilling did get a bit old, they seemed to bring an excellent background to the article.

2) Knowledge management is increasingly critical; the technological tools for it are improving but it is creating communities of participants which is most critical.

3) The strength of knowledge management is that it allows an organization to leverage the hard work of one part elsewhere. The organization can delivery better service/product for cheaper if it doesn't have to learn things from scratch repeatedly. That time can be spent doing something more progressive. It can also help the organization provide better customer service by providing the client and engineer the same information at the same time.

The weakness is that it relies on people to put the knowledge into the system and keep it up to date. The system requires active use to stay valuable. Unfortunately it is difficulty to write a check and buy community. Technologies for facilitating k.m. are still incomplete as well.

4) In push technology, some entity determines what information the user is likely to find helpful and delivers it without the user having to make a request. In pull technology, the user identifies his need and requests information from the system. Pull technologies are often handy but sometimes fail when the user doesn't know that the information which he needs is out there. Pushy agents can be annoying and more trouble than help, but push has its use beyond "It looks like you're writing a letter!" Codebroker style tools which are fairly unobtrusive are probably the most likely to be helpful.

5.1 If you're unaware of what happened before, you will have to go make the mistakes / discoveries that others have made to get to their level of understanding. In an ideal k.m. world, their mistakes and discoveries would be relayed to you in advance to save you the trouble.

5.2) Within an organization, there are often large numbers of very smart people doing pretty innovative things. These often turn into local best practices, to use the terminology of the article. However, without some effort it can be challenging to have your Moscow branch office take advantage of the innovations of your Rio office.