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Jackson Fox

Assignment 15

source: Smith, R. G. & Farquhar, A. (2000) "The Road Ahead for Knowledge Management – An AI Perspective," AI Magazine, 21(4), pp. 17-40

What did you find interesting about the article?

I found the article to be extremely interesting. This is the first comprehensive discussion of knowledge-management issues that I have read, and was quite interested to learn about the issues currently involved, and moreimportantly how knowledge-management has been implemented.

I was particularaly interested in the discussion of the evolution of knowledge-management technology, especially the lack of publishing tools. Haveing spent some time noe working with wiki's, it seemed to me that the wiki idea might be able to fill in the holes that the authors identified.

What did you find not interesting about the article?

Not much, though I though the first few pages were pretty dull.

What do you consider the main message of the article?

That knowledge management will be critical to the success of business in the next few years, and that a careful approach to knowledge management (KM) will be critical to a companies success.

More directly, companies must take an approach that integrates KM within the exisiting workflow, lowers the barrier for participation, and directly connects to users.

What are the strengths / successes of KM?

KM allows a company to leverage its own experience better. Knowledge gained by one part of an organization is no longer lost, and can now be distributed to the company as a whole. Communities of practice are strengthened by knowledge sharing.

What are the weaknesses / failures of KM?

KM must not be seen as a secondary process, but must be integrated tightly into the workflow of an organization. It must not present a significant cognitive barrier to participants if they are to actively support the KM efforts.

KM is currently focused on delivery of knowledge and access to knowledge, it must also be extended to improve the creation of knowledge and reinvestment of knowledge.

How would you differentiate between "pull" and "push" approaches in knowledge management? What are the trade-offs between the two approaches? In which situations would you use one or the other approach?

The two approaches differ as does any technology that can be push or pull. Push can provide just-in-time information and knowledge to workers, it can also speed the dissemination of knowledge throughout the organization. It can also piss people off by filling their email boxes with crap.

Pull KM can be tailored and delivered to meet the needs of the searcher. Inofrmation is retreived when needed, and is available for this at any time. But, it can also be overlooked.

But approaches have their strengths, and should be leveraged together. Pull information is usefull for people when the problem is poorly or ill-defined. However, targeted information can be oushed to workers as it becomes available.

Please discuss why and how the two following quotes are (or are not) relevant for knowledge management:

1. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

KM helps provide knowledge of the past to current problems.

2. "Innovation is everywhere; the difficulty is learning from it" (John Seeley Brown)

KM helps to provide information to the people who need it.

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