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Rizwan Ansary

Assignment 15

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

For me, this article was like a tutorial to knowledge management, hence it was interesting to come across the various ideas. The case study of the SINET intranet in Schlumberger and its contribution to in building communities of practice provides a real world perspective and is thus interesting.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I do not think there is anything I would call not interesting.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

Knowledge managment can prove to be really helpful for today's organizations. This article focusses on how AI can improve the entire process and discusses the issues that are related to the various actors in a knowledge management process: people, tools and content.

3. what are

3.1. the strengths / successes of knowledge management?

From a software developer's perspective, I would say that learning from each others' mistakes reduces a lot of development time which is critical in most projects. Also, reusing existing knowledge bases and experiences reduces the chances of errors. The ideas brought to the fore by "Code Broker" is a fine example of such a system.

From a general perspective, a knowledge management process treats the skill and experience of all actors equally and exploits the symmetry of ignorance by sharing experiences.

3.2. the weaknesses /failures of knowledge management?

Training the workers to use the new tool is one disadvantage that comes to mind. However, in this day and age of information technology, we frequently see employees getting trained for one thing or the other so I feel that this is insignificant in the long run.

4. what are you personal experiences with

4.1. knowledge management

I bookmark favorite and informative articles. I also keep consolidated notes, assignments and quizzes of a course from the previous semester, especially if I plan to take another course in the same area. I have a long list of small programs that I have made over the years and each of them relate to some important concept, or does something in a neat way etc.

4.2. knowledge management systems?

The auto-complete feature in Visual Studio .NET has been very useful for me. Also, the various code examples that I can find on the internet are also quite helpful though they are also difficult to search sometimes. Other than programming, swiki is a great knowledge base and so is the Scientific Literature Digital Library ( where I can search for research literature.

5. 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?

Pusher Tools:

  • The Visual Studio .NET auto-complete feature (which has some similarities with the Code Broker) is one such system.
  • They save a lot of time, considering the fact that pushers are tailor made for a task or for a company at the very least.
  • Pushers can preempt a potentially creative or efficient way of doing things that might be brewing in the person's mind.
  • Agents like the MS Word 'clip' can sometimes be irritating for expert users.
  • These tools should be used when the specifications are well-defined or the process/practices are already present in a great level of detail.

Puller Tools:

  • Practiaclly, the most abstract puller is the user's own inititative. After that he can use any tool e.g. Google, MSDN, or some proprietary tool.
  • Pullers fail for novices. These tools can be used effectively only by users who know what they are looking for and where to look for it.
  • Hence puller tools should be used for situations where their is a high level of expertise.

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

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

If knowledge managment can be useful in a certain situation but it is ignored then the users in the system may go through the entire process only to realize their mistake at the end. Had knowledge management been used, they would have known that certain people in the past had made the same mistake and then they would have done things differently in order to avoid that mistake. e.g. code reuse avoids mistakes.

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

The entire community is enagaged in producing best results. Taken together, their experiences define the best practices. This pool of knowledge can be put to great use for the benefit of the entire community, but only if the individuals in the community feel motivated to learn from them.

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