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Brock LaMeres (Summarizer)

HW #16: Knowledge Management

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

In general, everyone thought knowledge management was interesting (except Kitty). The concepts of the "In Touch" and "Knowledge Champion" were interesting, mainly because they attempt to quantify a system that can inherently be very difficult to bound. The case studies helped to explain the information in a more applied way.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

Some did not like the case studies. The examples of oil drilling did not resonate very well with the mainly computer science crowd.

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

Every one agreed that the main message was that companies need to have some sort of database that stores the "best design practices". This is useful so that when employees tackle problems, they do not have to re-invent the wheel since the design may have already been done. Also it is relevant in the case of new employees and turn-over.

3. what are 3.1. the strengths / successes and 3.2. the weaknesses /failures of knowledge management?

Everyone stated in one way or another that the problem with data management is the same in this paper as it is with all other data repositoriessuch as the www. The main problem is organizing the data in a manner that people can easily find and use the information. There is a point at which if finding the information is too time-consuming, the users will simply recreate the solution themselves. The 2nd problem is regarding "poor information". It is difficult to guarantee that the information in the repository is the best way to do something.

4. what are you personal experiences with

4.1. knowledge management and

There were many examples of knowledge managment. A few readers referenced the internet. Some had experience with proprietary systems at their place of work. Some had experience with Database systems. And finally, some had experience with the ACM portal for finding research papers.

4.2. knowledge management systems?

Readers had experience with such systems as Sales Databases, Portals, Intranet services, and PDA's.

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?

Every one agreed that a "pull" system is where the user drives the extraction of the information from the portal. The user is responsible for inputing the correct search criteria and evaluating the results.

The "push" system is similar to a wizard system in which the system asks a series of questions and tries to interpret what the user is looking for. Results that the system consideres relevant are given to the user.

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)

The consensus is that problems are solved many times as a result of not knowing what others before us have done.

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

There are too many problems and solutions to remember. We need some type of system that can store past experience and produce it on demand. Digital media is a good candidate for this however this media has allowed such massive amounts of data to be easily stored in the repository that sifting through it all is now the largest problem.

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