Monday 13 October 2008

KM Dissertation Advice

I met with a friend and former KM classmate of mine, Colman McMahon, today in preparation for a presentation we will be giving to the current students of the MSc in Knowledge Management at the Dublin Institute of Technology. We will be sharing our experience of tackling a dissertation in KM and also an open Q&A about our views on the current state of KM.

It was interesting to compare thoughts on where we see the future of KM, particularly on the technology and tooling side. We both had looked at wiki-use during our research and agreed that they are certainly useful in demonstrating the human elements of KM (capture, sharing, organising of knowledge etc). We also spoke about Sharepoint and Lotus Connections - we both agreed that there is huge potential in relation to the power of these environments to provide a solid infrastructure for KM and Enterprise 2.0 features going forward.

In terms of what advice we would pass on to the current class, we have yet to conclude on this. My own thoughts include:
  • KM is more than just a technology discipline, in fact it encompasses many aspects of a working organisation. This is an important lesson to learn, as many people have fallen at this first hurdle of understanding what KM is and how it will provide value and enable internal growth for your organisation.
  • The role of HR in KM is very important. "Learning & Development" has out-grown its welcome, and the days of simply attending courses and returning to the desk are over. The next generation of "Learning & Development" is continuous learning & development - KM! The knowledge workers of Gen X/Y want to search and discover knowledge instantly (instead of attending a 3-day course to do so).
  • The tie between Web 2.0 and KM is a growing discipline. However, it is important to remember and focus-on the core KM principles. Don't deploy a wiki or blog because it's cool - deploy them for what they can add to your organisation, and be clear on what you are using them for.

Once we narrow down our thoughts on KM research and our experiences in the next few weeks, I will share them here.

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