Thursday, 28 August 2008

'Knowledge management' again

In a Google group related to content management I saw a post today about KM. Someone had been tasked with setting up a KM system but didn't know how to go about it. This prompted me to comment along the following lines.

It's possible to argue endlessly about what 'knowledge
management' means. I think what most organisations want (or should
want) is an information management system which includes not only
formal-ish documents like reports, but conversations. The latter is
where blogs come in. Old-style KM tried to make people enter
'knowledge' into separate systems - they didn't want to and didn't
have the time. A better approach is to have them write in blogs,
discussion groups and wikis as part of their work, so that the
information is captured and is accessible to all. This is in stark
contrast to information that resides on shared drives and email. You
can give it structure through tagging, enabling the creation of a
folksonomy. This is an ad hoc taxonomy, less controlled (and a bit
more hit-and-miss) but still useful and better than free-text
searching alone. Pop in an RSS feed and people can subscribe to the
subject areas or authors they are interested in. The hard bit is
weaning people off the tools they are used to - email, Word documents
and Powerpoints on shared drives. Old habits die hard.

Do you agree?

Sunday, 10 August 2008

'Managing' email inbox

I used to work on the principle that my email inbox needed to be actively managed. Every message should (ideally at least) be read once then either replied to, filed or deleted. As volumes increased, and I used the Blackberry more and more for email - on which, with my set-up, I can't file - this process became too difficult. Now I set the Blackberry to delete all emails over 15 days old (on handheld and mailbox). The idea is that if the email matters, I'll attend to it. If it doesn't, it dies a natural death.

I no longer feel a burden of fear and guilt from contemplating a massive list of unprocessed messages.