Personal Knowledge Management

My eye was caught by this piece by the Information Overlord. Painfully interesting!

I read a very good article  online today by Dave Pollard looking at KM in organisations and the concept of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) as a way of driving effective KM.

Lots of good stuff in it. He looks at how KM has been used or misused in
the sense of often just being employed to automate existing processes
without adding value, and stating that in most organisations critical
business flows are essentially unchanged from what they were a decade ago.

“Essentially, neither managers nor early KM practitioners ‘got it’: KM is
all about enabling people to obtain relevant, context-rich information, and
connection with appropriate experts, easily, when they need it, so that they
can be more effective doing their unique jobs”

He goes on to say we need to start again but from the bottom up (as we are
looking at doing with the wiki project) and:

  1. Develop processes and programs, and buy or build tools, that measurably
    improve the effectiveness of front-line workers in the performance of their
    unique and increasingly-specialized jobs;
  2. Refocus from top-down centralized content acquisition and collection to peer-to-peer content-sharing;
  3. Develop processes and programs, and buy or build tools, that measurably improve sense-making: the value and meaning of content in context;
  4. Refocus from top-down community-of-practice management to enabling peer-to-peer expertise-finding and connectivity.

In his idea – one of PKM – the role of Information Professional needs to be
revamped and upgraded from ‘content managers to personal work effectiveness
enablers’ (sounds a bit wanky, but when expanded on makes sense).

The article then goes on to offer some practical advice on how to introduce
the concept of PKM into your organisation. My favourite quote from large organisation / law firm point of view is  “A standard firm-wide taxonomy is rarely
appropriate and with current technology it is no longer necessary”.

All in all, well worth a read.