Friday, August 27, 2010
We do not know what we know. The tools and techniques we have developed and applied in Knoco for capturing knowledge, are specifically designed to get at the unconscious knowledge. By applying these techniques, we can make knowledge conscious, and then if we need to capture it, we populate our knowledge banks with quality knowledge.
However the other side of the coin is that the customer for the knowledge, the future user of the knowledge, is unaware of what she needs to know. She does not know (or is not aware) what she does not know. You cannot rely on her interrogating a database to find the knowledge she needs, when she is blissfully unaware of what she needs. She could not search for it, as she does not know what to search for. She doesn't know which tags to look for, she may not know which sites to visit or RSS feeds to join. The knowledge she needs has to be presented to her in a structured form, so she can learn what she needs to know. It needs not just to be findable and usable, it needs to guide and lead the user as well.
The way in which knowledge is stored in the knowledge bank is crucial. If it is not user focused - if it does not give the future knowledge user what you are sure she needs to know, rather than what she thinks she wants to know - then the real knowledge does not get transferred, and so does not get applied.
So think through - who might need this knowledge in future? How can we lead them to understand it? How can we give them the overview as well as the depth? How can we show this unknown user the things they don't realise that they don't know?