Wednesday, 22 August 2012

When you don't need KM technology

Low-tech Twitter We often talk about a Knowledge Management Framework as a mix of Roles and Accountabilities, Processes, Technologies, and Governance.

But can you get along with any of these missing?

Can you do Knowledge Management with no technology, for example?

The purpose of KM technology is to allow people to talk when they can't get into the same room at the same time, and to allow knowledge to be stored beyond the constraints of human memory.

So you could have a technology-free application of KM for

  • a small group 
  • meeting frequently
  • debriefing quickly while memories are fresh,
  • dealing with rapidly-changing knowledge, or knowledge they need to internalise
  • which they will re-use quickly, before they forget the details. 

This application, for example, used nothing more elaborate than a whiteboard, and was highly successful.

Similarly the training-day after action reviews in the army are technology free, and the wildland fire AARs use  nothing more complex that a sandbox (ie a box with sand in it), and personal notebooks.

But as soon as the conversation needs to reach beyond the immediate team, or where knowledge has to be stored for more than a few days, technology needs to play its part

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