For any tasks or activities or conceptual frameworks which have to last beyond the limits of reliability of the reliability of human memory, you need to start to build a Body of Knowledge.
|Image from wikimedia commons|
Wikipedia describes a Body of Knowledge as "the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association." Within an organisation, the "relevant learned society or professional association" is usually the relevant community of practice or community of technical experts.
- In Shell, the Body of Knowledge is represented by the Shell Wiki and the documents linked from the wiki.
- In Pfizer, the Body of Knowledge is summarised and indexed by the Pfizerpedia wiki
- In DaimlerChrysler it was the EBOK - the Engineering Book of Knowledge
- In BP it was the Engineering Technical Practices and the accompanying Guidance Notes.
One of the better online examples is the NASA body of knowledge. In fact every technical discipline within NASA has its own body of knowledge. We can see for example
- The systems engineering body of knowledge
- The Body of Knowledge for Leadless Quad Flat No-Lead/bottom Termination Components
- The Body of Knowledge for copper wire bonds,
- The Body of Knowledge for spaceport operations,
and so on.
A Body of Knowledge is what we in Knoco call a "Knowledge Asset", and needs to have the following:
- An owner/editor/custodian
- A community of practice acting as contributors and users
- A way to synthesise existing knowledge into "the body
- A mechanism for continuous review and update
- A "host space" for the Body of Knowledge which means it can be very easily found and updated
- A way of tracking usage.
If you feel your organisation needs to build a Body of Knowledge, contact us for help and advice.