HTI 404 – Knowledge Management (Ch. 8)

What does it mean to be knowledgeable?
To be considered knowledgeable, a person needs to understand that information, be able to make inferences between various tidbits of information presented, and be able to apply that information into action.
What are co.’s doing to convert info to knowledge?
Helping employees access, share, and use information is perhaps the best way to convert information into knowledge. Many companies are thus turning to new information systems, such as collaboration systems and enterprise portals, to give people the tools to access, share, and use information better.
What is the core competency of an organization?
The core competency of an organization is its key strength, a business function that it does better than any of its competitors.
What is a ‘core competency strategy?’
A core competency strategy is one in which an organization choose to focus specifically on what it does best (its core competency) and forms partnerships and alliances with other specialist organizations to handle non-strategic business processes (aka outsourcing).
How do strategic alliances help businesses?
Strategic alliances enable businesses to gain competitive advantages through access to a partner’s resources, including markets, technologies, and people.
What is a ‘collaboration system?’
A collaboration system is an IT based set of tools that supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information.
What two types of collaboration systems are there? Explain them.
Unstructured Collaboration – (sometime referred to as information collaboration) includes document exchange, shared whiteboards, discussion forums, and e-mail. These functions can improve personal productivity, reducing the time spent searching for information or chasing answers.

Structured Collaboration – (or process collaboration) involves shared participation in business processes, such as workflow, in which knowledge is hard-coded as rules. This helps improve automation and the routing of information.

Define: Content Management Systems. Give an example.
A content management system provides tools to manage the creation, storage, editing, and publication of information in a collaborative environment.

Business wikis are collaborative web pages that allow user to edit documents, share ideas, or monitor the status of a project.

Define: Workflow Management Systems
Workflow management systems facilitate the automation and management of business processes and control the movement of work through the business process.
What does workflow software do?
Workflow software helps automate a range of business tasks and electronically route the right information to the right people at the right time. Users are notified of pending work, and managers can observe status and route approvals through the system quickly.
Describe a ‘messaging-based workflow system.’
Messaging-based workflow systems send work assignments through an e-mail system. The workflow system automatically tracks the order for the work to be assigned and each time a step is completed, the system automatically sends the work to the next individual in line.
Describe a ‘database-based workflow system.’
Database-based workflow systems store documents in a central location and automatically ask the team members to access the document when it is their turn to edit the document.
Groupware Systems
Groupware is software that supports team interaction and dynamics including calendaring, scheduling, and videoconferencing.
Define: Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously.
Define: Web conferencing
Web conferencing blends audio, video, and document-sharing technologies to create virtual meeting rooms where people “gather” at a password-protected web site.
Knowledge Management
Knowledge management (KM) involves capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing information assets in a way that provides context for effective decisions and actions.
What are a business’s information resources?
KM is the systematic, effective management and use of an organization’s information resources that contain or embody knowledge. These sources include people (human experts); paper documents; electronic documents; presentations and spreadsheets; and data warehouse solutions.
The primary objective of KM is…
The primary objective of knowledge management is to be sure that a company’s knowledge of facts, sources of information, and solutions are readily available to all employees whenever it is needed.
Define: KMS
A knowledge management system (KMS) supports the capturing, organization, and dissemination of knowledge (i.e. know-how) throughout an organization. It is up to the company to decide what information qualifies as knowledge.
Define: Explicit knowledge
Explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be documented, archived, and codified, often with the help of information systems.
Define: tacit knowledge
Tacit knowledge is the knowledge contained in people’s heads.
Two best practices for transferring or re-creating tacit knowledge are:
1) Shadowing – less experienced staff observe more experienced staff to learn how their more experienced counterparts approach their work.

2) Joint Problem Solving – having a novice and expert work together on a project will bring the expert’s approach to light. The difference between shadowing and joint problem solving is that the shadowing is more passive. With joint problem solving, the expert and the novice work hand in hand on a task.

Define: SNA
Social networking analysis (SNA) is a process of mapping a group’s contacts (whether personal or professional) to identify who knows whom and who works with whom. It can help identify key experts in the organization who possess the knowledge needed to, say, solve a complicated programming problem or launch a new product.
Describe Enterprise Portals
Enterprise portals are single-point web browser interfaces used within an organization to promote the gathering, sharing, and dissemination of information through-out an enterprise.

These information systems provide employees with a path to all-encompassing content, services, and applications through one access point. Unlike departmental-based web sites hosted on a company’s intranet, an enterprise portal primary purpose is to provide a transparent directory of information located throughout an organization, not act as a separate source of information itself.

Give an example of an enterprise portal.
Example: MyYahoo! which allowed users to customize their own web interfaces to filter and provide information that was relevant and meaningful to them.
List some common elements of a portal.
Common elements of a portal:
– An enterprise taxonomy or classification of information categories that helps organize information for easy retrieval.
– A search engine
– Hypertext links to both internal and external web sites and information sources.
– More advanced enterprise portal features include access to work group productivity tools such as e-mail, calendars, work flow and project management software, expense reporting, and travel reservation applications.
To leverage enterprise portals for knowledge work and to promote collaboration, these systems must comprise 3 distinct areas:
1) An information content space to facilitate information access and retrieval.
2) A communication space to support discussion among employees, especially for negotiating collective interpretations and shared meanings about the information accessed and retrieved.
3) A work coordination space to support cooperative work action between employees, facilitating workflow processes, and the accomplishment of work tasks.
Define: Vertical enterprise portals
Vertical enterprise portals focus on accessing specific applications or business functions, such as Accounting or Purchasing.
Define: Horizontal enterprise portals
Horizontal enterprise portals seek to integrate and aggregate information from multiple cross-enterprise applications; for example, a horizontal portal may deliver information about a particular product or service, or specific line of business.