Posting Date: October 08, 2002
When good things happen to bad ideas -- "Knowledge management is a solid concept that fell in with the wrong company. Software companies, to be precise." (MadMan comments: Tell us about the failed knowledge management initiatives you've witnessed. Speak freely. We want to know.)
I know MadMan wants personal experiences, but I need to state that knowledge sharing in companies is more than the archiving and distribution of documents that have been generated.
Knowledge sharing in a company actually occurs through such activities as gossip, and rumor spreading - strange but true. Much research has been done that notes that much about how to operate in an organization and its overall dynamics are learnt through the 'grape vine' - the informal process of discussing and gossiping about the work environment.
So, how do you automate this process?
I would not be volunteering to add such comments to a global distribution and storage process.
Knowledge management is no different to CRM - both solutions searching for a problem.
Another thing I have noticed is that with Johnís redesign of the entry fields, I actually enter more copy now than in the past.
Some questions based on JB's insight: Do companies have breakthroughs due to their systems? Or do the breakthroughs happen by accident, the companies rewriting history to make it look otherwise? ...How exactly do you get the core knowledge many people would consider economic suicide to divuldge? ...Perhaps more importantly, how does any system capture the ineffable qualities even the average person thinks of when considering the concept of knowledge.
Most companies aren't aware that the way things get done is different from what the documentation says. Others would be shocked to find the people employed to hand-type the output from one system into another, incompatible system. Knowledge is about the stuff "that isn't happening here". The unspoken. The stuff that has become so ingrained the people who "know" it don't even know they know it.
Filbert is down on self-reported data. Can you even imagine the trouble with getting first hand accounts about knowledge?