March 12, 2009

Knowledge Management/ PMA and other impulsive thoughts

I am sure that for the past one and a half weeks or even two weeks, most of us have been exploring the vast fields of knowledge and asset management as an attempt to produce an ideal KM/AM solution for Waveriders-at this point i would like to wish everyone Good Luck for tomorrow...!!!! I know it has been a hectic week with many many many obligations but we are all still fighting, which is encouraging. To think off tomorrows presentation will be the final presentation for all of us on MBE...which makes me feel a bit nostalgic and of course stressed because project seems much closer...

Anyway...enough with the moaning,

What i am trying to get at is linked to knowledge management. As i was reading an article from the Harvard Business Review:Balancing Act- How to capture knowledge without killing it by J.S Brown and P.Duguid they mentioned that the main problem in capturing knowledge is to "know what you know". There is quite a difficulty understanding what you know because we do things without really realising them or what they cause, meaning that there is a difference between what we think we are doing and what we are actually doing/produsing. The other issue causing confusion is that a task might appear to be something but actually it is something else...Hoping i am making sense here...

Perhaps the most impressive thing i read in that article (and many others to  be honest) were the solutions suggested in order to develop a better understanding of what one knows... The prepositions were socialising, storytelling, experimenting...

I was thinking about the solutions...and i immetiately thought about how deal with our PMA's...

I mean...we attend the modules...we keep notes...we blog (not all-nor always)..we consult books and journals..but sometimes we feel a bit lost...even though there is substantial "knowledge" in our head but we just cant seem to get around the task... 

Therefore we often discuss with our class mates about the issues that are causing us trouble, we meet on MSN, for launch or randomly in the computer lab and just talk (socialising)...

When some of us have done some progress then we answer questions according to what we have done up to that point, for example : I did a mind map, or I started from the second question is much easier or I found that good article...meaning that we share our experience and narrate the way we have gone about with the PMA (storytelling)

After that, we have come in contact with our fellow students, discussed with them and bearing in mind their method...then its time for us to start practising with our PMA...(experimenting) 

I found that very interesting because in a way it seems that we generate and manage knowledge in ways that are not always that obvious...And even if it might seem so easy for us MBE students what happens in a organisation out there in the real world?

From my point of view there ought to be provision in order to allow employees to develop and practise such processes...It is actually funny but we were discussing with Mariana how some articles very seriously consider the water cooler a tool to generate socialisation and consequently a KM tool, because when employees get up to have some water they will probably discuss their job and exchange opinions...

Personaly, after working for 2 and a half years at the Hellenic Children's Museum i think that bringing emplyees together at the end of each day (perhaps a bit extravigant for a company, but for the Museum it was ideal) is pretty implicit...Especially when you have new members...Because through discussions and sharing you acquire a better understanding of your tasks which increases the level of involvment and makes it easier to make improvements ...

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