All entries for Tuesday 05 June 2012
June 05, 2012
Another way to document knowledge is to use schema, graphs, table, or anything apart from proper text-based documents. We read everywhere that "document, store and disseminate" are part of the KM system. Often, people link "document" to text-based documents.
However, I believe the way knowledge is documented and/or stored encourages or discourages people from using it. Reading load of documents to "re-use" knowledge is just tedious . This is why, as part of a knowledge management, we should think more in terms of "how do we document", rather than "we need to document". A company has to find an easy way to transfer/disseminate knowledge.
Schema and graphs, tables normally give a very good overview. It makes the information clear to understand, easy to update, and people are more likely to use it for further work.
As students and future employees, we should take this into account and not forget to express our ideas in a efficient and easy way. The concept of Knowledge Management in itself is complex enough, but small things can have big impacts.
We've read many different things about KM and according to other people's blog, there are many ways of implementing KM, but nothing really efficient. We talk about KM, explicit and tacit knowledge. Transforming tacit knowledge into an explicit one to make it usable. However, KM isn't it a tacit knowledge in itself ?
Apparently, no one really knows how to apply it and it seems that companies apply it with no big convictions. So far, I haven't seen a lot of practical implementation apart from things such as:
- whilst creating information, make sure you put a name on it, a subject, the name of the company, the date, the level of confidentiality, etc
- Create a database to organise all this knowledge
- Transform tacit knowledge into explict knowledge
Another and easier way for a company might be to passed tacit knowledge on to other people working in the same department/area. By doing this regularly, the company would ensure the knowledge is shared but also decreases the risk of someone leaving with it. This would mean develop knowledge without necessarily going through the step "transformation into explicit knowledge".
This PMA gives me the opportunity to be in the shoes of a consultant, which I find really interesting since I'd like to start my career as a consultant.
First, I had no clue on how a consultant writes a report for a company. I have developed my knowledge by looking at some reports on the Internet, the way it was structured and what was the main elements. I still have no experience in this field but trying to optimize WaveRiders' organisation is a great way to learn and I enjoy it a lot !
However, I encountered some difficulties in terms of costs and timing when doing the strategic planning. I wasn't sure how much a company (WaveRiders) normally spends when it hires a consulting company. I also found quite hard to realistically evaluate how long a simple change (i.e. create a policy, recruit someone, etc) might take. And this information is essential to schedule everything and be able to give a good overview to its customers.
Then, I realized that every single change that the consulting company recommends needs to be adapted to the daily activites of WaveRiders. Timing is critical and both companies need to reach a compromise.
Finally, does a consulting company give recommendations as a starting point along with some training to make sure the company(client) will be able to implement the changes. Or does it do everything with its own team, and just make sure the client understands to do it by itself later on ?
This report made me wonder many important questions. I find it very healthy because it confirms my will to work as a consultant. I am now better conscious of the work it requires, and how interesting it can be to always work on different projects.
Finally, I like the idea that this PMA and all this research will help me soon for all my interviews with consulting companies. It will provide me a better understanding to characterise this job and its challenges.