May 04, 2013

Effetive KM for organization

The nature of the benefits from managing explicit knowledge depends on the type of application. Electronic publishing and other low interactivity, high-structure applications tend to provide a significant cost saving or increased efficiency.

In real world business, the actual problems can view how they were actually dealt with at the time. And formal training can take place in the working field, giving the staff the ability to directly apply or integrate the training materials with their own day-to-day problems. In this way, those materials become more relevant and interwoven into the tacit experience and the learning more meaningful and lasting. By integrating the interactive, emergent forums with the structured content and distribution of formal training, a continual cycle of knowledge creation and application can be created. Tacit knowledge is made explicit via the forums, formally transferred via distance learning, and tacitly reapplied. That new tacit knowledge is now available for sharing with others via the same cycle. At each turn of the cycle, the knowledge of the organization increases, providing potentially greater competitive advantage.

To summarize these findings, organizations that managed knowledge effectively understood their strategic knowledge requirements, devised a knowledge strategy appropriate to the firm's business strategy and implemented an organizational and technical architecture appropriate to the knowledge processing needs of the organization; enabling them to apply maximum effort and commitment to creating, explicating, sharing, applying, and improving their knowledge.

While some view knowledge management as merely the current business fad, knowledge lies at the essence of humans as individuals and collectivities. Respecting the role of knowledge and learning may be the most effective approach to building a solid and enduring competitive foundation for business organizations. Firms can derive significant benefits from consciously, proactively and aggressively managing their explicit and explicable knowledge. Doing this in a coherent manner requires aligning the firm's organizational and technical resources and capabilities with its knowledge strategy. It requires mapping the firm's organizational and technical capabilities and constraints to its knowledge processing requirements. It may require significant organizational and technical interventions. The knowledge management architecture provides a framework for guiding this important effort.


Some thinking

According to our team discuss about knowledge management, we found that a common weakness in knowledge management programs is the overemphasis on information technology at the expense of well-defined knowledge management roles and responsibilities. Wave Rider typically does not address either knowledge management or the cross-functional, cross-organizational process by which knowledge is created, shared and applied.

First, knowledge management, as a cross-organizational process, should be comprehensively 'owned' and managed, and full-time responsibility assigned for an organization's knowledge management architecture. Organizations are creating a Chief Knowledge Officer role to handle this responsibility. Many organizations also cluster those responsible for knowledge management into knowledge or expertise centers, each being responsible for a particular body of knowledge. Their responsibilities typically include championing knowledge management, educating the organization, knowledge mapping, and integrating the organizational and technological resources comprising the knowledge management architecture.

Additionally, explicit responsibility should be assigned for each stage of the refinery and the interfaces between them. Assigning responsibility for the seamless movement of knowledge from acquisition through use, as well as the interfaces between these stages, will help ensure that knowledge repositories will be meaningfully created and effectively used.


Knowledge management

During preparing our group presentation, we found that the ultimate goal of Knowledge Management is to improve an organization's effectiveness by leveraging three core-learning processes in a smart and lasting way. Firstly, we need learning from success and failure, at the individual, team or organization level. Secondly, learning from each other, both from co-located colleagues as well as colleagues who might be located at a further distance (geographical, functional) Thirdly, learning from 'outside in', from partners, suppliers, customers and even competitors.

Furthermore, organization should understand how these learning processes could fit into the overall business strategy and on which knowledge areas are most important to focus.

The benefits of Knowledge Management should ultimately be demonstrated in the key performance indicators of the organization.

There can be many obstacles for successful Knowledge Management initiatives. These include the lack of 'Buy in' of employees, non-performing IT- infrastructures, cultural barriers and many others.

Our experiences demonstrate that the major keys to successful KM programmes are

1. Have to: Consistent and clear focus based on company strategies and relevant business drivers.

2. Can do: Effective enablers focused on the empowerment of employees

3. Want to: Effective change management focused on employee participate.

These also could implement to Wave Rider' improvement


KBAM reflective thinking

This week I was lucky enough to have the Knowledge management and asset management together helping to guide Wave Rider. The Knowledge management and Asset Management are crucial parts in management. Firstly, for many organizations, they just have no enough thinking on these aspects.

What I learned from our class is several steps about processes in terms of knowledge management and asset management. Why we need knowledge management? For many organizations, Costly mistakes are duplicated because earlier ones were not recorded, Work is often re-done. Customer relationships are sometimes damaged because knowledge is not available at the point of action. Good ideas and best practices are most often not shared (overall cost raises). Only one or two employees hold crucial knowledge. Employees are frustrated because knowledge resources are not available.

I worked for a bank two years ago, which main focused on business for public organization and government. We had many resources in store, but actually no one have a clearly records on it. I think it was an area which need to collect information and make improvement. But the manager believes it was not so important for the whole business performance. After that, I found more relevant and similar situation. For example, I can not find the material and documents because these papers are in the corner of factory room. The whole organization is lazy to focus on this tiny problem which annoying them again and again.

Since I worded as a student union manager, my leader had told me the importance to collect and record the resources. We had a specific person who was careful and patient to do this kind of job. In reality, asset management is a long term thinking that everyone know what it should be and manage well so that leads to a good cultural environment.


April 29, 2013

KBAM class, unclear and present danger situation

If we see the reasons of accidents, almost 90% accident comes from unnatural factors. Some of them made by weak decisions. In today class, we saw some unclear and present danger situations. What am I going to do to make sure the things goes well. If I am the leader, what shall I do in this situation? Basically, an accident comes from errors in gathering information, anticipation error and interpretation error and so on. ( Maybe information not available, wrong memory, incorrect mental model...) We talked about mental models. What was wrong there that workers went wrong? It took wrong actions but what lead to this wrong mental model? This may because of training, the supervision given was not sufficient. You gathered information and you mental model said you could go, Something stops you, eg: sound, signal, picture...This moves to risk management. We could look at the process and think what could go wrong? What this leads to the desultory is that you can't assume that it's going fine. You go through the process and what people do that could be wrong? What sort of errors do we have? The types of problems is we are lack of thinking ahead, an unclear objections, training less or work stress......

April 25, 2013

Knowledge management thinking? or action?

In an organizational context, data represents facts or values of results, and relations between data and other relations have the capacity to represent information. Patterns of relations of data and information and other patterns have the capacity to represent knowledge. For the representation to be of any utility it must be understood, and when understood the representation is information or knowledge to the one that understands. Yet, what is the real value of information and knowledge, and what does it mean to manage it? Without associations we have little chance of understanding anything. We understand things based on the associations we are able to discern. If someone says that sales started at $100,000 per quarter and have been rising 20% per quarter for the last four quarters, I am somewhat confident that sales are now about $207,000 per quarter. I am confident because I know what "rising 20% per quarter" means and I can do the math. Yet, if someone asks what sales are apt to be next quarter, I would have to say, "It depends!" I would have to say this because although I have data and information, I have no knowledge. This is a trap that many fall into, because they don't understand that data doesn't predict trends of data. What predicts trends of data is the activity that is responsible for the data. To be able to estimate the sales for next quarter, I would need information about the competition, market size, extent of market saturation, current backlog, customer satisfaction levels associated with current product delivery, current production capacity, the extent of capacity utilization, and a whole host of other things. When I was able to amass sufficient data and information to form a complete pattern that I understood, I would have knowledge, and would then be somewhat comfortable estimating the sales for next quarter. Anything less would be just fantasy!

In an organizational context, data represents facts or values of results, and relations between data and other relations have the capacity to represent information. Patterns of relations of data and information and other patterns have the capacity to represent knowledge. For the representation to be of any utility it must be understood, and when understood the representation is information or knowledge to the one that understands. Yet, what is the real value of information and knowledge, and what does it mean to manage it? Without associations we have little chance of understanding anything. We understand things based on the associations we are able to discern. If someone says that sales started at $100,000 per quarter and have been rising 20% per quarter for the last four quarters, I am somewhat confident that sales are now about $207,000 per quarter. I am confident because I know what "rising 20% per quarter" means and I can do the math. Yet, if someone asks what sales are apt to be next quarter, I would have to say, "It depends!" I would have to say this because although I have data and information, I have no knowledge. This is a trap that many fall into, because they don't understand that data doesn't predict trends of data. What predicts trends of data is the activity that is responsible for the data. To be able to estimate the sales for next quarter, I would need information about the competition, market size, extent of market saturation, current backlog, customer satisfaction levels associated with current product delivery, current production capacity, the extent of capacity utilization, and a whole host of other things. When I was able to amass sufficient data and information to form a complete pattern that I understood, I would have knowledge, and would then be somewhat comfortable estimating the sales for next quarter. Anything less would be just fantasy!

The misdirection I was caught up in was a focus on Knowledge Management not as a means, but as an end in itself. Yes, knowledge management is important, and I'll address reasons why shortly. But knowledge management should simply be one of many cooperating means to an end, not the end in itself, unless your job turns out to be corporate knowledge management director or chief knowledge officer. I'm quite sure it will come to this, for in some ways we are predictably consistent. I associate the cause of my indirection with the many companies I have been associated with in the past. These companies had pursued TQM or reengineering, not in support of what they were trying to accomplish, but as ends in themselves because they simply didn't know what they were really trying to accomplish. And, since they didn't know what they were really trying to accomplish, the misdirection was actually a relief, and pursued with a passion. It just didn't get them anywhere in particular. What should be avoided.


April 21, 2013

Thinking on bias

 

Most important human judgements are made under conditions of uncertainty. We use heuristics, or rules of thumb, to guide us in such instances as we try to determine what belief or action has the highest probability of being the correct one in a given situation. These rules of thumb are often instinctive and irrational. Social psychologists such as Thomas Gilovich, Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and Paul Slovic have studied several important heuristics and discovered errors associated with their use. One of these heuristics is the affect heuristic. Our judgment regarding the costs and benefits of items is often significantly influenced by a feeling evoked by pictures or words not directly relevant to the actual cost or benefit. For some, the good or bad feeling they have just prior to making a decision is a bias that influences that decision and renders it irrational.

Different managers define the same problem in different terms. When presented with a common case, sales managers tend to see sales problems, production managers see production problems, and so on.

The ordering and importance of multiple objectives is also based, in part, on the values of the decision maker. Such values are personal; they are hard to understand, even by the individual, because they are so dynamic and complex. In many business situations different people's values about acceptable degrees of risk and profitability cause disagreement about the correctness of decisions.


People often assume that a decision is an isolated phenomenon. But from a systems point of view, problems have multiple causes, and decisions have intended and unintended consequences. An organization is an ongoing entity, and a decision made today may have consequences far into the future. Thus the skilled manager looks toward the future consequences of current decisions.


Reflective thinking on decision making from different people


There are several types of decisions that we need to make daily and the importance and complexity of these vary enormously. Most decisions are made by moving between the choice of criteria (the characteristics our choices meet) and the identification of alternatives (the possibilities we choose).

Decision making is the process of identifying a problem and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker. It can also been described as a process of reducing uncertainty and doubt about alternatives to allow a rational choice to be made. Concepts such as choice, interest, consequence and relationship should also be highly regarded when arriving at a decision.

Decisions made by individuals or groups have their own advantages and disadvantages. Managers decisions, whether arrived at individually or by a group, can either make or break an organization and its people. A characteristic of high-performing organizations is that they make good decisions and they make them swiftly. These organizations also share other values such as prioritising, action, clear accountability and adaptability. It is equally important that decision makers are chosen correctly and involved in the designing of the decisions and their decisions are reinforced upon them. There are several obstacles to decision making that must be referred to when decisions have been made by a group or team. Issues such as group think may hinder the effectiveness of decision making within a group as pressures may "deter the group from critically evaluating unusual, minority or unpopular views?(Robbins, Millet & Waters-Marsh, 2001).


Reflective thinking

As we all known, it is essential to us all to make the right decision. But how to make the right decision for an unsure future? After considering numerous items about the topic, I do realize it a great challenge for Wave Rider. As far as I am concerned, there are several ways for making the right decision.

First of all, try to make the things to be detailed, that is to say , make the things be more concrete. Wave Rider analysis the detailed information to find the right decision. We analyse and think over what we have decided. Once your decision is in your mind, you can write it down and think of what's the next step you could do. Take writing notes as an example, When we have several kinds of options, you can write them down and select which one should be the best choice. After your consideration, the most precious one will be revealed.

Secondly, do not take everything for granted. Yes, everyone may sometimes think that common sense is the knowledge of power we could rely on.But different things may happen especially when you are making the right decision. Some experiments or other trials and errors may tell us what is right. Just like the saying you can not only judge a person by its appearance! After our own point of view, we can make the right decision which is more suitable to our tasks. Because what we know is based on our mutual understandings and our mutual benefits.

Thirdly, listen to others opinions. This is important for company and individuals. Even in Wave Rider, we try to create a good environment to let everybody¡¯s voice be heard. We know, we are easily confused or mislead by ourselves. So ask our colleagues or partners about their ideas. If possible, we may have someone as our guide or give us some guidance to assist us. It's really necessary and can modify our own decisions. Our nation has the people's congress and other meetings listening to its people's sayings. We have the minorities, we also need to know their views toward the society. We need people's voices both from the poor and the wealth. All of these are helpful for our final decision.

 


April 20, 2013

Decision process

Managers who recognize decision making as a group process that unfolds over time increase their likelihood of making more effective decisions. Why? Because by devoting time to the process, they are able to identify and assess the issues associated with making the decision.

By involving others, they weigh different perspectives and deepen the discussion.

Perhaps most important, taking a process-driven approach is more likely to lead to broader acceptance of the decision¡ªand to more effective implementation.

The decision-making process can be broken into three distinct phases:

  • Phase 1: Establishing a context for success is the point at which you set the parameters for the decision making process. You'll decide who should be involved and how you'll operate as a group.
  • Phase 2: Assessing the situation and choosing a course of action is when you determine the root cause of the issue you are trying to resolve and discuss possible solutions. By the end of this phase, your group should reach a decision.
  • Phase 3: Communicating and implementing the decision is the final stage, during which you notify stakeholders of your group's decision and take steps to put it into action.

Keep in mind that this topic addresses business decisions that are important and far-reaching. It assumes that such decisions cannot be made effectively by one individual operating in a vacuum. However, many of the general principles conveyed in this topic can be applied to smaller decisions that, for whatever reasons, need to be made without group input.


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