2 December 2006

Knowledge Management (KM)

Knowledge Management (KM) has been an interest of mine since work at IBM around ten years ago alongside the KM practice and it just struck me immediately as being "right"; though what KM actually is is a difficult thing to pin down. For me it's about getting the right information to the right people at the right time and this can be done directly (e.g. by making the information easily available over an intranet or internet) or indirectly (e.g. by providing the time and space for people to interact so that they can share their knowledge).

Taking this definition of KM means that it covers a wide range of topics covering all aspects of technology and sociology. Initially KM was technology led (largely thanks to the IT suppliers) and focused on things like intranets, search engines, directories of skills and interests, etc. This approach proved to be of limited value except in a few simple cases (e.g. electronic libraries of case law) and the more recently the focus has moved towards the people end of things which is more challenging, more effective and more interesting.

My involvement in KM these days mostly involves going to events like the Gurteen KM Cafes and the TFPL Bath Club. Both of these events are always stimulating and provide interesting new insights. And the company of my fellow KMers is a treat too.

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