20 March 2008

What is Knowledge Management?

One of the biggest problems that Knowledge Management (KM) has in promoting itself is the inability of practitioners to even remotely agree on a definition. The extent of this problem has been demonstrated recently by Ray Sims who has collected 54 definitions, so far.

Luckily, Ray is acting like a good consultant and has moved on from data collection to analysis and is producing some useful results. The approach that I really like is to use tag clouds and this is one that he has produced.

The reason that I like this tag cloud as a definition of KM is that it puts K in the middle of KM surrounded by all the words that you would expect to see but without a sentence to add false and distracting structure.

From this you can see the things that are being managed (e.g. knowledge, information, data, documents, etc.), how they are managed (process, sharing, organization, people, etc.) and the benefits of doing this (effective, improve, innovation, etc.).

This is excellent work by Ray and is rightly causing quite a buzz in KM circles.

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