Montag, 27. Juni 2011

KM has put the cart before the horse

Imagine the CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known for its gigantic particle accelarator of several kilometer size, would set their particles on each other without a clue what to expect for an outcome, without any idea what to verify or falsify. And only afterwards the physicists would begin thinking whether their experiment was able to tell them anything.
Indeed absurd, however this is the situation, in which Knowledge Management these days
operates. KM is conducted in the retrospective device of black-and-white movies.

The project is executed, and only afterwards KM activities are deployed.
A zealous zoo of problems is fed by this approach.
Capacity: Never have I seen a hot shot idling when a project is coming to an end and there is hope in resource manager’s eyes that the hot shot is almost free for allocation. KM is the first to be sacrifized.
Motivation: The project is history, the overtime account simply bursts, and the hot shots look forward into the future of a new challenge, what is the movitivation to put retrospective efforts into the bin of a database?
Timing: And even – just imagine the rare case that capacity lies with motivation, the value of the knowledge assets is already in decline: What is the FOA Knowledge Asset worth, when already several projects are in execution. What’s the benefit of lessons learnt in a sales engagement, when several more poor contracts are done deal?
Learning: According to Brinkerhoff most learning activities do not fail in the course of teaching, but in preparation and follow-up of the learning activity. In order to understand a project as a course of teaching, it is essential to prepare in the KM activity for the learning event, if this part is missing, failure is almost inevitable.
Re-use 1: Focussed exclusively on the project success everything is tailored towards this purpose, the mental equivalent of spaghetti-code. Spaghetti is eaten hot, or cut to pieces to mix into cold salat.
Re-use 2: Without a helicopter view involved on the re-use potential, any re-use remains accidential, and you can use the literal apes for Knowledge Managers.
In short, KM has put the cart before the horse.
In the next post we look whether there is a better order of sequence to organize for knowledge.



  1. Looking forward to the next post, KM should be the core of our workflow process, embedded in everything we do.

  2. @Patrick,
    thanks, I think I am going to take you comment as intro, when coming to "Organize for Knowledge", as it hits the nail.


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