Book review: Organising Knowledge — Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness.

Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness Patrick Lambe, 2007 Taxonomies are often surrounded by an air of reverence and mystique. Traditionally seen as the domain of librarians, recordkeepers and botanists, they are now hot property in business circles, but no better understood. Patrick Lambe's book sets out to systematically address these issues, by introducing, explaining and exploring taxonomies. Coming from a background as a librarian, knowledge management expert and consultant, Patrick draws together many topics to provide a rich view of taxonomies in the real world. This is not a how-to manual. While a strong overall methodology is outlined

There are no "KM systems".

Organisations should abandon the search for ‘knowledge management systems’, and focus more closely on the specific capabilities required.

Getting out into the real world.

Perhaps the single greatest pleasure of the work that we do is the opportunity to conduct "needs analysis" that involves getting out into the front-line environment of organisations. Following an "ethnographic" approach, we're able to spend time with the staff who do the actual work, building an understanding of their real needs and issues. While we use a range of techniques (such as one-on-one interviews, workplace observation, contextual inquiry), the basic approach is incredibly simple. At its heart, it just involves going out with eyes and ears open, asking naive questions, and getting amazing answers. Front-line environments are endlessly fascinating,

KM review session.

We’ve recently been doing some interesting knowledge management work with a large law firm, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of…

Good search is knowledge management.

One of the key goals of knowledge management is to ensure that staff have the information they need, at the time they need it. What has often been overlooked is that effective search can play a key role in meeting this need, beyond just allowing staff to 'find stuff'. Implementing a good search solution can help knowledge managers build their understanding of staff needs, can raise the visibility of key information, and can help staff to better understand what they are looking for. These uses will be explored in this briefing, with the overall goal of prompting knowledge (and information)

Meeting your intranet users.

Users are not all the same, and do not have the same needs. A key principle is therefore: you can’t usefully deliver information to users…

Two types of in-bound call centres.

In-bound call centres deal with either queries or transactions (or both), and this has a big impact on the knowledge and information required.

Knowledge management: bridging the gap.

Knowledge management has been around for some time, and while it hasn't gone away, it has yet to really prosper. There is no question that there are very real issues to be solved in organisations, and that these issues are getting only larger. As a whole, however, the KM community (and industry) is fairly stagnant. The fundamental problem is that we haven't really convinced organisations that we (as KM consultants) should get paid to help them solve their problems. Why is this? My take on this is that we haven't bridged the gap of understanding that stands between our concepts

Determining a KM strategy in a Government agency.

I've been involved in a number of interesting projects recently, so I'm going to make more of an effort to blog a little about these. One recent engagement was with a Federal Government agency, to help them determine a KM strategy. They had been discussing KM internally for some time, and while these conversations were very interesting there was no progress being made towards working out a concrete approach. To attempt to kick-start things, I was brought in to run a half-day facilitated session with the KM working group. The goal: determine the start of a concrete and practical KM