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Knowledge Mapping. KMForum 090707 lpc. What is “knowledge mapping?”. An ongoing joint quest to help discover the constraints, assumptions, location, ownership, value, and use of knowledge assets, artifacts, people and their expertise (Denham Grey)

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knowledge mapping

Knowledge Mapping

KMForum 090707


what is knowledge mapping
What is “knowledge mapping?”
  • An ongoing joint quest to help discover the constraints, assumptions, location, ownership, value, and use of knowledge assets, artifacts, people and their expertise (Denham Grey)
  • Data gathering, survey, exploring, discovery, conversation, disagreement, gap analysis, education and synthesis
  • Some maps are social network charts, some are yellow-pages, while others are simply a matrix showing knowledge assets and their relationship to business processes
  • Contrast this with a knowledge audit, which tracks deviations from policy or established process, checks for compliance with standards and procedures, and seeks to measure and value knowledge assets
why map knowledge
Why map knowledge?
  • To discover and consider knowledge assets, discuss them, argue about them, decide which are important, and take some action. 
  • To encourage re-use and prevent re-invention
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To discover effective and emergent communities
  • To reduce the burden on experts
  • To improve customer response, decision making, problem solving
  • To provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual assets
  • To supply research for designing a knowledge architecture
  • To find key sources, opportunities, and constraints
what does one map there is no one answer
What does one map? There is no one answer.
  • Location, ownership, validity, timeliness, domain, sensitivity, access rights, storage medium, use statistics, medium and channels used
  • Documents, files, systems, policies, directories, competencies, relationships, authorities
  • Boundary objects, knowledge artifacts, stories, heuristics, patterns, events, practices, activities and flows
  • Explicit and tacit knowledge which is closely linked to strategic drivers, core competencies, and market intelligence
  • People’s experience, relationships, rules of thumb, culture, and natural talents
  • Constraints, assumptions, policies, culture, bottlenecks, brokers, repositories and boundary spanners
  • Formal and informal, codified and personalized, internal and external, short life cycle & permanent, even heuristics
how does one map knowledge
How does one map knowledge?
  • Interviews
  • Walking around
  • Workshops
knowledge mapping principles
Knowledge mapping principles
  • Before starting to map, ensure the intentions are clear because the map created will depend on its purpose
  • Just like cartographic maps there is never a single map for every purpose
  • Knowledge mapping is more about inquiry, education and relationship building than about charts or documentation
  • Knowledge is found in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context
  • Suppliers, competitors and customers have knowledge

Following a workshop on knowledge mapping, Jane Turner, Archivist at the University of Victoria, completed a knowledge map of the work required to build or "raise" CAIN (Canadian Archival Information Network). (KnowMap)

When Colynn Kerr designed the sitemap for the City of Calgary's Department of Planning and Building web page, he did it as a tree. The result is a user-friendly and highly intuitive map of a complex website. (KnowMap)

  • Grey Denham: Knowledge mapping revisited (Knowledge-at-work, 9/19/04)
  • Callahan, Shawn: Knowledge mapping is sensemaking:
  • Critical Knowledge Map as a Decision Tool for Knowledge Transfer Actions
  • Jean-Louis Ermine, Imed Boughzala and Thierno Tounkara from National Institute of Telecommunications, France