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  1. Presentation Title Context Management, Putting Content Management in Its Place Mark Jewell Principal Consultant, Shared Learning Addept Solutions

  2. Presentation Objectives To demonstrate: • The importance ‘Context Management’ plays in successful knowledge transfer and re-use of information • How more context can be encapsulated in systems designed to enable shared learning across an organisation • How a knowledge context can be constructed so as to help people gauge the trustworthiness and relevance of knowledge and information

  3. Mark Jewell in Context Background Addept Solutions • Consultant Project Manager (Mainly UK Construction) • Formed in 1987 • Released Sigma Connect in 1997 • Information Systems Manager • Sigma Connect licensed to 750,000+ users • Knowledge Manager • Sigma Context released - includes Sigma Connect

  4. Key Principle “Knowledge is highly contextual. Attempting to learn from information, or transfer knowledge without its context is like having all the answers but none of the questions.”

  5. Harnessing Knowledge LearnBefore LearnAfter $ Teams & Individuals Results Goals Knowledge $ LearnDuring Information & Knowledge Pool

  6. Websites / databases / archives / documents Explicit Knowledge People Tacit Knowledge People Are The Key Focus For KM “On average, 80% of an organisation’s information is tacit”[Source: IBM research] In a study of an Australian Government Agency, “Less than 10% of data and information was accessed directly” via the Intranet “People sourced data and information via other people” [Source - above: Laurie Lock Lee – CSC Australia – Practical KM For Government Conference, August 2003] (MIT Studies also back these findings) Why?

  7. Why? Efficiency, Trust and Context • How long will it take me to find the information I need? And… • If I find some information, how will I be sure it is right (current and suitable) information? And… • Will I understand the information and how it applies to my situation? • We ‘feel’ before we know • This is positive and natural human behaviour • Don’t fight it, encourage and support it!

  8. Knowing What We Know, Then Trusting It! • If we don’t know what we know, how can we learn and innovate? Capture Find • If we don’t trust what we know, we will fail!

  9. Contributors Viewers Information in Context Contextual Gap Knowledge Transfer Information Capture + Context =

  10. Context Filters Content Contributors Viewers Expertise Experience Informal Interests Individual Contextual Objectives Location Role Org Position Affiliations Group Politics Gap Formal Culture Bridging the Gap

  11. Context Filters Content Contributors Viewers Expertise Expertise Experience Experience Informal Interests Interests Individual Contextual Objectives Objectives Location Location Role Role Org Position Org Position Affiliations Affiliations Group Politics Politics Gap Formal Culture Culture Bridging the Gap Context Filters

  12. People like them Who they are & what they know Contributors Viewers Who they are & what they know Expertise, experience, interests, affiliations, roles, culture etc. Context Beyond The Contributors Contextual Gap Knowledge Transfer Information Capture + Context =

  13. So, What is Information to KM? Possibly rich in ‘explicit knowledge’ but context poor and out of date by the time it is published Most information forms a sign post to those that are interested in: • Learning • Continuos improvement • Innovation

  14. The Importance of Conversation "Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards." [Source Theodore Zeldin, ‘Conversation, How Talk Can Change Our Lives’]

  15. The Importance of Proper Conversation Politicians communicate by using pre-determined responses Not to say that knowledge transfer cannot still exist without proper conversation ‘proper conversation being when you are provoked to say something that had never occurred to you before’

  16. Different Medium Video Conference Telephone Email SMS Web sites Discussion Forum Instant Messaging Document Library Blog Wiki When Conversation is Impractical • Knowledge Flows • One to One, One to Many and Many to Many • Peer to Peer • Expert to Novice

  17. Structural Model: CoP’s a DOMAINof shared knowledge a COMMUNITY of people that care about the domain a shared PRACTICEthey are developing to be effective in their domain [Source: ‘Managing Organisational Knowledge Through Communities of Practice’: E Wenger, R McDermott and W Snyder]

  18. Query: raised in short hand Understood! Understood! Understood! Understood! But how does ???? Understood! Short hand response Established Learning Groups

  19. Learning Group Relationships C 1 G 1 C 1.1 C 1.2 G 1.2 G 1.1 G 1.2.1 G 1.1.1 G 1.1.3 G 1.1.2 Visibility: Private Group; Context Public

  20. Pre-requisites for Collaborative Learning Who are you collaborating with: • What do they do • Where are they (Geography, Business, Culture) • What experience do they have • Where are they “coming from” A context for the collaboration: • What are the objectives • Why are people doing this • What is in it for me • Who will see what I say • What has been said in the past

  21. Key Facets of Good Collaboration Control • Content under end user control (not IT) • Membership & Roles • Context Visibility • Scope of visibility • Escalation policies • Avoid info overload => One answer • Reduce duplication of information

  22. I.T, The Right Perspective? • Behaviours are more important than technology • Support natural sharing behaviours • Re-use rather than re-invent • Outcomes more important than ownership • Mentor not dictate • I’m not saying burn the IT boxes…

  23. Unsustainable KM Approach KM Processes (LB, LD, LA) Document Management Content Management Records Management Expertise Location Search Engines Expertise Location Sharing Culture Technology & Content People & Process Too hard tray / Intangibles Easy / Tangible Tray / Vendor Sales Pitch

  24. Knowledge Flow – Organisational Improvement

  25. Summary • 80-90 % of organisational knowledge is Tacit • People prefer to find information by referral • People build trust by understanding context • Information is best viewed as signposts to bridge the contextual gap • Bridging the contextual gap promotes learning and innovation • Proper conversation must be promoted • KM / Learning systems and content sharing systems serve different purposes

  26. Effective KM / Learning System Musts Retain the link between information and the context in which it was created, even after the contributors of the information have left the organisation… • By linking the people, their profiles and group affiliations to all content / information • By creating safe/trusted domains in which people can collaborate, share and learn. • By enabling people to find each other (expertise location), encourage conversation but provide alternative communication tools that suit the style of individuals and their groups

  27. A Reasonable Conclusion (part 1) A Knowledge Management (or information) Strategy is incomplete without the ability to unlock the organisations tacit / implicit knowledge and harness the potential of informal and formal groups / networks.

  28. 80/20 Rule Avoid getting transfixed by content management (document and records management) systems. Manage the people to people connections and linkages to information context, i.e. 80% of your organisational knowledge. A Reasonable Conclusion (part 2)

  29. Discussion Discussion / Questions?

  30. For Further Discussion & Questions Feel free to contact me: Feel free to contact me: Email: Phone: 0438 633 795 Web: