We are very excited to announce that IKO 2017 will take place at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai, India this year. This is the fruit of a collaboration between ISKO Singapore and ISKO India, which is co-organising the International Conference on Knowledge Organisation, Library & Information Management 2017 (ICKOIM), to celebrate the 125th birthday of S.R. Ranganathan. The call for case studies is now open - for more details please visit the IKO 2017 Conference page, and the main conference page at http://koim.org.
For the purposes of this post, “knowledge” will cover both tacit and explicit forms.
In my view governance ensures that the whole system, whether it is a corporate governance system or a knowledge management system, is performing optimally and as intended and as required for the objectives of the organisation to be met. In relation to knowledge management:
Think of this as a set of requirements that is cyclical in nature and is continually being refreshed and renewed.
Governance should not be at arms length and passive. Ticking off that requirements have been met against a high level checklist is passive governance. Engaged, proactive governance of policies, processes and the system as a whole ensures that problems are found and rectified.
Here is an important aside though – not all aspects of knowledge management – particularly those relating to tacit knowledge – can be enforced in an organisation. The orientation of KM governance is towards a support and improvement perspective.
Peter Cebon (a highly respected consultant and academic at Melbourne University Business School) reflects on the need for governance to have overall active engagement and for it to occasionally do “deep dives” to find areas of improvement. He states that this newer approach to corporate governance, is now becoming more widely adopted. www.abc.net.au/radionational/program/bestpracticer.peter-cebon/8269852.
For knowledge management governance, it’s important to be clear about what the purpose of knowledge management is, and it must be possible to determine that the requirements of each component have been met. For instance how has it been determined that the policies and processes developed and deployed ARE appropriate and feasible? Has there been consultation in the development, review of best practice, piloting and testing etc?
Due to the need to focus on both tacit and explicit aspects of knowledge, KM governance requires involvement from, and with, a number of business areas, especially HR. For KM to be effective, staff need to willingly engage in the practice of sharing and contributing information and knowledge. Components of the KM system have affinity with HR processes such as personnel selection, training, motivation, exiting.
IT is also an important partner in KM governance. Where IT is viewed as a cost centre, it might be considered rather narrowly from a corporate governance point of view, but it is a key enabler and organisation capability, and needs to be considered within the overall KM and corporate governance framework.
One of the purposes of KM governance is to ensure the corporate “memory” and capabilities are preserved, expanded, protected and functioning effectively in order to perform and achieve its objectives. An organisation without a memory is like a person who has lost his/her memory. Another purpose is to ensure that corporate assets and resources are exploited efficiently and effectively, reducing wastage and duplication of effort in recreating information or knowledge resources. Another is to ensure that the organisation learns from its experience and can adapt as the environment around it changes.
KM governance should fit within, and align with, the overall corporate governance requirements in the organisation. If the organisation’s corporate governance model is high level and tends to delegate responsibilities loosely, then a highly engaged governance model for KM might not be so feasible – although as we’ve explained, it is highly desirable.
KM governance is usually undertaken by a high level management committee. It should have senior representatives from across the organisation as well as KM champions and the manager with KM responsibility overall. It is not much help to have committee members who do not understand the role of governance, or do not understand KM, or who do not want to be on it.
If the active engagement model of governance that we have spoken about is deployed, then it is possible there will be sub committees (or nominated persons) to “actively engage” in some aspects of the governance from time to time and to conduct the improvement oriented “deep dives”.
It takes a long time to embed KM in an organisation and that embedding never really ceases - people change, projects come and go, processes change etc. The governance methodology might need to change as well. Weakness in governance comes through:
In addition to reviewing the KM system, KM governance oversight needs to evaluate the contribution of the KM system to the business outcomes – it is not just about compliance. Cross business consultation needs to be undertaken as part of this process and it should also include tests of “what if ……(e.g. project after action reviews) did NOT happen” or “what if ….. (e.g. collaborative software) was not deployed” – what would that do to our business outcomes? That is to say, evaluation should not just consider actual outcomes, but also the risk of adverse outcomes if particular measures are not in place.
Maish Nichani and Patrick Lambe gave a talk to ISKO Singapore on 24 February on how the search and discovery technology stack (enterprise search, taxonomy management and text analytics) can help to mitigate risks for organisations and society - particularly in discovering emerging categories of risk, correcting erroneous category systems, and ensuring that information and data can be aggregated meaningfully around risks. You can access the materials from the talk here (video, readings and slides).
Joseph Busch gave a very well received talk on 20 January to ISKO Singapore (and satellite audiences in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong on his involvement in building the NASA taxonomy. View the materials from the event here.
Maish Nichani has written a series of nine very accessible and pragmatic articles on how to go about understanding and designing the search experience. Start with this one: 'What is Search Experience?' and follow the links from there.
Here's an article outlining the elements of the search and discovery technology stack: enterprise search, taxonomy management, and text analytics. Let me thank my IKO colleagues, Dave Clarke, Ahren Lehnert, Agnes Molnar, Maish Nichani, and Tom Reamy for the generous sharing that has helped my understanding of this domain - although any mistakes or mis-statements are mine!
By Patrick Lambe
Here's a list of upcoming knowledge organisation events January through April 2017, organised by ISKO Singapore.
Jan 20th Joseph Busch of Taxonomy Strategies will be in Singapore, to share how he helped to build the NASA faceted taxonomy - a classic example of how to build a taxonomy for a complex organisation with multiple audiences. Spaces are filling up, so do register soon if you want a place. http://www.iskosg.org/NASA_Taxonomy.html
February 24th Patrick Lambe and Maish Nichani will present a talk on "Behind the Black Box of Search: Risk Findability and Discovery" - this is a talk originally developed for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC, and it shows how taxonomy and knowledge organisation strategies can help to mitigate organisational (and social) risks. http://www.iskosg.org/behind_black_box_search.html
March 24th we will hold a half day workshop with an expert panel on "Governance for Knowledge Organisation" - more details to follow later in January.
April 21st Marianne Winslett of the University of Illinois and Zhenjie Zhang of the Advanced Digital Sciences Center will present a case study on using data analytics to build an app for passengers on "Predicting crowds in the Shanghai metro" - we will follow this with a discussion on the applicability of this approach to other domains. http://www.iskosg.org/predicting_crowds.html
For a full calendar of events in KM and KO, visit our home page at http://www.iskosg.org.
Here are some of the presentations from ISKO Singapore members at Taxonomy Bootcamp London and Washington DC, and KM World Washington DC. Enjoy!
Here are the slides for a bunch of presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016, and Taxonomy Bootcamp London:
Patrick Lambe (keynote) Gathering evidence for a taxonomy: knowledge mapping or content modeling?
Dave Clarke and Maish Nichani (keynote): Searching outside the box
Dave Clarke and Gene Loh: Linked Data: the world is your database
Patrick Lambe (workshop): Taxonomies and facet analysis for beginners
Patrick Lambe (workshop): Knowledge mapping: identifying and mitigating knowledge risks
By Patrick Lambe
1. IKO 2016 Insights - Business Case
This short video captures the key takeaways from three of our expert panellists on the qualities of a good business case for KM/KO: Tom Reamy, Cor Beetsma and Barry Byrne.
2. IKO 2016 Insights - Governance
This video contains some key insights about Governance for knowledge organization, from Neo Kim Hai and Ahren Lehnert, following the Expert Panel on Governance that they participated in.
Here's a brief selection of the feedback from IKO 2016 - we also got lots of great suggestions for next year's event. Keep watching this space!
- The chance to interact with the other people. Several new ways of looking at knowledge organisation.
- Having a panel energised such that conflicting views are put forward. Lets us think about our own views.
- Case study table discussions are most interesting. Able to share how others have implemented their KM.
- It was a good mix of Theory (Book Writers), Consultants (Sharing Best Practices) and Industry Professionals (sharing issues and successes). Went back with better understanding on the topic of KO & KM.
- Enjoyed the format and variety.
- Listening to new ideas and pain of many practitioners.
- Sharing of practical experience of practitioners during the cafe sessions.
- Valuable views and sharing from the speakers and participants. It really helps in triggering more insights and thoughts. Thank you!
- Where to start? =) Practical insights on deploying knowledge base, conducting knowledge audit, etc. Frank discussions on pros and cons of certain techs and new processes, etc.
- Key takeaway: the iterative nature of developing KO - governance, map/audit, strategic business plan.
- Case studies: what other enterprises do with KO. Ideas about text analytics and taxonomy governance. New mindset about search.
- We can make use of metadata that is produced during use/interaction to create adaptive organising systems --> e.g. better personalisation
- Thought provoking discussions with participants about their KO challenges and my own. Helpful updates on current vendor offerings.
- The collective knowledge all the speakers shared. 1+1 is definitely more than 2 this way.
- I love the format which encourages dialogue and debate. Without competing views, it's hard to discover methods that work in your own organsation.
- The case studies are real life examples - I treasure my learning from this area.
- The case studies provided a very diversified experience sharing from the various presenters. One of the key takeaways is the process of choosing the right text analytics tool.
- Learning about taxonomy and how we can implement it. Hearing from others’ challenges.
- It was great that it was run on a "knowledge cafe" like style where participants were able to share and discuss in small groups. Gained insights into some technologies and expanded my thoughts on how technology can be exploited.
- Networking and intensive communication among the presenters and attendees.
- Insights on taxonomy creation, management and governance.
- Insights on new tools/methodologies.
- Case studies breakout sessions are enjoyable as they are more engaging. Networking with fellow practitioners.
- Case studies cafe has the most content and is very engaging.
- Please keep this track and style! Love it!!! Thanks Patrick and team. Good luck!!
We are using this blog to keep you updated on conference planning and organisation, and to link you to informative discussion materials.