ISKO Singapore is producing the fifth edition of the IKO Conference and its first since the pandemic. Join us in both virtual and face to face formats to look at the challenges and opportunities facing us, as we navigate these turbulent times. www.ikoconference.org/iko-2023.html
ISKO Singapore continues to run its monthly series of events around topics in knowledge organisation and knowledge management – some nice events coming up:
August 8th-9th ISKO Singapore is supporting the Asia Pacific KM Summit which will take place in Yogyakarta and has some great speakers, including David Gurteen, Nick Milton, and our own Gopinathan R. ISKO members are eligible for a 10% discount on the conference fees.
August 25th ISKO Singapore will be conducting a half day workshop on how to avoid poor implementation in taxonomy and search projects. The facilitators will be Patrick Lambe, KK Lim and Maish Nichani. Free to ISKO members, $20 contribution for non-members. More details at
September 21st ISKO Singapore is delighted to be hosting Larry Prusak and former NASA CKO Ed Hoffman for a talk on the past and future of knowledge management. Free to members and $20 contribution for non-members.
October 23-25th ISKO Singapore is collaborating with ISKO India to organise an “Innovations in Knowledge Organisation” Day as part of the KOIM Conference in Chennai (IKO Chennai).
November 23rd ISKO Singapore is organising a one-day Masterclass in implementing the new ISO KM Standard, conducted by Paul Corney, a member of the British Standards Institute, and who helped to develop the standard. This Masterclass is $280 for ISKO members, and $350 for non-members. Registration includes a copy of Paul’s new book: “Navigating the Minefield: A Practical KMCompanion”.
November 24th ISKO Singapore will hold its 2017 AGM and Exco election. Paul Corney will give a talk on “Working with Consultants: How to Ensure Two-Way Capability and Knowledge Transfer”. Free to members, $20 contribution for non-members.
RESOURCES FROM PAST EVENTS
The archive of materials from past ISKO Singapore events is now quite rich and freely available – with slides, briefing papers and videos of presentations. Here’s a taste of the topics from the past 18 months:
July 21 2017, Singapore
What Does it Take to Transfer Expertise? – Gary Klein
June 30 2017, Singapore
Knowledge Management in Frameworks and Standards – KK Lim, Praba Nair, Ron Young
May 26 2017, Singapore
Governance for knowledge management and knowledge organisation – Panel with Kan Siew Ning, Eileen Tan, Paolina Martin, Joseph Busch, Matt Moore, Marita Keenan
April 21 2017, Singapore
Predicting Crowds on Public Transport – Marianne Winslett and Zhenjie Zhang
February 24 2017, Singapore
Behind the Black Box of Search: Risk, Findability and Discovery – Patrick Lambe and Maish Nichani
January 20 2017, Singapore
Building the NASA taxonomy – Joseph Busch
October 7 2016, Singapore
Site Visit to SMU – talk on “Building a Successful Institutional Repository” – Yeo Pin Pin
September 2 2016, Singapore
Telling Stories with Data – Maish Nichani
August 19 2016, Singapore
Site Visit to SPH Information Resource Centre – Idris Rashid
July 20 2016, Singapore
Agnes Molnar and Maish Nichani – IKO Workshop – Getting Started in Search
Tom Reamy – IKO Workshop – Getting Started in Text Analytics
May 25 2016, Singapore
Douglas Oard: Search Among Secrets
May 13 2016, Singapore
Cor Beetsma, Praba Nair and Gopinathan R: Getting and Sustaining Buy In for KM/KO Projects
April 15 2016, Singapore
Neo Kim Hai: The Singapore Power KM Experience
March 11 2016, Singapore
Matt Moore, Chris Khoo and Leong Mun Kew: Reporting on the Knowledge Organisation Competencies Survey
February 12 2016, Singapore
Mary Abraham: Unlock your Social Capital
January 15 2016, Singapore
Maish Nichani: Planning for Enterprise Search
November 27 2015, Singapore
Patrick Lambe: Planning a Knowledge Portal
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
We are using this blog to keep you updated on conference planning and organisation, and to link you to informative discussion materials.