New Thoughtpiece: Where Did Knowledge Audits Come From?
In this thoughtpiece, from my forthcoming book Knowledge Audits and Knowledge Mapping (Oxford: Chandos, 2016) I trace the origins of knowledge audits in the communication audits of the 1950s. Knowing the history of knowledge audits gives us access to the incredibly rich set of tools and approaches developed by organisational communications scholars and practitioners after the Second World War (and also, incidentally, those developed to support information audits in the 1980s and 1990s). The article also gives a framework for identifying different types of knowledge audits for different purposes. Feedback welcome!
Rest in Peace Mr Lee Kuan Yew
We offer our condolences to the family of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on his passing today. Straits Knowledge was founded after Mr Lee had stepped down as Prime Minister. However we are keenly aware that who we are, what we do, and the unique opportunities we have had to work and learn and develop in the past thirteen years, would not have been possible without Mr Lee’s extraordinary drive, determination, vision, and his ability to harness the energy of other talented people. Rest in Peace and thank you for your service to Singapore.
Cross-Post: KM Implementation Challenges
This is a piece of research we did about 12 years ago, on KM Implementation Challenges. The case studies inside are constructed as learning games (“decision games” ) and we regularly use them in workshops to explore the implementation challenges and potential pitfalls in KM. Based on anonymised interviews with KM practitioners, they are still relevant today. Somehow, they never made it onto our blog, so here they are! KM_Implementation_Challenges.pdf
Upcoming Conferences we’ll be Involved In
If you can’t make that one, try another continent! Take a look at other conferences we’ll be workshopping and keynoting at in the next few months – Southern African Knowledge Management Summit 27-29 May, and ISKO UK, 13-14 July.
Book Review: Designing A Successful KM Strategy
KM pioneers Nick Milton and Stephanie Barnes have written this a practical guide for those who are thinking of developing a KM strategy, either for your own or client organisation. The guide covers a wide range of topics, from making a case for KM to measuring the ROI on pilot projects and everything in between. It comes with useful sensemaking tools, templates and real world examples to help you through the steps. You can download the Contents page and Introduction here.
New Thoughtpiece: Why Taxonomy Projects are Graceless and What To Do About It
Why do many enterprise taxonomy projects fail? In this thoughtpiece I explain why taxonomy projects are extraordinarily fragile in relation to the quality of the initial evidence gathering stage. I outline a methodology for improving the robustness and effectiveness of an enterprise taxonomy design, through a systematic knowledge audit at the project’s outset.
Latest Knowledge Organisation Posts from the IKO Conference Blog
Here’s a roundup of recent posts on knowledge organisation from the IKO Conference blog:
Data Analytics, Expert Intuition and the Role of Taxonomy
The Role of Taxonomy Work in Extracting Insight from Big Data
Brief History of Information Architecture
Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Organisation
Deep learning: Knowledge Organisation beyond textual content
Learn First: Label Later: How Deep Learning Works
Breaking Down Silos to Tackle Cyber Threats
The Singapore Government is setting up a new agency to monitor and counter threats to cyber security. See news reports here and here. Based on these reports, the Cyber Security Agency or CSA will bring together a few existing entities from different parts of the public sector. It will assimilate the Cyber-Watch Centre and the Threat Analysis Centre from the Infocomm Development Authority (iDA). It will also assimilate the Singapore Infocomm Technology Security Authority and the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team from the Ministry of Home Affairs. It looks like the Monitoring and Operations Command Centre (MOCC) will remain with iDA.
One can only imagine the extent of overlap in the activities of the different entities, so the establishment of CSA is an important first step to harmonising activities and to arrive at a coherent appreciation of cyber threats to our country. What’s not so clear from the reports is whether the staff of these different entities will be housed together, which is important for conversations to happen and weak signals to be pick up and investigated. This is not to say that knowledge sharing cannot happen if the staff are housed in different office locations – it will just be more challenging.
From an IM perspective, it will be interesting to know what kind of data ought to be shared between the centres/departments and iDA’s MOCC, and whether efforts will need to be channeled towards harmonising the data collected by the different entities. It will also be interesting to know what kind of technologies they will use to make sense of what I can only imagine to be a prodigious amount of data.
IKO Conference Blog is Up!
We have just launched the conference blog for our “Innovations in Knowledge Organisation” conference in June this year. In the first three posts we announce our Advisory Board, and give links to two useful applications of knowledge organisation and taxonomy work in big data analytics.
The Limits of Structured Taxonomies
Dave Snowden has a nice, pithy post on the “dangers of categorisation” which I read more as a very useful guide on the “limits” of categorization and formal taxonomy work. I found Dave’s Cynefin Framework incredibly useful in my book to explain the differing taxonomy strategies that are required depending on whether your environment is simple, complicated or complex. What’s useful about Dave’s post is his use of a narrative landscape from a SenseMaker® project to discern exactly where the boundaries between those different approaches might lie. This gives us an evidence base to make decisions instead of individual judgments.