Jan 312015

HiatusAfter a year hiatus, I am back facilitating the flow of knowledge through the Knowledge Management Depot. During my absence we had concluded 2013 in KM which presented, an increase of social media tools being incorporated in the workplace, the rise of analytics and BIG Data to tie KM to actionable business results,  and knowledge related tools on mobile applications; while in the year just concluded (2014) we experienced more enterprise collaboration, a rise in search related tools and functionality (incorporating Information Architecture) within mobile and enterprise applications to improve findability and to respond to customer inquiries more effectively and efficiently. Now as we enter 2015, I see several opportunities where KM will make an impact.

In 2015 KM will impact M&A transactions specifically when it comes to understanding who the key knowledge holders are and to properly give a valuation to a firms knowledge, the legal community is experiencing success with KM and more legal entities will be leveraging KM in 2015,  BIG Data continues to make noise in the industry and how KM will be positioned to gleam knowledge from all of this proliferation of content will be critical to organization (NASA-KM-meeting-Big-Data-Strategy) and interacting with the customer will continue to leverage KM to provide organizations with a competitive edge to not only attract new customers but also to retain and provide more interaction with the  current  customer base (Forrester’s Top Trends in Customer Service)

Although I have been absent… I have been busy!! I am concluding my next book on KM “Knowledge Management in Practice” as well as a two (2) day class in Information Architecture for Knowledge Management Systems. I look forward to your comments and to participating in knowledge management as 2015 unfolds!

Dec 312013
Default search results

Default search results using faceted search

In my upcoming publication Knowledge Management in Practice I detail search in a chapter called “Dude Where’s my Car: Utilizing Search in KM”. At the KM World Taxonomy Boot Camp I spoke about Utilizing Ontologies for Taxonomy & Content Organization and during this discussion there were questions concerning faceted search. Before the year ends (literally) I wanted to provide some details concerning faceted search.

Faceted search

Faceted search offers remarkable potential for putting the search experience in the hands of the user. It provides a flexible framework by which users can satisfy a wide variety of information needs, ranging from simple look up and fact retrieval to complex exploratory search and discovery scenarios.

With faceting, search results are grouped under useful headings, using tags you apply ahead of time to the documents in your index. For example, the results of a shopping query for books might be grouped according to the type of book and the price.

Each time the user clicks a facet value, the set of results is reduced to only the items that have that value. Additional clicks continue to narrow down the search — the previous facet values are remembered and applied again.

Faceted search results provide an easy-to-scan, browse and display that helps users quickly narrow down each search. The faceting tags that you store with your documents provide a way to add your own taxonomy to directly control the presentation of search results. In the end, it’s about helping the user find the right information. Faceted search gives a user the power to create an individualized navigation path, drilling down through successive refinements to reach the right document. This more effectively mirrors the intuitive thought patterns of most users. Faceted search has become an expected feature, particularly for commerce sites.

However, before you get too deep into the intricacies of faceted search, it is extremely important that you develop use cases or user stories around your search scenarios mentioned earlier. A great way to get started is to identify the main concepts you would like to search (people, reports, policies, etc.); next create logical categories (start by building or leveraging a taxonomy) for each group (Engineers, Executives, Administrators, etc.) a card sort exercise will be helpful here, and finally create (or use a current) information/content model showing relationships and considering navigation paths.

This will put you on a path to realizing the benefits of faceted search!

Dec 242013
Santa Claus

Have you ever wondered why your parents went through all of that trouble to tell you about Santa Claus and being good in order to receive presents? Was it all an elaborate scheme that all parents had everywhere to get their children to behave albeit for a short period of time? Well as we all became older and became parents we continued to tell our children about Santa Claus… and the story… just continued!

But wait… hold on there… STOP THE BUS!!! A story this elaborate, so contrived, that has gone on for I don’t know how long has to have some basis of fact? Doesn’t it? Well I’m here to tell you IT DOES!! According to History.Com the legend of Santa Claus goes back to the third century! Originally Santa was a monk named St. Nicholas.

The Santa Claus story

St. Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in (modern day) Turkey. He was much admired for his piety and kindness, and It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over the course of many years, St. Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. In fact his feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death on December 6. This day was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe.

A legend is born

So, when and how did he become Santa Claus? According to History.Com, the name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). In addition the legend grew to its current imagery when in 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore’s poem, which he was initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolous nature of its subject, is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head!

Well as you can probably imagine the story continues…. For additional information on the Big Jolly Fella check out the Museum of Unnatural History and the St. Nicolas Center.

Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate Christmas don’t forget the reason for the season… a celebration of the birth of Christ (for all of us Christians) and a celebration of family and spirit of giving for all of us no matter your religious beliefs and/or spiritual connection. At this time we need to be especially kind, helpful and loving to everyone we meet and interact with. Remember when the time comes share the “true” story of Santa Claus and his love and generosity toward all!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!!!

Nov 232013

A.J.Rhem & Associates - Information GovernanceOnce your organization has established its Knowledge Management Program and has populated the knowledge repository with the corporate knowledge assets, it is now time to provide for the “care and feeding” and the ongoing maintenance of your corporate knowledge. In order to do this a governance plan has to be established and executed.

Content (information and knowledge) governance is the orchestration of people, process, and technology to enable the organization to leverage content as an enterprise asset. Content governance details the managing of issues around incomplete content, poor or untimely access to content, lack of or poor metadata and managing and resolving duplicate (or similar) content.

The Knowledge Governance Plan describes the policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities, as it pertains to maintaining content. Effective governance planning and the application of the governance plan are critical for the ongoing success of your knowledge management program.

The Knowledge Governance plan will establish the processes and policies to:
  • Avoid content proliferation
  • Ensure Content is maintained by implementing quality management policies
  • Establish clear decision-making authority and escalation procedures so policy violations are managed and conflicts are resolved on a timely basis.
  • Ensure that the solution strategy is aligned with business objectives so that it continuously delivers business value.
  • Ensure that content is retained in compliance with record retention guidelines.

This is just the beginning of understanding how to govern your knowledge assets. If your organization will or has established a governance plan for it’s knowledge assets I would like to hear from you!

Sep 152013

Sharepoint as a collaboration toolSince my last post, I had taken a brief hiatus to work on a few publishing projects and conference presentations and now I’m back and will be making more blog post over the next couple of weeks. During my brief hiatus I have heard about more about SharePoint (specifically SharePoint 2013) than I really want to know! So, this has prompted me to write about SharePoint as a collaboration tool and solicit the thoughts of my blog viewers on this subject.

For the majority of the clients I am working with, the SharePoint platform serves as the mechanism where collaboration takes place. In the SharePoint environment, collaboration sites such as wikis, discussion boards and blogs serve as ways teams share information and knowledge. Most teams have created team pages and document libraries where specific documents and other content (spreadsheets, images, video, PowerPoint presentation, etc.) are worked on and shared with specific members of the team.

Part of collaboration infrastructure on the SharePoint platform is the use of automated workflows. The automated workflows are leveraged to facilitate the maintenance of content (information and knowledge), which consist of creating, updating and review/approval of content before it is published in the knowledge base.

SharePoint 2013 offers a more robust platform (than previous versions) to connect and share with the people across your organization as they work on the myriad of problems and projects within the enterprise. The question remains is SharePoint the optimal tool within your organization to share knowledge? For those upgrading… are you convinced that SharePoint 2013 is the right solution for you? Finally what have been your challenges using, upgrading, or integrating with SharePoint?

 Posted by at 10:19 pm
Jun 022013

Web 3.0 and beyondAs the internet has matured we have been introduced to terms such as Web 1.0, Web 2.0 Web 3.0 and Web 4.0. The question on my mind are these terms just buzz words, a result of clever marketing, or do these terms have true meaning? Let’s for the purpose of this blog post take the stance that these terms have true meaning. In doing so let’s examine the evolution of the web, and the concepts being covered by the above mentioned terms.

At the beginning of the Web we had Web 1.0. According to Jonathan Strickland of “HowStuff Works”and techopedia, Web 1.0 exact definition is up for debate. However, what we do know is that Web 1.0 provided static web pages with minimal linking and search capabilities.

Web 2.0 is where we firmly find ourselves in today. Web 2.0 is about socialization! People publishing to each other to inform, work and socialize with one another. This included social networks, group workspaces such as communities of practices. In Web 2.0, the websites are more responsive and search technologies improved to enable improved searching and sharing of information. This is detailed by Daniel Nations Web Trends article on and Tim O’Reilly.

In Web 3.0 the focus is on people and how they interact with each other through the web. Web 3.0 moves towards providing intelligence, which includes semantic/natural language search, location awareness and recommendation engines. According to Daniel Nations Web Trends article on we should be entering into Web 3.0 sometime in 2015.

What about, do I dare say… Web 4.0? According to Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd’s article “The Ultra-Intelligent Electronic Agent is Coming”, they mention that the device to leverage Web 4.0 does not yet exist, but the concept does. The concept includes an advance level of intelligence that will not only provide you with information but knowledge that will enable the device to make decisions for you and/or present you with viable options.

Web 3.0 semantic technology concepts are beginning to show up as search mechanisms in commercial products. According to Eric Savitz’s article in Forbes semantic search is being leveraged in Database Management, Drug Discovery, Travel, and Human Capital Management. I believe that the underlyng theme in the evolution of the web will heavy rely on the evolution of the advancement of search and leveraging it to provide knowledge to its users. Whatever, the future looks like for the Web, I am confident that there will be people exploring concepts and developing tools that will deliver the promise that Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 presents.

 Posted by at 5:09 pm
May 012013

Knowledge Management educationAs the college school year comes to an end, a vast number of undergraduates are either looking to start their career, or looking to continue their education.

If your graduate is looking to embark on the continued educational journey, I would suggest they consider a Master of Science degree in Knowledge Management.

You may not know that Knowledge Management continues to be a growing discipline in which organizations are seeking qualified individuals. A Master of Science concentration in Knowledge Management offers students an opportunity to enter the Knowledge Economy and become an important asset to organizations working to get the right knowledge to the right people at the right time.

When considering a Masters in Knowledge Management, each student should consider a university program that presents a holistic approach to the principles, practices, policies, and technology that are being deployed today at organizations in the field of Knowledge Management.

A Master of Science concentration in Knowledge Management will provide the successful student with the ability to assist organizations in making better decisions, understand where knowledge exist and uncover knowledge gaps that will lead to better performance and communication between workers.

Here are some universities offer Masters in Knowledge Management:

Knowledge Systems Institute
George Mason University
George Washington University
Kent State

Here are some additional MS in KM programs:

Notre Dame of Maryland
Columbia University
Drexel University
Northwestern University
California InterContinental University
Jones International University

More University MS in KM Programs:

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

If you know of others please let me know and I will add them to this blog post!

Apr 302013
KM in FinanceThis blog post represents a sneak peak at my upcoming book KM in Practice

Show Me the Money!  –  KM in Finance

The financial services industry is a highly dynamic and competitive marketplace. As the fight for customers intensifies, it is increasingly important to attend to customer needs while ensuring customer information is shared with the right people at the right time across the institution. To this end the technology supporting the institution is vital to facilitating the movement of information and knowledge to the customer. KM systems will have an increased importance as trends in personal investing move towards broader services and integrated product offerings.

By utilizing a knowledge management system, all employees interacting with a customer will have up to date knowledge of that customer’s breadth of relationship and experience with the institution. This helps the institution with cross selling, up selling and reporting on the effectiveness of any new customer initiatives.

It is well recognized that the financial services business environment is ever changing and is doing so at an ever increasing rate. This presents financial organizations with the challenge of acting and reacting to this volatility and communicating an appropriate value proposition to the market. In addition having an increasingly sophisticated consumer who is armed with the latest trading technology has added further stress to these companies to deliver the right knowledge at the right time in the right way to their customers.

If you are involved in the financial services sector as an employee and/or customer I would like to hear from you. Are you utilizing the tools and receiving the knowledge to make you successful? Look forward to all of your comments!