Apr 012013
Knowledge Management in Research InstitutionsOn Wednesday April 17th, 2013, there will be a 60 minute webinar detailing the use of Knowledge Management (KM) at and for research departments and/or institutions. The following is a brief description of the webinar:

Research Institutions are critical to innovation and new product creation. The speeds to market for new products are essential to stay ahead of your competitors. Knowledge Management (KM) plays a central role not only from the perspective of innovation by knowing what has been done and/or what is being done in other areas of research that can be utilized, but also from the collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers contributing to the speed of new products to market.

At its core the nature of research is to nurture open access to extensive amounts of tacit knowledge (knowledge within the minds of people) and explicit knowledge (knowledge that is written down) by applying a model that reflects the natural of flow of knowledge. The model of Connect – Collect —Reuse and Learn depicts a knowledge flow model that supports KM within research institutions and R&D functions within organizations. For KM to work within a research environment (as with other environments) a culture and structure that supports, rewards and proves the value KM can bring will encourage the continued use and adoption of the KM practice.

In addition the choice of IT tools (which is of secondary importance) should be brought in to the organization to automate the knowledge flow and its associated process. The KM tool(s) must support KM goals/strategies, provide a means to connect, collect, catalog, access, and reuse tacit and explicit knowledge. In addition the KM tool(s) must capture new learning to share across the organization, and provide search and retrieval mechanisms to bring pertinent knowledge to the user.

This webinar will cover the KM strategy, techniques, best practices and application of KM necessary for research institutions to innovate more effectively and shorten the time to bring new products to market.

In a previous blog post I covered KM at Research Institutions and this topic will be presented in depth in my next book Knowledge Management in Practice. For more information click on KM for Research Institutions link. I look forward to your questions and comments.

Mar 272013

KM ConferencesAs we move into 2013 there are several Knowledge Management (KM) conferences that I would highly recommend you attend, participate and/or inquire about. Here is the list, including the link and a brief note about each:

APQC hosts its 18th Knowledge Management Conference

Houston Texas

Training April 29 – May 1 & Conference May 2 -3 in . APQC is a leading benchmarking, best practice and research organization, which has Knowledge Management as one of its core areas. The focus of this conference is to explore the knowledge and knowledge processes organizations are using to boost creativity, innovation, and competitiveness.


Washington, DC

10th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning – ICICKM 2013, The George Washington University, School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE) Washington, DC, USA 24-25 October 2013 This conference also includes several mini tracks.

KM World 2013

Washington, DC

Conference Building Collaborative Organizations: People, Platforms & Programs. November 6 – 8, 2013 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel in Washington DC. KMWorld offers a wide-ranging program especially focused to meet the needs of executives and strategic business and technology decision makers. This is a must-attend for those concerned with improving their organization’s bottom line, business processes and productivity, as well as streamlining operations and accelerating development and innovation in their evolving enterprises.

Taxonomy Boot Camp

Washington, DC

November 5 – 6. This conference is a part of the KM World conference. The Taxonomy Boot Camp brings together practitioners and experts in taxonomy, vendors who have created tools to help manage your taxonomies, and novices who are starting out in the world of information management. This conference includes interactive panel discussions and workshops centered around designing, developing and executing taxonomies.

Enterprise Search Summit

Washington, DC

Also a part of the KM World conference occurs during November 6 – 8, in Washington DC. This conference brings together practitioners and experts in Enterprise Search. The conference features speakers exploring search and how it facilitates knowledge “findability” and sharing including effective information delivery, and business operations improvement.

SEKE 2013

Boston, MA

The Twenty-Fifth International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE 2013) will be held at Hyatt Harborside at Boston’s Logan International Airport, USA from June 27 to June 29, 2013. This is primarily an academic conference. This conference aims at bringing together experts in software engineering and knowledge engineering to discuss on relevant research, papers and software solutions in either software engineering or knowledge engineering or both. Special emphasis will be put on the transference of methods between both domains.

ACM Conference of Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2013)

Burlingame, CA

This conference will be held from October 27 to November 1, 2013 at San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront, Burlingame, CA, USA. The purpose of the conference is to identify challenging problems facing the development of future knowledge and information systems, and to shape future research directions through the publication of high quality, applied and theoretical research findings.

These conferences only represent a portion of the KM Conferences that will be occurring in 2013. I will be attending and/or presenting at a few of the conferences mention above. If you know of other conferences please contact me and I will update this “Mash Up”!

Mar 012013
Big Data in knowledge management

In my last post regarding Big Data I posed two questions:

  • What is your experience with Big Data?
  • Are you like most of us determining what Big Data really means to me and my organization?

As it pertains to Knowledge Management (KM) and Big Data within organizations, the advancement of search technologies on Big Data is making an impact. In KM World’s 100 companies that matter in KM, they point out that Search Technologies’ ability to implement, service, and manage Big Data environments is the key reason for their inclusion. The “findability” of information and knowledge within large amounts of unstructured data contribute to the ability to disseminate and reuse the knowledge of the enterprise.

Besides Search Technologies, there are several companies offering KM solutions to address Big Data. Some of these companies include:

  • CACI which offers solutions and services to go from data to decisions
  • Autonomy (an HP Company) offers KM solutions that mine unstructured data, tag this data and where appropriate make it available to the knowledge base
  • IBM who offers a Big Data platform that includes KM to address Big Data’s vast amount of unstructured data.

As organizations learn more about Big Data and how to manage, and use and reuse the vast amounts of information and knowledge it provides, more software and consulting companies will provide the products and solutions organizations are looking for.

Where is Big Data going?

A recent Gartner Report stated that “Many global organisations have failed to implement a data management strategy but will have to as IT leaders need to support big data volumes, velocity, and variety,” as well as “decisions from big data projects for decision support, and insights in the context of their role and job function, will expand from 28 per cent of users in 2011 to 50 per cent in 2014.”

Big Data will be the catalyst for an increase in the need for Data, Information and Knowledge Management expertise. We will need Big Knowledge Management to address Big Data!

Jan 312013
Knowledge Management and Big Data

Big Data has been buzzing for some time now. Many organizations  are formulating their approach to managing Big Data and aligning it with their strategic objectives. Lets first take a look of what Big Data is; Big Data refers to data that has grown so big it is difficult to manage.

Big Data spans four dimensions Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity.

  • Volume: The proliferation of all types of data expanding many terabytes of information.
  • Velocity: The ability to process data quickly.
  • Variety: Refers to the different types of data (structured and unstructured data such as text, sensor data, audio, video, click streams, log files, etc.)

See what IBM is saying about Big Data.

Knowledge Management has the ability to integrate and leverage information from multiple perspectives. Big Data is uniquely positioned to take advantage of KM processes and procedures. These processes and procedures enables KM to provide a rich structure to enable decisions to be made on a multitude and variety of data. In the KM World March 2012 issue it was pointed out that “organizations do not make decisions just based on one factor, such as revenue, employee salaries or interest rates for commercial loans. The total picture is what should drive decisions”. KM enables organizations to take the total picture Big Data provides, and along with leveraging tools that provide processing speed to break up the data into subsets for analysis will empower organizations to make decisions on the vast amout and variety of data and information being provided.

What is your experience with Big Data? Are you like most of us determining what Big Data really means to me and my organization? If these and other questions are on your mind concerning Big Data I want to hear from you!

Jan 302013

Knowledge Management TrendsNow that we are firmly into 2013 lets take a look at what is trending in Knowledge Management (KM) this year.

With the proliferation of mobile devices (iPhone, Chromebook, iPad, Android devices) Personal KM is moving front and center. In the enterprise, as more and more content and knowledge gets created and the need to access and use that knowledge and content to address day-to-day knowledge needs of workers and customers (see Big Data), providing knowledge quickly to address internal and external users, as well as search and findability, are getting much attention within organizations implementing KM.

Let’s take a look at what some others are indicating the trends will be for KM in 2013:

  • Matthew Whalley – ClientKnowledge Manager (Legal Services), talks about “helping clients to realize efficiencies and knowledge gains, the growing realization that KM delivers more than “documents” providing  “operational” efficiency, transaction delivery, knowledge re-use and transformation, and technology – social and mobile channels”.
  • SAP indicates that “defining a knowledge management strategy, structuring content and measuring business impact as well as reaching external leadership are becoming more and more important”.
  • KMWorld indicates that the focus is on sharing collective knowledge and on KM strategy more so than the technology.

These are some thoughts on what to expect regarding KM for 2013. So, what do you think? I look forward to hearing more about what other organizations and individuals are doing with KM in 2013!

Jan 262013

KM in Review - 2012In 2012 I wrote about many topics. These topics started with a series of posts looking at Knowledge Management (KM) in Specific Industries (first looking at KM in Customer Service Centers); followed by KM in Research Institutions, Talent Management, the Legal Profession, the Military, and KM applied to Disaster Response (First Responders). All of these industries and more will be explored and analyzed in detail in my next book Knowledge Management in Practice. I also explored Aligning KM and ITIL pointing out the connections between the two and identifying the gaps ITIL has when it comes to KM. Other blog posts included examining The Case for Developing an Enterprise Information Architecture (a catalyst for focused enterprise search and findability of content and knowledge), Creating a Winning’ NSF SBIR Phase I & Phase II Proposal (a synopsis of my webinar I conducted through Principle Investigators), Power Directed (“If Knowledge is Power then Knowledge Management is Power Directed”), Anatomy of a KM Project (by Guest Blogger Bruce Fransen). I concluded the 2012 Knowledge Management Depot postings with Are you Maintaining Your Taxonomy, KM Program vs KM Project, and Components of a KM Strategic Plan (The Strategic Plan is what all organizations should start with before executing a KM initiative).
So, there you have it! I believe I presented some pertinent topics and some solutions within the Knowledge Management discipline, If you missed any of my blog posts in 2012 feel free to go back, review and make comments. I look forward to more guest bloggers in 2013 and more relevant and current topics that give insight on where KM will be heading in 2013!

Dec 312012
USAID KM_framework


Thinking about crafting your Knowledge Management Strategic Plan?

Not sure where to start?

Here I am presenting a “straw-man” to get you started!

Following the information presented below will get you on your way:

1.     Executive Summary

The executive summary is often considered the most important section of a KM Strategic Plan. This section briefly tells your reader where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful when implementing Knowledge Management. The executive summary should highlight the strengths of your overall plan and therefore be the last section you write.

2.    KM Vision Statement

The KM vision statement takes into account the current status of the organization, and serves to point the direction of where KM in the organization wishes to go. As a means of setting a central goal that the organization will aspire to reach, the vision statement helps to provide a focus for the mission.

3.    KM Mission Statement

The KM mission statement serves as a guide to the actions of the organization as it pertains to KM, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s KM strategy is formulated and aligns with the KM vision (Note: the KM Vision and Mission are often combined).

4.    Current KM Environment (Include If one exist)

This section details the current knowledge environment. Any knowledge management activities and experience will be detailed here. This section will also outline any benefits that have been gained and how they can be built upon or leverage in future initiatives.

5.    KM Best Practices

This section details the KM Best Practices that this KM Strategic Plan will align to.

6.    Challenges and Knowledge Needs

The key issues and knowledge needs of the organization will be summarized here and will include any knowledge resources, processes and tools that will be needed to effectively execute the knowledge management strategy.

7.    Strategy Details and Key Initiatives

The key activities to implement the Knowledge Management Strategy are as follows:

i.     Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge Transfer is a culture-based process by which adaptive organizational knowledge that lies in people’s heads and which lies in documents, programs, reports, etc is exchanged with others. This section will indicate how knowledge transfer will play a role in the overall knowledge management strategy.

ii.    Dependencies

This section will detail critical dependencies such as the availability of key personnel, approval of budgets, and available technologies to initiate the knowledge management strategy. This section will also analyze the effect of not executing the knowledge management strategy at all.

iii.   Ongoing Knowledge Management

To continue to foster an atmosphere of sharing, transferring, harvesting and creating knowledge within the organization an adherence to this strategy will be imperative. On-going support will include:

– Identifying the key knowledge holders within the organization.

– Creating an environment which motivates people to share.

– Creating opportunities and utilizing tools to harvest knowledge.

– Creating opportunities to foster knowledge creation.

– Designing a sharing mechanism to facilitate the knowledge transfer.

– Measuring the effects of executing the knowledge strategy.

8.    Establish a Central Knowledge Management Office

The Central Knowledge Management Office (CKMO) comprised of Senior Management and Core Team members and is the vehicle for implementing and keeping under review the KM Program and on-going KM initiatives that will be championed by the organization.

9.    Tools

This section details the tools and how they will be utilized to deliver Knowledge Management through out the organization.

 Feel free to leave your comments and/or questions regarding this KM Strategic Plan “straw-man”.



Dec 312012

ripplesIn many of my Knowledge Management (KM) engagements, organizations look to initiate KM through a specific initiative or project. Once that project is concluded many of these organizations believe that there KM involvement is done and they move on to the next initiative. In order to have a sustainable KM presence at an organization we must move from the tactical approach of a KM project to that of a strategic approach of a KM Program. In order to accomplish this a KM Strategy has to be developed. The KM Strategy is positioned at the Program Level and this strategy will drive specific initiatives that align with the mission and objectives of the KM Program. The KM Strategy includes formal procedures to collect knowledge throughout the organization, a well-established infrastructure, networks for transferring knowledge between employees, and tools to facilitate the process.  The KM Strategy will lay the foundation to align specific tools/technology to enhances individual and organizational performance,. This is accomplished by incorporating the following three (3) components into the fabric of an organization’s environment:

  • People, those who create, organize, apply, and transfer knowledge; and the leaders who act on that knowledge
  • Processes, methods of creating, organizing, applying and transferring knowledge
  • Technology, information systems used to put knowledge products and services into organized frameworks

The KM Strategy is constructed to establish effective knowledge management operations.  The intent is to outline how organization will organize and implement KM to get relevant knowledge, to the right person, at the right time, and in the right format to enable rapid situational understanding and decision-making.

The KM Program must optimize the organization, exchange, currency, and accessibility of knowledge so employees and other stakeholders spend less time looking for what they need in order to make critical decisions and complete specific tasks and activities. Effective workers do not just need to recognize their own knowledge and skills, but they must also recognize and strategically use those of others.  The KM Program must leverage the KM Strategy to focus on developing the following practices among individuals and groups to make them an integral part of the organizational KM culture:
  • Recognition and valuing of individual knowledgeRecognition and valuing of knowledge held by othersEnthusiasm to search for new knowledge
  • Skills to search for that new knowledge
  • Enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others, and a capacity to link personal and shared knowledge to organizational goals and performance
  • Enthusiasm for contributing to the intellectual capital of the organization

One important aspect of the KM Strategy to keep in mind is that all KM Strategies must include the initiatives required to implement the KM Program’s enterprise mission, vision and objectives. For those who are contemplating building a KM Program/Strategy and those already executing their KM Strategy on behalf of creating a sustainable KM Program I would like to hear from you!

Nov 302012

KM PortalOnce you have deployed your Knowledge Portal or Knowledge Management (KM) System’s taxonomy, controlled vocabulary, information architecture, achieved initial search engine optimization (SEO), and deployed to your users, you’re done! Hold on… You’re not done yet! As a matter of fact you have just begun! Now you must execute your strategy on how you will maintain the knowledge portal’s taxonomy and its underlining taxonomy infrastructure.

In your Knowledge Management Strategy, indicating how your organization will maintain the underlining taxonomy infrastructure, which involves the requirements, and tools, will be essential to the ongoing success of the Knowledge Portal (KM System). When you think of what requirements are needed consider the following:

  • How easily and can categories added, edited, or deleted?
  • How easily and can relationship types and relationships between your knowledge and its associated content be defined, edited, or deleted?
  •  Does a change propagate to all instances?
  •  What users and their permissions need to be established on an ongoing basis?
  •  Determine what assignment or modification of privileges to one or a group of items is needed?
  •  Taxonomy Governance requirements (approval, new, change, etc. workflows that maybe needed or modified)
  •  Metadata/Controlled Vocabulary requirements (assign attributes to a category, associate controlled vocabulary with metadata field, and thesaurus capabilities)

In determining what tools you should utilize to assist in managing your taxonomy infrastructure consider the following:

  • Tools that have Taxonomy Development capabilities, which include establishing user roles and permissions
  • Tools that have Taxonomy Maintenance capabilities, which include adding, editing, moving, and deleting items
  • Tools that have the ability to assign or modify privileges to one or a group of items
  • Tools that have Taxonomy Governance, which lends itself to the development and maintenance of workflows for knowledge content
  • Tools that have Metadata Controlled Vocabulary, which includes assigning attributes to a category and associating controlled vocabulary with metadata fields as well as Thesaurus capabilities
  • Tools that have custom reporting capabilities
  • Tools that have application integration APIs (WSDL, Scripts, etc.)

Below is a table containing some of the most widely used taxonomy/controlled vocabulary tools in currently use. I would encourage you to contact these vendors and also refer to the latest Gartner, and Forrester analysis before you decide to bring a vendor in for further discussion.


Taxonomy Tool


Apelon Distributed Terminology System (DTS)








SAS Ontology Management




Semaphore Ontology Manager




WordMap Designer








Intelligent Topic Manager




SharePoint Information Architect


Nov 292012


TimeDoin’ Time* somewhere south of Normal…

Time = KM Time

Similarities between Knowledge Management (KM) and “other kind of time”
      Confined to small space with other detainees…..


         Most others don’t know what you do (or why)…


         Time is not an enemy but a constant challenge…


         Unable to leave until requirements are fulfilled…


         Having done time, KMer will never be the same…
Are you doin’ time? We would like to hear from you….
Bruce Fransen
Knowledge Management Consultant