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Knowledge Managemet- A Theoretical Overview

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Six principles and key characteristics of CIO management in leading organizations:

1. Recognize the role of information management in creating value. An organization must recognize and accept the critical role information management plays in the success of an organization and the leadership role the CIO must assume in order to maximize the full potential of information technology.

2. Position the CIO for success. The CIO must be recognized as a full participant of the executive management team, and be given the technical and management skills to meet business needs.

3. Ensure the credibility of the CIO organization. Without credibility, the CIO organization will struggle. The CIO must have the commitment of line management; must accomplish quick, high-impact, visible successes balanced with longer-term strategies; and must learn from partnering with successful leaders in the external information management community.

4. Measure success and demonstrate results. Technical measures must be balanced with business measures, and managers must continually work to establish active feedback between performance measures and business processes.

5. Organize information resources to meet business needs. In order to execute its responsibilities reliably and efficiently, the CIO organization must have a clear understanding of its responsibilities in meeting business needs. The organization should be flexible enough to adapt to change.

6. Develop information management human capital. The CIO organization identifies the skills it needs to implement information management in line with business needs; develops innovative ways to attract and retain talent; and provides the training, tools, and methods IT professionals must have to effectively perform their duties.

Knowledge vs Information

The challenge of Knowledge Management is to determine what information within an organization qualifies as "valuable." All information is not knowledge, and all knowledge is not valuable. The key is to find the worthwhile knowledge within a vast sea of information.

1. Knowledge Management is about people. It is directly linked to what people know, and how what they know can support business and organizational objectives. It draws on human competency, intuition, ideas, and motivations. It is not a technology-based concept. Although technology can support a Knowledge Management effort, it shouldn't begin there.

2. Knowledge Management is orderly and goal-directed. It is inextricably tied to the strategic objectives of the organization. It uses only the information that is the most meaningful, practical, and purposeful.

3. Knowledge Management is ever-changing. There is no such thing as an immutable law in Knowledge Management. Knowledge is constantly tested, updated, revised, and sometimes even "obsoleted" when it is no longer practicable. It is a fluid, ongoing process.

4. Knowledge Management is value-added. It draws upon pooled expertise, relationships, and alliances. Organizations can further the two-way exchange of ideas by bringing in experts from the field to advise or educate managers on recent trends and developments. Forums, councils, and boards can be instrumental in creating common ground and organizational cohesiveness.

5. Knowledge Management is visionary. This vision is expressed in strategic business terms rather than technical terms, and in a manner that generates enthusiasm, buy-in, and motivates managers to work together toward reaching common goals.

6. Knowledge Management is complementary. It can be integrated with other organizational learning initiatives such as Total Quality Management (TQM). It is important for knowledge managers to show interim successes along with progress made on more protracted efforts such as multiyear systems developments infrastructure, or enterprise architecture projects.

What is Knowledge Management?

The term Knowledge Management (KM) has become a key issue for government, industry and certainly Information Technology (IT) executives. Several magazines have KM in their title, and the number of books ( shows 423) is exploding. Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of managing knowledge, like any other asset, to improve their competitive advantage. Yet there is still disagreement as to the vision and definition of KM. Knowledge Management isn't a technology or a given discipline. Knowledge Management is only a perspective for implementing organizational change; which it gets people to record knowledge (as opposed to data) and then share it.Think of Knowledge Management as a form of change theory.Knowledge Management will leverage the Army's intellectual capital.


Before one can talk about knowledge management, it is useful to have an understanding of "What is knowledge?" Knowledge is defined by Peter Drucker as "Information that changes something or somebody---either by becoming grounds for actions or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action." This definition addresses both the individual and corporate aspects of knowledge. Additionally, it focuses on the desired goal of more effective action, i.e. competitive advantage.

Benefits of KM

Careful application of knowledge, like other assets, can result in better decisions, particularly, at the working level. It's not decisions made by strategists at the top that make or break a company; but the sum total of the day-to-day decisions made at the front lines of an organization. Better decisions are achieved by spending less time on information gathering and more on the creative process. Decision support systems help with the analysis, but are still driven by the ability to find relevant information.

Provides the tools to:

* Increase relevant information access

* Facilitate collaboration & knowledge sharing

* Retain institutional knowledge

* Overcome organizational & geographical boundaries

* Shorten cycle time

Resulting in:

* Lower cost of doing business

* Higher quality products, decisions & recommendations

* Increased productivity

* More time analyzing collection




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