Earley Associates have written a two part article for CIO Update: “Transforming Information into Knowledge“. The piece describes a 7 stage ‘recipe’ for breaking down the complex issue of converting disparate sources of corporate information into knowledge (i.e. information which can be acted upon). The stages are
- Choose a single process in a given department to start with.
- Establish a shared business language across the enterprise.
- Use that language across all tools, systems and processes to create a common framework and point of reference.
- Ensure the processes are included in governance and change management programmes.
- Apply accepted practices to unstructured content processes to improve the opportunity to assimilate them successfully.
- Audit the information management process to obtain accurate feedback.
- Measure the effect of these new processes using the auditing information.
According to Earley, the above stages can be repeated across every business unit (or department) to incrementally transform information into knowledge.
While the framework outlined by Earley is a good one, I think the other issue to be considered is both stakeholder and general staff awareness of why this is important. I can see how change management programmes should ensure this, but I would contend that as the task is non-trivial it requires its own stage. Many times when working with my consulting clients, separate taxonomies and information architectures have been developed and introduced for DAM systems because those commissioning them were unaware of a wider KM initiative (and often considerable costs to integrate with a corporate taxonomy post-implementation). The success of these programmes depends on a properly considered internal communications strategy and staff awareness of its existence and the direct benefits it will offer them.
That point aside, the article is an excellent overview for those tasked with developing and implementing an enterprise KM strategy.
“In this article, I focus on how to create a context for amplifying the business value of information. My straight-forward proposition is that organizations that focus on core practices for effective access to and integration of information get more value from IT investments. The resistance to addressing information access and integration head-on is that it seems like a “boiling the ocean” problem. It doesn’t need to be. It is possible to focus on a business critical solution, but throughout the effort maintain an enterprise perspective designed to build information value incrementally.” [Read More]
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