Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tagging memorable Knowledge

For those of us who wish for an attribute system that TAGS memorable Knowledge:

The scope of this project has the sense that we could choke on it, but so was the scope of the first trip to the moon. Is there a need to focus on memorable knowledge?. Or similar attributes for Knowledge?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IS 456 Class IV - 4/23/2008 - Personal Knowledge Management

Three Stories Each Week and a Parting Shot: The format this week is a tad different following the theme of the lecture. Its going to be all about PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT. To emphasize my point and Al's, the two stories this week actually there are three will be represented by mind maps created out of the freemind tool.

Parting Shot: After taking down all the notes using the freemind tool, the verdict is "use ONENOTE for class notes", I think it works much better. Next week I plan on doing just that. I Wanted to do this class in Freemind, its done. Now I can truly say been there done that!!

Story One: Assignments due on 4/29. See mind map below, click on it to view it in its own windows and then zoom in and out as needed. Two assignments due on 4/29 along with this blog entry. Al has provided the templates, so there should not be any format issues. I will post them to next weeks blog.
Story Two: Review of last class. Not much in terms of review except for a discussion on what is the difference between this class and the other Knowldege classes. See mind map below, click on it to view it in its own windows and then zoom in and out as needed.

Story Three. KM theme for today - Personal KM management: Lots of KM ground covered via a demo of the MINDMAP tool. Through the demo Al covered KM processes, KM solutions and his Expert system paper. The second demo went into the the Microsoft product ONENOTE and how class notes can be organized. See mind map below, click on it to view it in its own windows and then zoom in and out as needed.
Conclusion:Using the Freemind tool for documenting these stories is a one time experiment, not sure if I will use this again. But it is certainly possible to document it. Reading the material is another matter. It requires the reader to double click the image then zoom into the various parts. Talk about making it harder to get to?. Finally, below is the whole class in one snapshot, enjoy it if you can stand the drill down and read approach!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

IS 456 Class III - 4/16/2008

Two Stories Each Week and a Parting Shot: The first story will interpret or shall I say document what I gathered in class, the second Story will be about the readings and finally the parting shot. I will start with the parting shot, sort of like reading the conclusion to get a gist before delving into the whole....Today we had a guest speaker, Ed Brill from IBM, contrary to what I was expecting, he kept the IBM sales pitch down to a low key. I noticed he got a little defensive on the subject of Exchange versus Notes but that goes with his territory is my guess.

Parting Shot: Knowledge is about NODES and RELATIONSHIPS as can be seen from the logic modelling done by Burns of Steven Job's paragraph on "Love What you Do", As was discussed last class. It is also about hierarchies as can be seen from the mind map shown below.

Story One: Ed Brill's chat with the class. Ed brought a hefty presentation chalk full of graphics and icons. 42 slides in all. I came away with the impression that Ed communicates better talking to group, than his presentation skills using PowerPoint. Or may be he was using Openoffice's PowerPoint look alike. The chat started with a discussion on Trends in Collaboration, and Virtual collaboration in particular. He touched upon various forms of collaboration including the recent trends in microblogging that is geared toward the mobile space with short burst of 140 words.

The historic perspective: 1990's money --> Engineers, 2008 --> innovation driving differentiation was the next topic of discussion. He then went into a case study of a Chicago firm that hired a CIO to turn things around. Who leveraged the idea of using a blog to capture/elicit innovation from the janitor all the way to the top. Further he went into examples of http://mystarbucksidea.com and http://ideajam.net and http://salesforce.net. All these sites are built on the same concept of capturing/eliciting innovation with a simple, accessible weblog platform. The discussion also touched upon the reward and reputation management space that enhances this form of innovation elicitation. He ended this theme with the parting shot: major trends to watch in the near future would be the hand held device which will play the role of the primary interface. If twitter's success is any indication, he could have nailed this trend.

Much of the next hour was spent on discussing Lotus notes and its development, its competetion and the surrounding software suites at IBM. He walked the class through the new generation features of Notes that integrates Instant messaging and left us thinking about the changing model: "The document should not be the center of the collaboration universe, rather people or something other than the document object paradigm".

The highlight of the evening was his discussion on the power of the blog to mobilize the masses. His story about "searchdomino.com" that was advertising Micorosft's migration tools, was in my opinion very insightful. The outcome of this episode was credibility damage that led to searchdomino loosing its subscription base and in turn its advertising revenue. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword!! This might look interesting in a logical model!!

Story Two: Al's clas notes: Following the Ed's talk, Al continued with the lecture for the evening, with the open discussion about "Information Overload". Next weeks lecture will follow on the logic modeling exercise from last week and discuss mind maps and hierarchy based Knowledge representation. Week 4 reading material has been posted to the document repository on COL web.

Conclusion: Time flies when you are having a good time. Today's lecture was a good example. Having a good guest speaker helps!! For those of you who want to follow me on twitter, I twitter as @mibdepot.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

IS 456 Class II - 4/9/2008

Two Stories Each Week and a Parting Shot: I modified the format for this week to two stories and a parting shot from my previous entry, where in I indicated that there will be three stories each week. The first story will interpret or shall I say document what I gathered in class, the second Story will be about the readings and finally the parting shot. I will start with the parting shot, sort of like reading the conclusion to get a gist before delving into the whole....

Parting Shot: Knowledge is about NODES and RELATIONSHIPS as can be seen from the logic modelling done by Burns of Steven Job's paragraph on "Love What you Do". The whole paragraph when looked through the lens of LOGIC MODELLING can be viewed as the following schematic representation, The theme of the whole class focused on LOGIC MODELLING as you will see from Story Two. So take away for the week, put on the logic modelling hat to get better at KM.

Knowledge management can be defined as Structuring, Storing, capturing, disseminating, using knowledge we gain out of this relationships between nodes.

Story Two: Class notes. The first hour (an entire hour) in class was spent on introductions, with the KM context interspersed in between. The discussion warmed up into Intellectual Assets and Tacit and Explicit knowledge and a brief discussion on Nonanka's article and how Nonaka could have got it wrong. Al then took us through logic modelling process (using examples) using decision tree examples. All examples were geared toward how to translate directives in plain English into "Actions, Conditions and Rules". Powerful stuff. Brought back memories of pseudo code and structured English and programming. This followed a discussion on The models of KM as discussed by Bowman. The Network Model and the Repository Model. The discussion moved on to the definitions of important concepts in KM and a Question on Which is better? Knowledge or Truth?

My thoughts on this (it is my own compilation!!): Truth is a reality that is snapshot in time, it is temporal. While Knowledge is an unending collection, a summation if you will of the content of the collective human mind, that grows, gets modified and is organic. Knowledge modifies truth and transcends the temporal nature of Truth, following the cognitive process in learning.

Story One: the Readings. As an afterthought from last week, I am going to label each article I read, with the date it was created, so I don't confuse old concepts with the new.
1) CFO-"Who you know" - [2003]: A paper that talks about the immense nature of knowledge in existence, expert systems to capture knowledge of the brightest and the best, talks about folks who coined "don't try to bottle it, just try to find it when you need it". Finally discusses why acronyms are being used today, with the computation that it will take us 2018 years to watch all videos that have been captured.
2) Notes on Scheriber: Chapters 2 and 8. [2000]: Discusses Process roles in KM and Knowledge elicitation techniques to extract data for modelling. Elicitation uses two questions: a) how to get experts to tell us what they do and 2) How to determine what constitutes their problem solving competence. It also has a interesting definition of experts: academic/practicing/samurai.
3) Topiary - case study [2004]: is about a Chicago based company that sells KM tools, the two slides at the end on measurement appear to have been slapped together as an afterthought.
4) IA PowerPoint extrapolated from "one more time what is KM" by Harris and Berg []: defines Intellectual assets and talks about tacit and explicit km.
5) Alvi - a review of KM and KMS [2001]: Lots of material on KM with interesting tables, particularly one about taxonomy and examples. (I think I like the work TAXONOMY, just like I liked the world FOLKSONOMY, makes me sound intelligent?). Great discussion on KM I am sure, but I did not find anything to store away for a rainy day!!
6) Bohn - measuring and managing technological knowledge. [1994]: Great paper at that time, I am sure. He concludes with a statement from Lord Kelvin from 1890, which was a nice touch. But to his credit in 1994 he was thinking about using decision trees and variables and how efficiency can be improved by understanding the impact of these decision tree variables better.
7) finally, Nonaka [1991]: Talks about spiral knowledge and forms of Knowledge and combinational relationship between tacit/tacit, explicit/explicit, tacit/explicit and explicit/tacit. Also talks about how Japanese firms in the 1990's produces superior products by using slogan's and themes to motivate and drive quality and innovation.

Conclusion: This is a force of habit, wanting to conclude. It is interesting that all the readings we are doing are a little dated. Nonaka's went back to 1991. Is this a representation of the sate of KM, stale with nothing new?. I remember having to study the great masters in History of Architecture before I studied the contemporary greats. May be the readings from classes 8 on up will focus on today's material. I will be patient.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Whats the hoopla about FREE in the press these days.

The FREE Business model has been getting some press these past few days, so it is time I clarified where that rabble diverges from mine on the subject of FREE.

I don't have an issue with "Free" or "tending to free" in a competitive business model, after all if you can assure a level of quality and can do it cheaper, why not pass on the savings to the customer and increase your volume of sales and your customer base/loyalty. The issue I have is with the concept of FALSE advertising. If something is not FREE, don't call it that. If you call it FREE, I believe there should not be any strings attached. Don't expect anything in return, other than folks using your product, liking it and if they so choose they can show their gratitude in any form they CHOOSE to.

False advertising appears to be very pervasive in our culture. You see it entrenched in corporate America and in the Political process that we hold so dear. Candidates slamming one another to appeal to the masses appears to be an accepted form of our Genre these days. Is our collective conscience so scrambled that we need to slam our neighbors, brothers and sisters to get ahead?.

Friday, April 04, 2008

IS 456 Class I

Three Stories each week, totalling 500 words is Al's requirement. At the end of 10 classes this should achieve a letter grade equal to an A in lieu of Exams. Each story will contain 167 words more or less, and the three stories will through the magic of writing and presentation styles tie in to form a whole. If I learned anything from Larry Lessig, his ideas on UGC (user generated content) and how he ties 3 stories to make one argument, then this should be smooth sailing. Sounds simple but the math works as follows. 3 hours of watching Al's class + 2 hours of reading the material he suggests each week (this week it is 7 papers and 2 ppt's) + 1 hour to compile and write this blog will equal 60 hours of effort for this course.

Story 1: Readings for the week: I narrowed in on Steve Job's Stay Hungry - Stay Foolish, commencement speech and was pleasantly surprised that he still pays homage to Lessig in his style of presentation. Did not know he had cancer and recovered among other things. Pollard and his future of KM, came across as a depressing article, he should really style his presentation on Lessig as Jobs did. May be then his stories will connect better. The Knova white paper - 10 Principle for KM, like most folks who write about this subject make KM appear to be everything and a mystery. In this day an age of transparency and connecting with the masses, I wish folks would stop doing this particularly in white papers. Here is how the author describes KM in the starting paragraph: "depending upon the nature of the initiative. KM, as we all know, is not a technology or a set of methodologies…". The author (Tom Tobin) then goes on to list 10 principles of KM, which increases the mystery 10 fold and ends up subscribing to Pollard's doomsday vision of KM. The fourth reading "Performance management" by Cognos's Doug Barton (IBM bought them out), talks about CPM, but fails to define the acronym anywhere in the material. Doug starts out by saying that CPM is financial performance management, but then goes on to talk about everything else, so I came away wondering. The fifth reading "One more time what is KM" by Harris and Berg, talked about Tacit and explicit Knowledge, which caught my eye and appears to be a recurring theme in other papers I read, I took this one step further applied my scant datamining skills and googled "tacit and explicit" + Knowledge and got 38400 hits. This has to be an important concept, I am sure by the end of this course, this concept will rise to the top. I did a word frequency check on Casanato's "Glossary of terms" and got a score of 8 for TACIT and 10 for the term EXPLICIT. I love finding patterns using heuristic word frequency!!. The final reading "Building KM systems" by Bowman, is a well written paper that gets into data mining techniques and structure of knowledge repositories. In his conclusion he talks about the measuring the return of KM systems and the lack of approaches thereof. May be we should design systems with "measuring the return" as a key criterion, we might be in a less of a mess if we did perhaps. I will end with that thought for my first story.

Story 2: Class Notes: The Second Story: What I gained from Class this week. This being the first class, the focus was mostly on an overview, ground rules and who is Al. Did not know that Al is going in for his Juris Doctorate. I am told that on a PhD tract one has to write 1000 words a day, far cry from the 500 words a week that this blog will generate for the next 10 weeks. If in some small way I can contribute to that 1000 words, may be this blog will achieve a higher purpose. So Al, this one is toward your Juris Doctorate: Larry Lessig is the Key!! Beyond that, this course is about KM themes such as: KM Technologies, Diagnosing/Solving Knowledge problems, KM best practices, PKM, BPM/BRM (hot and new) and Knowledge Based systems.

Parting Shot for this week:
BPM and BRM will be explored in detail, where in we will learn to document Informal systems using the "Swim Lane Diagram" that depicts work flow.

Story 3: Conclusion:
This is a discussion/Learning course about Data/Information/Knowledge/Wisdom by exploring 7 THEMES over a 10 week period. One view point to describe KM is to look at it as data stored in a database: Data is stored in Fields, Information is stored in Records and Knowledge is the pattern(s) that can be discovered across tables and data sets. Everything can be looked at as a Knowledge Problem if you wear the right glasses/lenses!!. Stay Hungry - Stay Foolish, and I will get there.