The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot

The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot: November 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Role of the Information Architect

The Role of the Information Architect

Often when I am working with organizations to implement a Knowledge Management (KM) Solution the role of the business and more specifically the users of the application are discussed. The users of the proposed KM application will determine its worth to the organization. If the system is not used and/or is poorly received the organization would have wasted time and valuable resources in developing the KM solution. When this occurs KM in many instances receives a negative view in the minds of the people at the organization and this leads to the abandonment of KM entirely. To prevent this unseemly situation and to get your organization started in the right direction I would recommend bringing in an Information Architect. In this role the information Architect will be the catalyst to bring the users together, along with specific business objectives to enable the KM solution to be adopted by the users and embraced by the organization.

One thing you may be asking is “How does the Information Architect accomplish this?” The information Architect Instead of focusing on typical IT problems, comes to the project with a threefold focus: Users of the Information, the Information Itself and the Business/Organization. With this focus the Information Architect will perform the following tasks:

·       Gather Requirements pertaining to the content and structure of the KM solution (SME’s and Users are heavily involved here)

·        Construct the Information Model (SME’s and Users are heavily involved here to further define and validate Content)

·        Instantiate Business Rules (depicted as relationships) onto the model (SME’s and Users are heavily involved here to further define and validate Content Relationships)

·        Develop the Taxonomy (categorizations of content (information & knowledge) for the KM Solution

o   SME’s and Users are heavily involved here

o   Card Sort exercise is often used to solidify the Content Categories and Taxonomy

·         Develops the Metadata Schema (specific information about the content)

·         Develops Standards for Content Assembly

·         Contributes to the development of the Style Guide for Content Delivery

·         Contributes to creating an authoring Environment that would leverage the Standards and Style Guide for Content

When developing your KM solution having an Information Architect (or team of Information Architects) will ensure user and business involvement as well as the adoption and use of the KM solution. This is a step in the right direction to contribute to KM being viewed as a positive influence and having value within the culture of your organization.
If your organization is considering developing or enhancing a KM Solution and are using or considering using an Information Architect I would like to especially hear from you!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Need for Knowledge Governance

Once 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!

Labels: , , ,