The knowledge management jigsaw puzzle

Lucas McDonnell gives us 51 pieces of the knowledge management puzzle, and he organizes those pieces in alphabetical order.  I might want to order them into buckets by color or shape style or something.

Knowledge management just seems inordinately complicated sometimes, doesn’t it? Like there are so many disparate pieces to the puzzle that we’re not even sure what they all are sometimes.

The list ranges from academic areas of study to activities to technologies and beyond.  I'll let someone else group these into a topic map of some sort.  Some things I'd like to add

  • Writing: The skill of writing has become critically important in a world where people collaborate online.  This applies in forums, blogging, online communities, and many other places.
  • Presentation skills: Similar to writing, the ability to conceptualize and walk through presentations.  Being able to create beautiful presentations isn't the point, but it's nice to have.
  • Business Intelligence: I find this topic closely related to KM, when the "knowledge" is the application of domain-specific expertise to large collections of data.  It's nice to have good tools, but without the domain knowledge, it may not be possible to pull anything useful from the data.
  • Collective Organizing: How do we organize the stuff we collect in a way that everyone can find it when needed?
  • Personal Organizing: How can we help individuals manage their personal space, so that they can find things when they need them?
  • Incentives: How does an organization encourage the right behaviors?  (I'm never sure whether I like the idea of incentives or not.  The typical implementation never seems to consider unintended consequences.)
  • Librarianship: Several of Lucas' topics fall under the disciplines of library science, but I think it should be called out as a separate piece of the puzzle.  Or maybe it is an organizing concept for the other topics.
  • Information literacy: One of the elements that library science aims to teach to the larger populace.  This is the ability to understand information and how the information made it to my desk.
  • Human performance: This might be a stretch to include in the KM puzzle.  Study and understanding about how and why people perform, and how to improve that performance.  (Also Human Performance Technologies)
  • Cognitive science: Understanding of how our brains work.
  • Experts: We need the people with domain-specific knowledge, along with the generalists and the connectors.

1 Comment(s)

Great additions Jack! I would really like to add these to the list (with your permission, and credit going to you, of course).

There are some major issues, methods and topics here that would really benefit the list. I'm also working at organizing this into a diagram that better represents what I'm getting at (and avoids just alphabetizing the list).

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