Knowledge Mapping

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This module focuses on the basics of Knowledge Mapping, its importance, principles, and methodologies.

Key Questions

  • What is K-map?
  • What does the K-map show, and do do we map?
  • Why is K-mapping so important?
  • What are some of the key principles, methods, and questions for K-mapping?
  • How do we create K-map?

Background

Each of the past centuries has been dominated by single technology. The eighth century was the time of the great mechanical systems involving the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was the age of steam engine. After these, the key technology has been information gathering, processing and distribution. Among other developments, the installation of world wide telephone networks, the invention of radio and television, the birth and unpresented growth of the computer industry and the launching of communication satellites are significant. Now people started to think that only information is not enough, what matters is Knowledge. So there has been seen a shift from Information to Knowledge.

A bit of information without context and interpretation is data such as numbers, symbols.

Information is a set of data with context and interpretation. Information is the basis for knowledge.

Knowledge is a set of data and information, which which is added expert opinion and experience, to result in a valuable asset which can be used or applied to aid decision making. Knowledge may be explicit and / or tacit, individual and / or collective.

The term-Knowledge Mapping- seems to be relatively new, but it is not. We have been practicing this in our everyday life, just what we are not doing is – we are not documenting it, and we are not doing it in a systematic way. Knowledge Mapping is all about keeping a record of information and knowledge you need such as where you can get it from, who holds it, who expertise is it, and so on. Say, you need to find something at your home or in your room, you can find it in no time because you have almost all the information / knowledge about -what is where- and -who knows what- at your home. It is a sort of map set in your mind about your home. But, to set such a map about your organization and organizational knowledge in your mind is almost impossible. This is where K-map becomes handy and shows details of every bit of knowledge that exists within the organization including location, quality, and accessibility; And knowledge required to run the organization smoothly – since making you able to find out your required knowledge easily and efficiently.

Below are some of the definitions:

It's an ongoing quest within an organization (including its supply and customer chain) to help discover the location, ownership, value and use of knowledge artifacts, to learn the roles and expertise of people, to identify constants to the flow of knowledge, and to Highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.

Knowledge mapping is an important practice consulting of survey, audit, and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores personal and group competencies and proficiencies. It illustrates or "maps" how knowledge flows through an organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to appreciate how the loss of staff influences intellectual capital, to assist with the selection of teams, and to match technology to knowledge needs and processes.

– Denham Gray

Knowledge mapping is about making knowledge that is available within an organization transparent, and is about providing the insights into its quality.

– Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuel J. Driessen, Jan WM Jacobs

Knowledge mapping is a process by which organizations can identify and categorize knowledge assets within their organization – people, processes, content, and technology. It allows an organization to fully leverage the existing expert residency in the organization, as well as identify barriers and constraints to fulfilling strategic goals and objectives. It is constructing a roadmap to locate the information needed to make the best use of resourses, independent of source or form.

-W. Vestal, APQC, 2002

(American Productivity & Quality Center)

Knowledge Map describes what knowledge is used in a process, and how it flows around the process. It is the basis for determining knowledge commonality, or areas where similar knowledge is used across multiple process. Fundamentally, a process knowledge map cntains information about the organization? S knowledge. It describes who has what knowledge (tacit), where the knowledge resides (infrastructure), and how the knowledge is transferred or disseminated (social).

-IBM Global Services

How are the Knowledge Maps created?

Knowledge maps are created by transferring tacit and explicit knowledge into graphical formats that are easy to understand and interpret by the end users, who may be managers, experts, system developers, or anyone.

Basic steps in creating K-maps:

Basic steps – creating K-maps for specific task

  • The outcomes of the entire process, and their contributions to the key organizational activities
  • Logical sequences of all the activities needed to achieve the goal
  • Knowledge required for each activity {gives the knowledge gap}
  • Human resource required to undertake each activity {shows if recruitment is needed}

What do we map?

The followings are the objects we map:

  • Explicit knowledge
    • Subject
    • Purpose
    • Location
    • Format
    • Ownership
    • Users
    • Access right
  • Tacit knowledge
    • Expertise
    • Skill
    • Experience
    • Location
    • Accessibility
    • Contact address
    • Relationships / networks
  • Tacit organic process knowledge
    • The people with the internal processing knowledge
  • Explicit organizational process knowledge
    • Codified organizational process knowledge

What do the knowledge maps show?

Knowledge map shows the sources, flows, constitutions, and sinks of knowledge within an organization. It is a navigational aid to both explicit information and tacit knowledge, showing the importance and the relationships between knowledge stores and the dynamics. The following list will be more illustrative in this regard:

  • Available knowledge resources
  • Knowledge clusters and communities
  • Who uses what knowledge resources
  • The paths of knowledge exchange
  • The knowledge lifecycle
  • What we know we don? T know (knowledge gap)

Activity: 1

>> Can you create your personal knowledge map which shows the types and location of knowledge resources you use, the channels you use to access knowledge?

Where does knowledge tear?

Knowledge can be found in

  • Correspondents, internal documents
  • Library
  • Archives (past project documents, proposals)
  • Meetings
  • Best practices
  • Experience
  • Corporate memory

Activity: 2

>> What are the other places where you can find knowledge?

What are the other things to be mapped?

Benefits of K-mapping

In many organizations there is a lack of transparency of organization wide knowledge. Valuable knowledge is often not used because people do not know it exists, even if they know the knowledge exists, they may not know where. These issues lead to the knowledge mapping. Followings are some of the key reasons for doing the knowledge mapping:

  • To find key sources of knowledge creation
  • To encourage reuse and prevent reinvention
  • To find critical information quickly
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual and intangible assets
  • To improve decision making and problem solving by providing applicable information
  • To provide insights into corporate knowledge

The map also serves as the continuing evolving organizational memory, capturing and integrating the key knowledge of an organization. It enables employees learning through intuitive navigation and interpretation of the information in the map, and through the creation of new knowledge through the discovery of new relationships. Simply speaking, K-map gives employees not only -know what-, but also -know how-.

Key principles of Knowledge Mapping

  • Because of their power, scope, and impact, the creation of organizational-level knowledge map requires senior management support as well as careful planning
  • Share your knowledge about identifying, finding, and tracking knowledge in all forms
  • Recognize and locate knowledge in a wide variety of forms: tacit, explicit, formal, informal, codified, personalized, internal, external, and permanent
  • Knowledge is found in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context, and even with partners
  • It should be up-to-date and accurate

K-mapping – key questions

Knowledge map provides an assessment of existing and required knowledge and information in the following categories:

  • What knowledge is needed for work?
  • Who needs what?
  • Who has it?
  • Where does it benefit?
  • Is the knowledge tacit or explicit?
  • What issues does it address?
  • How to make sure that the K-mapping will be used in an organization?

Note:

  • K-maps should be easily accessible to all in the organization
  • It should be easy to understand, update and evolve
  • It should be regularly updated
  • It should be an ongoing process since knowledge landscapes are continuously shifting and evolving

Offline Readings:

  • K-mapping tools
  • K-mapping tool selection
  • Creating knowledge maps by exploiting dependent relationships
  • Creating knowledge structure map?
  • White pages
  • KM jargon and glossary

Online Resource: http: //www..voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki? KnowledgeMapping

K-mapping Tools:

  • MindMapping
  • Inspiration
  • IHMC (cmap.ihmc.us/) (need to have.NET Framework and JavaRunTime installed in your computer)

(Learn more about KM tool selection at http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmToolSelection )
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Categorised K-mapping

Social Network Mapping:

This shows networks of knowledge and patterns of interaction among members, groups, organizations, and other social entities who knows who, who goes to what for help and advice, where the information enters and leaves the groups or organization, which forums and communities of practice Are operational and generating new knowledge.

Competency Mapping:

With this kind of mapping, one can create a competency profile with skill, positions, and even career path of an individual. And, this can also be converted into the? Organizational yellow pages? Which enables employees to find needed expertise in people within the organization.

Process-based Knowledge Mapping:

This shows knowledge and sources of knowledge for internal as well as external organizational processes and procedures. This includes tacit knowledge (knowledge in people such as know-how, and experience) and explicit knowledge (codified knowledge such as that in document).

Conceptual Knowledge Mapping:

Also sometimes called -taxonomy-, it is a method of hierarchically organizing and classifying content. This involves in labeling pieces of knowledge and relationships between them. A concept can be defined as any unit of thought, any idea that forms in our mind [Gertner, 1978]. Often, nouns are used to refer to concepts [Roche, 2002]. Relations form a special class of concepts [Sowa, 1984]: they describe connections between other concepts. One of the most important relationships between concepts is the hierarchical relation (subsumption), in which one concept (superconcept) is more general than another concept (subconcept) like Natural Resource Management and Watershed Management. This mapping should be able to relate similar kind of projects and workshops conducting / connected by two different departments, making them more integrated.

Knowledge is power, broadly accessible, understandable, and shared knowledge is even more powerful!