Welcome to my Weblog. This site is dedicated to my thoughts, views and understanding on anything that touches upon records management, archives management as well as information management in Malaysia. I believe in becoming a 'functional and meaningful' information professional, the term I refer to as person who can function in many ways possible for the betterment of this discipline. Interested parties, may reproduce or quote materials published with the condition that they are credited to Comments must be accompanied by names or pseudonyms. Anonymous postings and those containing profanities and obscenities will be rejected.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Knowledge asset is record....

Dear blog readers

Previously, I posted a discussion on the need of KM (Knowledge Management) for records received overwhelming comments and reads. Thanks for patiently reading my blog post...

I would like also to welcome positive comments from you people with regard to my postings. Please do so voluntarily.

Today, I am discussing on the other perspective of records...

Top management discusses and makes decision on specific issues relating to organizational works and problems. These decisions are taken and contain policies and critical information including the processes and justifications on why such and such decisions are made....

The justifications are reasons derived and made in response to specific problems occur within organizational settings. The purpose of these decisions made is to ensure organizational works and targets are achieved. Works can progress, projects and programs can run smoothly. 

To arrive to such decisions, there are processes undertaken. Information and reports are derived and verified, checking on the problems and issues are made which resulted in different results and feedback. These consequently create enormous amount of information which is meaningful and containing lesson learnt, best practices, past mistakes and could possibly created a repository of knowledge within organization.

The reports, feedback, justifications are all recorded and documented in such a way it can be referred back. These recordings require effective and efficient record keeping system. Once it is done, the records themselves are considered having value by itself that serve the purpose of the organization. These are all knowledge assets. Tapping these knowledge assets is critical for the success of KM implementation. 

Embarking KM without considering knowledge assets is useless. Recognizing  knowledge assets in organization are primary aspect in any KM initiatives. Employees could learn, unlearn and relearn of the decisions, impacts, feedback from previous initiatives as lesson learnt, best practices and past mistakes (that should not be repeated) while sharing it with others.

Ignoring efficient and effective records keeping system will lead to information disaster. Knowledge assets are difficult to recognize. Knowledge is then scattered everywhere. The rate of success for KM implementation is beyond achievable target. Actions and deliverable cannot be achieved without previous reference to information and knowledge. 

Hence, knowledge must be captured. The capturing process takes place in the form of recorded information and knowledge. It is then classified and categorized according to its specific subject and kept in the repository or knowledge portal in paper format or electronic format. This is called as explicit knowledge, a process by which knowledge is documented and recorded and conversion of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge so that it useful, shareable and preserve for longer period of time. To encourage sharing and use, the records (knowledge assets/explicit knowledge) must be readily available to all and easily accessible through online portal.  

The above discussion indicates that, KM needs records more than records need KM. 

Ponder over these;

  1. How sharing could take place if the substance (knowledge and information) is not around?
  2. How organization could capitalize on its strength if they do not possess what they have (knowledge and information in recorded information)
  3. How organization could leverage on future and current knowledge if the past knowledge is not captured?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Knowledge management without records....

Dear all...

I was invigilating masters student in information management yesterday. Though I did not teach them, I am pretty much close to the subject they were taking.......years back, I happened to be involved in the development of one of the subject, Knowledge Management. Yesterday the final examination subject is on Epistemology of Information Management. I looked through the questionnaire and have the chance of browsing through the whole set of questions. One of the question asked about the identification of the knowledge assets in the knowledge management (KM) implementation. 

I was intrigued by the question in the question paper while invigilating the students, my mind kept working......

Here is some input that I want to share with my blog readers....  

Image result for knowledge assets imagesTapping the knowledge which comprises of skills, experiences, methods and approaches, lesson learnt, mistakes and others requires information professionals to look at two distinct categories of source of knowledge in the form of tacit and explicit knowledge. The so called tacit knowledge can only be useful when it is converted to explicit knowledge and later readily available, can be derived and referred to by others. It is where the explicit knowledge may contains past decision makings or actions taken or reported development of a project or initiatives made by a team, organization or a department through different phases of development.

Tacit knowledge can be very much meaningful when it is transformed or converted and put into proper documentation, and recorded in any possible form. Through textual documentation, the tacit knowledge can now be referred to, lesson learnt can be derived as well by users, people or other team members working on a particular project or program.

The converted tacit knowledge is now residing in organizational database or knowledge portal or maybe recorded and kept in a file. It exists everywhere, referred to anytime by anybody necessarily.

These are records or an organization or a corporate memory of an institution.

Ironically, without records, tacit knowledge will be gone. It is literally not documented and resided in the mind of the people. Though useful, it is not meaningful.

The development of knowledge management depended heavily on the practices of information management which in particular the management of records in an organization. Institution embarking on knowledge management initiatives must look at the vast potential of records management as the source of explicit knowledge of an organization - corporate memory.

What happen if tacit knowledge is not captured? Not converted into recorded information? Not documented properly and kept in a central repository? Initially, organization will lose its huge potential of years of experience and high cost of investment in training cost, staffs involvement in critical projects, success stories, lesson learnt and past mistakes which can be avoidable if project teams took a lesson learnt from it.

Image result for knowledge assets imagesEffective records keeping or records management will help organization to leverage and capitalize on its own internal knowledge. Past actions would help decision/policy makers to make decision more effectively and efficiently. Mistakes and high risk of monetary or non monetary may be avoidable if project teams learn from the past actions derived from reports, previous project undertakings, decisions made.

Success stories could also be captured, shared and routed electronically when the stories are captured in whatever ways possible. New staffs or existing staffs could learn from the success stories which may inspire them to achieve organizational targets and objectives. Organization may also repeat the success or crafting better success or achieving higher objectives and targets. The lesson learnt from the failure or mistakes made in the course of initiating projects previously will secure organization from repeating the same mistake. This ensures higher success rates alternately reducing project losses financially.

Least to say, without records management which we can tap into knowledge assets, knowledge management would not working. KM success is highly dependable on the effective and efficient record keeping in organization. It is where the knowledge assets are derived from. Having proper documentation, recorded transactions, decisions makings, evidence of past actions and later classify it properly in a manner that it is easily retrievable and searchable using proper taxonomy will make knowledge assets more meaningful to organizations. (Please refer to SECI Model by Nonaka)