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A KM / DM Decision Map

This article appears in the issue September 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 10]

The strategic aim of a knowledge enterprise is to extract value from organizational information and intellectual assets. For many organizations, knowledge resides in a variety of repositories-including document repositories. Those repositories contain documents, in many data types and formats, that can be leveraged to improve business performance.

Document management plays a vital role in the corporate infrastructure of a knowledge enterprise. Document management initiatives generally focus on two areas: work management-integrating with business processes with the goal of making them more reliable, efficient and cost-effective, and knowledge management-as a component of knowledge retrieval to capture, codify, share and use document information to support decision making.

To maximize the return from either of those initiatives, it is critical that project activities are based on an enterprise document management program. That program should include strategies for document classification/indexing, repository design, life cycle management and IT infrastructure support.

A Decision Process Map is an organizing framework for integrating an enterprise document management program into a knowledge infrastructure. That methodology has six components:

  • value streams or processes-Define the organizational value streams or processes and the outcomes necessary to meet customer requirements.
  • activities and decision points-Define the activities and decisions in the value stream and the optimal information to complete them.
  • knowledge content-Identify the knowledge content necessary to support those activities and decisions.
  • knowledge sources-Map the content requirements to the internal and external sources of information.
  • knowledge formats-Identify the formats, structured and unstructured, of the required information.
  • IT structure-Define the systems, applications and information connections needed.

A Decision Process Map makes knowledge requirements explicit. It also ensures the best knowledge-including documents from different sources, applications and platforms-is being applied to decisions and is available to everyone in the organization when and where they need it.


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