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At work on KM standards

The AIIM'99 show in Atlanta might be a little early to get a glimpse of knowledge management standards, but AIIM International (www.aiim.org) is working on that issue through several projects and will be talking about them, holding meetings and seeking attendee input at the show's Standards Pavilion, according to Marilyn Wright, VP of standards and technical services for AIIM.

That active work is no longer going on directly with the Knowledge Management Consortium (www.km.org). The organizations, which announced plans to work together on achieving ANSI/ISO certification on knowledge management standards and held a Knowledge Management Forum in Washington in late January, have severed some ties.

AIIM is pursuing the following projects, which the combined organizations addressed in study groups in Washington: reaching a consensus on what knowledge management is, a glossary of terms involved in the market (a planned addendum to AIIM's TR2 glossary), how to design an RFP for KM systems, and how to model KM in an organization.

The gray area is who will work on those projects. Just over a hundred people attended the forum in Washington, some members of the KMC and some of AIIM. AIIM has decided to continue that work at its show in Atlanta, with an invitation to all who participated in Washington, but without formally working with the KMC.

According to KMC President Ed Swanstrom, "We are the ones who started these committees and provided the people and the content. All of the signed-up members of these committees are KMC members. We are, though, deciding whether or not we will continue to support these AIIM committees."

The KMC will continue working on those projects and others. AIIM has invited the KMC to submit that additional work through AIIM for ANSI/ISO certification when it is complete, but, according to Swanstrom, the KMC is in the process of becoming certified with the help of another ANSI/ISO organization that is "more KM-like than AIIM."

The organizations take two rather different approaches to KM--AIIM, a technology focus, and the KMC, an academic and scientific focus.

No matter how it happens and who does it, it appears that the time has come for standards work. As KMWorld reported on page one of the February issue, other organizations, including the IBM-driven Institute for Knowledge Management, are working in similar areas.

"The feedback we are getting is that (our members) would like to see some standards work begun with knowledge management," said Wright, who added that developing standards is a time-consuming process and that KM standards are probably a year or two away.

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