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Seven steps for formulating a knowledge curation plan from KMWorld 2019

No matter how much AI evolves, knowledge, whether human or digital, will always need human curation. Yet, knowledge curation is one of the least-understood aspects of KM.

The topic of building and curating e-bodies of knowledge was tackled by Art Murray, CEO, Applied Knowledge Sciences, during a KMWorld 2019 workshop. KMWorld 2019 is taking place this week at the JW Marriott Washington, D.C.

KMWorld 2019 is a part of a unique program of five co-located conferences, which also includes Enterprise Search & Discovery, Office 365 Symposium, Taxonomy Boot Camp, and Text Analytics Forum. 

Videos of KMWorld 2019 awards presentations,  keynotes, and sessions can be found here.

According to Murray, there is no shortage of tools and techniques for building knowledgebases and repositories, yet questions remain about how best to design, build, and maintain a body of knowledge that is easily accessible to the broadest possible audience and available in a form that is useful.

This workshop covered the three main pillars of knowledge curation, including knowledge capture and transfer; governance, including roles and responsibilities, assurance, performance monitoring, and incentives; and architecture, including the tools, platforms, and processes for putting it all together.

The seven steps to formulating a knowledge curation plan are:

  1. Initial assessment
  2. Knowledge to be curated
  3. Formats for the knowledge
  4. Capture and transfer methods
  5. Organization of knowledge
  6. Knowledge governance
  7. Knowledge infrastructure

In broad terms, knowledge curation includes the following:

Determining the knowledge that is worth capturing and in what form—reconciling different world views, mental models, and learning modalities, especially among mentors and mentees. Knowing which knowledge is critical includes: identification of people, decisions (course of action to take) including big decisions and small decision that add up, observations what to look for (what it all means), analyses (what it all means), decision making (how key decisions are formulated and made), and actions (how decisions are carried out)

Determining which tools and approaches are appropriate—for different types of knowledge; integrating the various tools and approaches into a single system. It is important to know your critical knowledge structure.

Vetting knowledge and keeping it up-to-date—and making knowledge flow and grow, from a single individual to an entire community of experts and practitioners.

Knowledge transfer methods may include:

Human interaction, such as:

  • master classes
  • storytelling
  • job shadowing
  • case studies/histories
  • knowledge maps
  • flow diagrams
  • checklists
  • demonstration
  • guided self-discovery

 Machine interaction, such as:

  • simulation and gaming

According to Murray, trust—that data is vetted and protected—is essential in knowledge transfer and knowledge assurance. The more transparency there is, the less the chance of a violation of trust which will lead processes to shut down, he said.

In terms of knowledge curation do's and don'ts, Murray said, it is important to: be dependable, consistent; and supportive; listen and be respectful of each other's communication styles; set realistic expectations and goals and have fun achieving them; be patient and sincere which may help to ease any initial hesitancy; share you tricks of the trade and encourage others to do the same; provide an "Oreo cookie approach" to feedback with two positives sandwiching one constructive criticism.

In addition, he added, don't get discouraged if transformation does not happen right away because sharing deeply embedded knowledge does not happen right away; don't try to tackle insurmountable problems; don't criticize or tell people what to do, but instead think of ways to solve problems together; don't confuse curation with managing because the purpose of curation is not to fix problems but to enable better knowledge flows to the problem solvers.

Many speakers at KMWorld 2019 are making their presentations available at www.kmworld.com/Conference/2019/Presentations.aspx.

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