Knowledge Management System

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INTRODUCTION

Knowledge Management System (KM System) refers to a (generally IT based) system for managing knowledge in organizations, supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of information. It can comprise a part (neither necessary or sufficient) of a Knowledge Management initiative. Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) are technologies that support Knowledge Management (KM) in organizations, specifically - knowledge generation, codification, and transfer (Ruggles, 1997). The use of KM in organizations is now widely recognized and expected to be an important part of organizational practices in the future. The idea of a KM system is to enable employees to have ready access to the organization's based documented of facts, sources of information, and solutions. For example a typical claim justifying the creation of a KM system might run something like this: an engineer could know the metallurgical composition of an alloy that reduces sound in gear systems. Sharing this information organization wide can lead to more effective engine design and it could also lead to ideas for new or improved equipment. A KM system could be any of the following:

1.Document based i.e. any technology that permits creation/management/sharing of formatted documents such as Lotus Notes, web, distributed databases etc. 2.Ontology/Taxonomy based: these are similar to document technologies in the sense that a system of terminologies (i.e. ontology) are used to summarize the document e.g. Author, Subj, Organization etc. as in DAML & other XML based ontologies 3.Based on AI technologies which use a customized representation scheme to represent the problem domain. 4.Provide network maps of the organization showing the flow of communication between entities and individuals 5.Increasingly social computing tools are being deployed to provide a more organic approach to creation of a KM system. KMS systems deal with information (although Knowledge Management as a discipline may extend beyond the information centric aspect of any system) so they are a class of information system and may build on, or utilize other information sources. Distinguishing features of a KMS can include: 1.Purpose: a KMS will have an explicit Knowledge Management objective of some type such as collaboration, sharing good practice or the like. 2.Context: One perspective on KMS would see knowledge is information that is meaningfully organized, accumulated and embedded in a context of creation and application. 3.Processes: KMS are developed to support and enhance knowledge-intensive processes, tasks or projects of e.g., creation, construction, identification, capturing, acquisition, selection, valuation, organization, linking, structuring, formalization, visualization, transfer, distribution, retention, maintenance, refinement, revision, evolution, accessing, retrieval and last but not least the application of knowledge, also called the knowledge life cycle. 4.Participants: Users can play the roles of active, involved participants in knowledge networks and communities fostered by KMS, although this is not necessarily the case. KMS designs are held to reflect that knowledge is developed collectively and that the “distribution” of knowledge leads to its continuous change, reconstruction and application in different contexts, by different participants with differing backgrounds and experiences. 5.Instruments: KMS support KM instruments, e.g., the capture, creation and sharing of the codifiable aspects of experience, the creation of corporate knowledge directories, taxonomies or ontologies, expertise locators, skill management systems, collaborative filtering and handling of interests used to connect people, the creation and fostering of communities or knowledge networks. A KMS offers integrated services to deploy KM instruments for networks of participants, i.e. active knowledge workers, in knowledge-intensive business processes along the entire knowledge...
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