Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In the beginner's mind there are many possiblilities, but in the expert's there are few.- Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind
Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't. – Mark Twain
Amazing ones...don't you think? The first one may be obvious for anyone into KM. And I love the second one....maybe because it is paradoxical :)
When I am with my Sagittarian friends, I am almost always listening. When I am with my Scorpio friends, I am always talking.
So, shall we say that the Saggi’s loss is the Scorp’s gain? What? Hee Hee. :D Sorry. Really sorry.
You shall not hear of this again…..err….if you’re a Saggi, that is. ;)
Monday, October 29, 2007
But does that really stop one from looking for it?
Something….that is an ultimate combination…!
Something - A relationship - that is….
As bright and powerful as the sun
That can lend life to anyone
As tall and strong as the mountains
That can support millions of lives
As deep and introspective as the sea
That can connect one ‘world’ to another
As fresh and bright as the grass
That can make one feel like a new-born
As cool and embracing as the rain
That can oust a raging fire
As colourful and creative as the rainbow
That can erase the gloom of a whole era
As free and inspiring as the birds
That can make one’s spirit soar
As endless and protective as the sky
That can safeguard one and all
As beautiful and caring as the trees
That can change the world
The soul refuses to give up on the search for a single window to life. A perfect something....
The truth is that it cheats itself by wanting to live in a such an integrated make-believe world. Why can’t it take each of these in bits and pieces - independantly - and use its own imagination to create a single entity that may not be true in the actual sense but still can fill in the gap? Can Google help in this elusive search? I heard you. Time out. :)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Organizations ought to identify employees who love their jobs and are true to their organization and either protect them and help them follow their natural growth path or train them to deal with the politics so it doesn’t affect them or the company at large. Those who are too engrossed with their work but are unlucky to not be blessed with appropriate managers are either trampled all over or at best, get a raw deal in terms of organizational reciprocation. Would love to know your thoughts and comments. Enlighten me.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to, of late. :(
So, it felt mighty good to peep into a few of my pending newsletters this morning.
Not disappointed. Found something good on Leadership here.
In a nutshell, the author says employees who are not motivated blame lack of inspiring leadership (I agree wholeheartedly. What’s more, I think even those who are motivated gradually get pushed in the other direction when they consistently suffer from ‘leaders’ who aren’t inspiring). The author says Leaders that can be inspiring are those who are enthusiastic, optimistic and encouraging, sell the benefits, tell stories that make an impact, and actively engage their team in everything that they do (participative management).
PS: Enthusiastic, Optimistic and Encouraging? – That certainly sounds like the fire signs - Leos, Aries and Saggis - would make good leaders. ;)
Friday, October 19, 2007
A few of my friends are drawing me into conversations on Sun Signs and people behaviour….and I’ve been contributing a bit to discussions on specific Sun Signs because of my familiarity with them (Scorp, Saggi, Taurus, Aries, Leos). It’s amazing how accurate these analyses turn out to be most of the time. I, for one, certainly believe that there is a strong association between one’s month of birth and personality. Here’s something really amusing in case you too love to analyze Sun Signs! :D
A friend was lost in thought and was complaining about the state of affiars in her life for what seemed like forever. Sensing that it was not doing any good to her, I changed the topic and this is how the conversation went.
Me: “Okay, stop it. Let’s change the topic. Did you go get that blouse this afternoon?” (Blouse: Worn with Sarees)
She: “Yeah. I picked it up”
Me: “What is it for? Is it for the Puja that you’re going to have this weekend” (Puja: Prayer to God involving typical Indian rituals. Performed in traditional Indian attires like the Saree)
She: “Mmmm? Huh….aaaaaaa…..Ya…what….mmm…no….I got it for the Saree…..”
I laughed my lungs out and the poor thing joined in after a while.
I wrote this for a friend…..but later realized that it would be good to present it on my blog for it could invite some potentially enlightening comments. :)
Love and faith are two of the greatest and strongest forces in life. If you find either of these decreasing in intensity in your life, do everything it takes to bring them back into your life. Life is nothing without these two forces! I don’t know if this makes sense, but I believe that if one of these goes down, it can be ‘treated’ with the other! What I mean is that these two are directly proportional. ;) I could give examples to explain what I am trying to get at but, on second thoughts, it would be wonderful (more effective) if you let it sink in and discover – by yourself - what I mean.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Many a time, when I attempt to convey what embedding knowledge in processes means, I end up not being so satisfied with the conversation/debate/discussion. For some strange reason, I almost always come away feeling that my partner(s) in conversation was(were) not exactly on the same wavelength. Only perhaps a person with a good process-orientation and an exposure to process improvements/enhancements/design/re-engineering would get the message in the way it might be intended? So, I was quite excited by what I came across this morning. I came across an example that I think is worth a mention in order to understand what KM professionals mean when they say knowledge needs to be embedded in processes rather than be a separate ‘activity’ altogether. The example popped out at me from a programme on TV. As far as I am concerned, it was an Aa..ha! moment. :).
The anchor of the programme was pointing out that while in the western culture, people celebrated “Mother’s Day” as an exclusive event to honor and celebrate one’s relationship with one’s mother and used it to demonstrate one’s love and affection for one’s mother, in the Indian context this is rather a value that is ingrained in the culture in multiple ways. We have mythological stories that bring out the beauty of motherhood, communicate the value of a mother-son/daughter relationship, instill respect and love for mothers etc. We also have regular rituals and practices that involve paying obeisance to our mothers, specific festivals that celebrate motherhood etc. Moreover, we have plenty of maxims related to the importance and value of a mother that get handed down from one generation to another by default. Now, isn’t this a clear example of ‘knowledge’ as an exclusive/stand-alone event versus knowledge ingrained and embedded in processes??? I think so....!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
From what I understand, most organizations will have some computerized way of managing projects and its artifacts. A KM system will have to consume this content... right?Ex. - Suppose a task has been assigned to some employee within a project management system. The employee has some questions and poses this on a discussion board attached to the task. The manager responds to these questions. All of this has to be 'searchable' from the KM system. So my question is, how should the relationship between the KM system and the PM system be envisaged? Will the KM system consist of a full fledged PM system within it? (I think not).Hari
This, I think, is a very important and interesting question. I certainly believe that project management and Knowledge Management applications/tools need to lead a hand-in-glove existence. As expected, we have PM product vendors cater to some of the fundamental KM requirements and vice versa. I’ve come across quite a few PM products that have a knowledge repository, tips and tricks databases, learning boards, best practices repository etc. Similarly, products that are positioned exclusively in the area of KM actually have features and components that cater to the needs of project management. For example, Microsoft’s KM and Collaboration product - SharePoint - has team spaces that house discussion boards, task lists, meeting spaces, calendar management and the like.
In my perception too, a KM system, going by the current trends, cannot possibly cater to all the requirements of project management. But, from what I have seen and experienced so far, I believe that one of the efficient ways of handling the relationship between PM and KM would be to build in the fundamental KM features into the PM product and then integrate the output of the same with the organizational KM system. It ought to work the other way around as well – The output of the KM system needs to be made available at the appropriate places in the PM product. Example – Best Practices and Learnings from the PM product should be linked to the KM system based on an appropriate workflow. Similar projects from the organizational project database in the KM system should be linked to the PM product in order to help project managers extract such data at the time of project initiation etc.
Some of the thumb rules/pointers for the integration of the PM and KM products could be as follows:
1. What are the organizational knowledge artifacts that project managers need at the time of project initiation, during the course of the project and at the time of project closure?
2. What are the knowledge artifacts and people information needed by the organizational KM system from projects during its initiation, execution and closure?
3. What are the Knowledge Management and collaboration features required by a project team? These need to be incorporated either in the PM product or KM product (at a level lower than the organizational level) depending on the existing products and other requirements of the organization. For example, if the PM product being used is a simple one with features revolving around metrics and overall project health-checks, it makes better sense to leverage on the KM system for KM and collaboration requirements within the project and simply drop a link to the PM product (reports, dashboards, overview etc) within such a space. On the other hand, if the organization is using a sophisticated PM product that has room for KM and collaboration, then only the knowledge output needs to be linked to the KM system.
4. Analyze PM processes and activities to understand the knowledge generation and utilization aspects and this will lead to a lot of worthwhile discoveries that will answer the questions related to the link between PM and KM.
Does this answer your question? Helpful? :)
Friday, October 12, 2007
------------------------------------------------------------I am currently concerned with the 'technology' face of KM. I am working on the conceptualization of the parts that will make up the pieces of this technology puzzle. What systems do you think make up a good KM solution?e. A portal application to incorporate all of the above as one integrated system and give a 'seamless' interface to the end user.
For a person who has been working on KM for more than 8 years, answering this question ought to be an easy and simple matter. So, forgive me for the seemingly unreasonable delay. It’s been hectic because I’ve just dived into a phase of major transition. It will continue to be this way for one more month. I am hoping that I find the time to post a few things, however silly, on my blog to keep it alive. I ought to thank you for giving me an option to post something good (read on KM) and give my readers the feeling there is at least an ounce of sanity in me (I guess my posts on most of the other topics leave no room for confusion about my original/real state of mind). OK. Now, let me get straight to the answer.
Excellent list you have here. Nothing to be removed in my perception. But here are some things that could be added to your list to make it more exhaustive. Before you run through the list, let me also tell you that I don’t believe the approach should be to stuff a KM system with all the applications and tools that could possibly be added. The approach should be to build only those applications that are required to meet the immediate business objectives and challenges to start with. This not only makes the whole thing easier to handle but also gives one the room to customize the applications that are built later so as to be integrated into the existing ones. The point to be noted is that the integration requirements of the various applications will, more often than not, be unclear in the beginning. With that caveat, here’s the rest of the stuff in my list of KM tools/applications…
- Blogs for individuals, SMEs, senior managers
- Wikis for project teams, communities
- Workspaces and meeting spaces for teams
- Tips and Tricks database; and FAQs based on the tips and tricks
- Knowledge maps to depict the ladder of knowledge based on domains/functions/technology
- Concept maps or mind maps for knowledge generation
- Reusable components repository
- Best practices and lessons learned repository
- Instant messaging for knowledge exchange
- White boards for collective thinking
- Idea management system