Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Personal knowledge management

Last year for Christmas my significant other gave me a GPS. This year, I'm asking her to teach me how to use it. I can't use half of the features on MS Office 2003. I just learned how to use animation features in Powerpoint. Am I technology incompetent, you bet. Am I out of the norm, nope!

I have a Palm, home computer, cell phone, digital camera, digital camcorder, DVD player ...(you get the idea). At work we have a database, e-mail system, network, intranet, CMS and all the latest software. How can I keep up with all this technology and still do my job efficiently? How can I expect folks to learn all the new features offered by our new content management system( CMS)?

I was very intrigued by Tom Davenport and Dave Pollard's presentations on personal knowledge management at this year's KM World. The concept is about helping the individual better manage personal information and knowledge. It's not so much about technology as learning how to use the technology you already have or to link different personal systems together. It must account for differences in work and learning styles.

I presented this idea to my staff technology guru's (IT, CRM, Web, CMS) along with some ideas for new technology. Within a few minutes new technologies were ignored and we focused on how to get people using our existing systems. We talked about shadowing, embedding technologies, internal and external training courses, etc. In the end we are going to propose something very simple - a short presentation at the all-staff meeting on "searching tips." We'll hope to use this use this to kick -off a existing tools training program. Details to follow ...

My take home message, is that new technologies make sense for an organizational level. How to use these technologies is at the personal level. To be successful, you need to account for both.


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