Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is an umbrella term for all strategic and operational activities and management tasks to the best possible use of knowledge aimed. Contributions to knowledge management - both theoretical and practical, application-oriented nature - are being developed in many fields, especially in economics , the computer science , the information sciences , the social sciences , the education or economic computer science .

Individual versus structural knowledge

Knowledge management is the methodological influence on the knowledge base of one company (organizational knowledge management) or oneself ( Personal Knowledge Management ). Under the knowledge base all data and information , all knowledge and all the skills which, in this organization or Person for the solution of their various tasks has or should have.
In organisationalem knowledge management to individual knowledge and skills ( human capital ) systematically at different levels of the organizational structure to be anchored. Organizational knowledge management can be understood as an intervening act, which on the theories of organizational theory and organizational learning is based and this will systematically transfer into practice.
As a result of today's knowledge-and innovation-oriented communication era that the company's existing knowledge capital is increasingly becoming a key factor of production. The knowledge within an organization is thus considered as a factor of production which, in addition capital , labor and soil occurs. The strategic basis for knowledge management mainly offers the Knowledge-Based View of the Firm . This is an extension of the view information see (eg in the context of the market shaping and influencing) as operational resource or as a production factor.
A contribution to information systems provide by the staff communicative network and information provide and maintain.
Criticized the approach of knowledge management from the academic community is primarily an undifferentiated concept of knowledge, which is not often enough from the words "data" and " information is deferred ".  Further, an objectively unreasonable or even paradoxical understanding of the factors of production approach criticized as located mainly in the speech of the "intangible resource knowledge" reflected, as well as a one-sided focus on certain older, of the modern management theory already partially revised mechanistic control and feasibility of ideas. Also unclear is the legal question of whether and under what conditions organizations (including corporations) even a recycling claim on the individual stocks of knowledge of its members (employees) may submit. Such knowledge bases are firstly as (often costly acquired) intellectual private property to consider their support. This matter is in free and democratic societies usually achieved by stipulating that employers and employees employment contracts are closed, the employers pay a fee for the right to exploit the labor force, but not attach the same time the knowledge of their employees. On such problems according to some authors replaced by a ideological bias ( bias light) of the knowledge management approach, which tends always to a theoretical viewing perspective with a practical mix of action and design perspective - a charge that recently "against numerous modes and myths of management "( Alfred Kieser ) has been charged.
Despite all objections have been in recent years, the boards of many companies around the position of Chief Information Officer ( CIO ) with the focal point information management expands, the task falls to coordinate the processing of information on a company's overall strategy. The objectives of practical knowledge management, clearly go beyond just providing the employees with addition information:

  • Employees should develop learning skills and abilities and can use value-adding.
  • The classification of knowledge in two characteristic poles: on the one hand so- codified knowledge ( explicit knowledge ), which can be described and consequently, it is kept in documents to be, and other tacit knowledge , which is not associated or non-profit in codifiable form may.
These two extreme forms corresponding to the two fundamental strategies of knowledge management, which are referred to in English as " people-to-document "( Codification ) and " People-to-People "(Implicit or Tacit knowledge, Eng.tacit knowledge ). For the dissemination of tacit knowledge so other approaches and methods are needed than in the field "( kill) people-to-document (s) ", where are mainly database and document management solution based scenarios.
The distinction between explicit vs.. tacit knowledge - and the consequent fundamental areas of knowledge management strategy - especially in business applications (business) is very important because this is where the economic constraints come to the fore: Genuine expertise, for example, tends strongly to extreme complexity to combine with relatively low validity - and the more little expertise, the more these two combined factors (high complexity and low duration) pronounced. It is then in the business context is neither sensible nor possible, this implicit knowledge of a codification (documentation) to supply, especially on the recipient side, hardly anyone would have the time to read this certainly very extensive documentation.
That is in reverse but nothing other than that for a people-to-Document Strategy ( database , document management , etc.) are more suitable for standard content - not very complex and with a long validity.

Knowledge acquisition

Substantial importance in the context of knowledge management comes to the knowledge acquisition and processing, see also intellectual capital . Here are three important components:

  • Organization memory (English Organizational Memory ): The organizational memory is the sum of the components for knowledge acquisition (acquisition), Knowledge Processing (Maintenance ) and knowledge sharing ( Search and Retrieval , see Research ).
  • Organizational Knowledge : This includes current developments in individual knowledge of an organization and are often found in knowledge databases reflected.
  • Organizational Learning : This is concerned with the reproduction of the Organisational knowledge, eg through wikis .
Before the implementation of knowledge management in an organization, an information needs analysis is appropriate (Mujan 2006). Since in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) not the full range of tools of knowledge management can be realized (mainly for cost reasons), with SMEs information needs analyzes are absolutely necessary (Gust of Loh 2008).

Control versus creativity

Instructions mean to people for something other than computers . Many authors believe that knowledge can not be managed because management involves monitoring, knowledge but also on the creative use of context and associations based, is hampered by the control ( Georg von Krogh , 2000 ).


Knowledge Management by Nonaka and Takeuchi

As co-founder of knowledge management, the Japanese Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, with its 1995 published book " The Knowledge Creating Company (as "German 1997" The organization of knowledge are considered "). Building on the 1966 by Michael Polanyi introduced the concept of tacit knowledge , they create a model that is created with the knowledge in a continuous transformation between tacit and explicit knowledge. Through successive processes of "externalization" (to explicitly or implicitly), "combination" (explicit to explicit), "internalization" (explicit to tacit) and "socialization" (tacit to tacit) knowledge is spirally within an organization of individual knowledge lifted higher levels of organization, such as groups and entire companies.This as SECI model known model exerted great influence on the following literature and research on knowledge management. 2004 Nonaka and Takeuchi have knowledge management defined as: "knowledge management is defined as the process of continously creating new knowledge, Disseminating it widely through the organization, and embodying it quickly in new products / services, technologies and systems". [5] (German : Knowledge management is the process of continuous creation of knowledge, its organizational wide dissemination, and its rapid incarnation) in new products, services and systems

Characteristics of knowledge management by Probst / Raub / Romhardt

The building blocks of knowledge management are a common model to manage and easy to use method to knowledge. The method includes 8 blocks, 6 of which form the core processes of knowledge management to have to give these core processes an orienting and coordinating frame 2 blocks (knowledge goals, knowledge assessment) completed. The 6 core processes (blocks) are the "inner" loop, the strategic the "outer" loop. These 8 blocks are:
  • Knowledge goals: give the knowledge management a direction. In them determines at what level, what skills are to be built. A distinction in normative knowledge objectives (these affect the corporate culture ), strategic (they refer to the future skills needs of the organization from) and operational knowledge goals, which focus on specific implementation.
  • Knowledge identification: Here, an overview will be created across internal and external data, information and skills.
  • Knowledge acquisition: The recruiting experts or acquisition of cutting edge company can buy companies themselves know-how that they can not develop on its own. Something to put it bluntly: buy or develop?
  • Development of knowledge: knowledge development is an additional module for the acquisition of knowledge, that knowledge is not to be covered by the block acquisition of knowledge must be developed internally.
  • Knowledge distribution: The key question is: Who should know to what extent or what can and what can the processes of knowledge (ver) distribution can be facilitated? For this purpose are a variety of methods such as: lessons learned , after action review , workshops , regular meeting , mentor principle , newsletters and more.
  • Knowledge exploitation: exploitation is the productive use of organizational knowledge.
  • Knowledge Retention: In order to obtain valuable knowledge, it is useful to make the selection process and then save as appropriate to update also.
  • Knowledge Review: The focus is to achieve the knowledge objectives.
Ideally, the blocks are processed in a cycle, in the above ranking of the modules, starting from the knowledge objectives, the findings from the evaluation of knowledge incorporated back into the block knowledge goals. In reality, accompanied by a strong network of core processes.

Business Process Oriented Knowledge Management

Business Process Oriented Knowledge Management's goal, knowledge and activities of knowledge management to focus on the business processes of a company. At the same time, integration into the daily work of employees is reached. The approach is, inter alia, Norbert Gronau ( University of Potsdam ), Holger Nohr ( Stuttgart Media University ), Andreas Abecker ( computer science research center ) and Peter Heisig and the Fraunhofer IPK represented.
Knowledge management can be considered a process-oriented in many respects ( Holger Nohr 2004): Knowledge management in the strict sense can be regarded as classical (knowledge) management process, which sets the framework for individual or combined knowledge processes (eg identification, search, distribution or use of knowledge).
  1. A second view sees the design process knowledge of business processes, process knowledge being generated and applied.
  2. The third perspective of business process oriented knowledge management is concerned with the integration of functional knowledge in the implementation of business processes and the integration of knowledge processes to business processes.
Following this approach, the knowledge-based modeling of business processes (eg with the KMDL or using advanced XML-nets) and the use of application systems (eg, workflow management systems ).
The method of business process-oriented knowledge management (GPO-WM) developed by Peter Heisig (1999), aims to improve the methodology dealing with knowledge in business processes. Using this methodology an understanding of the systematic use of knowledge is producing according to the core tasks of knowledge store, distribute and use. These core functions have been identified in empirical studies as a minimum requirement and application projects in small companies and large companies in the industrial, services, government and research organizations tested in practice. As methods to improve the handling of knowledge not only software-based applications to be understood, but also existing methods and tools from the core business processes as well as typical WM methods, such as communities of practice, lessons learned, etc. Central is their promotion of one or more of these four core tasks.

Knowledge Engineering

Knowledge Engineering 's mission is to map the complexity of the world and expert knowledge in a rule-like structure and in computer-based applications to the user in an intelligent information system to present. This area of knowledge management encompasses four main categories in dealing with human information :
  • Acquisition of knowledge: structure and formulaic representation
  • Representation of knowledge in the computer: Design and Architecture
  • Computer-based processing of knowledge: combination of explicit knowledge, solve problems and generate results
  • Representation of knowledge: presentation in terms of interactive applications by the user, such as creating views (" Views ") to content (" Content ")

Knowledge Market

The concept of the knowledge market is based on the assumption that a company interesting knowledge (eg, skills of employees or customer information) is a scarce resource and therefore has a market value. Knowledge is a resource that is used by and in sharing with others not diminished, but increased. Therefore, knowledge can be both within a company and across companies are also developing effective and competitive use.
With a knowledge of the market information offered is only difficult to assimilate. The relationship between knowledge providers and knowledge, customers are often personal in nature (stimulators, coaches, sponsors or knowledge managers ) and are based on long-term built-confidence. For knowledge buyer who buys from outside knowledge, is that trust is of central importance, since it does not always have the opportunity to assess the quality of services offered.
According to K. North goes from the concept of knowledge management from the design of necessary organizational framework and sees the goal in establishing market mechanisms that will lead to a sharing of knowledge between supply and demand of knowledge.
In practice this means that an appropriate mix of personalization and codification (where knowledge can be found, for example, database, quality manual, checklists, process flow, etc.) must be found. Three conditions for knowledge building and knowledge transfer of business or in the sense of a good Market Knowledge indispensable:
  1. Demands on the business environment
  2. With the development of the company and business units have a solid mission statement , guiding principles (management by methods) and an attractive incentive system be established and connected.
  3. Rules of interaction
  4. Knowledge of market works just like all other markets, namely buyers and sellers. These define way (down the rules of the game) for the knowledge market. Therefore, it is necessary that rules are defined and articulated in general.
  5. Organizational structure for knowledge creation
  6. The implementation of knowledge building and knowledge transfer require a medium (eg knowledge map , employee workshops, expert communities, online assessment , or after the interview classic method). Through internal benchmarking , the different best practices and compared the existing skills are introduced in knowledge markets.

Approaches to maturity rating

Maturity models for knowledge management aim of holistic qualitative or quantitative assessment of knowledge management activities and processes of an organization. On this basis, recommendations for action can be derived to achieve a higher maturity level. Existing maturity models for knowledge management are generally based on the Capability Maturity Model for Software ( CMMI ), a five-stage process model for quantitatively assessing and improving the maturity of software development processes in organizations, and on its European counterpart SPICE . Currently there are few theoretical, but in part also supported by appropriate tools maturity models for assessing WM maturity as Berztiss' Capability Maturity for KM, Kochikar's Knowledge Management Maturity Model or the Knowledge Process Quality Model (KPQM).

Knowledge Process Quality Model

Of Knowledge Process Quality Model ( KPQM ) von und Oliver Paulzen Primoz Perc wurde für die von Reifegradbewertung Wissensprozessen entwickelt und als dient Unterstützung für Wissensmanager. KPQM beschreibt die Entwicklung der auf sechs Prozessreife Stufen, die von anhand comes Entwicklungspfaden untersucht werden. Mit Hilfe von der detaillierten Vorgabe notwendigen Aktivitäten Ergebnissen und ist aus den Bewertungsergebnissen eine von direkte Ableitung priorisierten Maßnahmen für das Wissensmanagement möglich.
Maturity levels:
  • 0 Initial
  • 1 Awareness
  • 2 Controlled
  • 3 Standardized
  • 4 quantitatively controlled
  • 5 Continuous Improvement
At each level of maturity to investigate the processes of knowledge development paths following are considered:
  • Operational structure
  • Employee commitment and knowledge networks
  • Acceptance and motivation
  • Computer-based support
Process attributes (eg, training of employees and managers ), the maturity level of each and every development path are assigned to serve the detailed review of the processes.
The basic idea of the model is based on the SPICE model ( Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination ) from software development and recognizing the specificities of knowledge management through the integration of specific knowledge management models.


Methods and tools for knowledge management support the practical implementation of knowledge goals of the company. A comprehensive review and classification of knowledge management tools to partially overlapping functional groups, for example, by takes place. Here personal, problem-solving oriented, communication-related, work-related and relevant technical infrastructure instruments are differentiated. Below now selected tools and methods will be presented:
  • Planning Methods
    • Knowledge Audit
    • Knowledge Intensity Portfolio
    • Knowledge Management Profile
    • Knowledge Asset Road Map

  • Representation methods
    • Knowledge Maps
    • Ontologies
    • Business process modeling , see also Business Process
    • Knowledge Modeling and Description Language

  • Creativity methods , see also Brainstorming
    • Intuitive methods
    • Discursive methods

  • Methods of Knowledge Promotion
    • Lessons Learned
    • Best Practice Sharing

  • Dialogical process
    • Story Telling
    • Barcamp
    • Knowledge-Café
    • Knowledge Circle
    • Triad conversation
    • Knowledge Workshop

  • Methods of organization
    • Communities of Practice (Setting up and managing)

  • Policies
    • Deductive approaches summary
    • Inductive-analytical approaches
    • Maturity models for knowledge management
    • Knowledge Process Quality Model
    • Benchmarking

  • Storage methods
    • Mikroartikel


  • Groupware Systems

    • Communication systems
    • Collaboration systems
    • Coordination systems
  • Social Software
    • Wikis
    • Weblogs
    • Social Bookmarking
  • Content-Oriented Systems
    • Document Management Systems
    • Contract management systems
    • Contentmanagementsysteme
    • Learningcontentmanagementsysteme
    • Portal Systems
    • Learning Management Systems
  • Systems of artificial intelligence
    • Expert Systems
    • Agent Systems
    • Text-Mining -Systeme
  • Management Information Systems
    • Data-Warehouse -Systeme
    • OLAP -Systeme
    • Data-Mining
  • Other systems
    • Search services
    • Search Engines
    • Visualization Systems
    • Product Configurators

Current Issues in Knowledge Management

  • Measuring and managing knowledge, for example through the intellectual capital , knowledge audit , balanced scorecard , or the Skandia Navigator .
  • Social networks , competence networks and communities of practice
  • Organizational structure and knowledge management (knowledge market , organizational structure for knowledge creation, hypertext organization, starting points for the design of a knowledge-based organizational structure
  • Knowledge management and Web 2.0 - the use of social software such as wikis and weblogs in knowledge management
  • Standardization of knowledge management (DIN)
  • Knowledge transfer (eg, protection from loss of knowledge by departing employees (Alexander Katzung et al., 2006) , see also demographic change ) .
  • Knowledge extraction, structuring and storage on the basis of estimates of the Semantic Web
  • Best Practices for Knowledge Management
  • Success factors, benefits and sustainability of knowledge management approaches
  • Knowledge culture (eg influence of corporate culture on the transfer of knowledge, approaches to design a knowledge-oriented organizational culture)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Project Portfolio Management

The project portfolio management is a sub-task of multi-project management .
Major goal of the project portfolio management is to the right projects to find and select . These projects are then the project portfolio . Thus, the project portfolio management aims primarily to a higher effectiveness of the project economy, while the project management in general, especially the efficient implementation of projects is paramount.

While the project management of individual projects or programs (see program management ) ends with the completion of the projects (life orientation), is the project portfolio management to an ongoing task that is repeated cyclically.
A definition of project portfolio management provides the Swiss specialist writer Bruno Jenny : "Project portfolio management leads all projects a guide unit. This includes all the tasks that are necessary for prioritizing, coordinating, controlling and supporting the upcoming and ongoing projects and the necessary resources for project portfolio view. “
Somewhat more broadly, one can under Project Portfolio Management , the permanent planning, prioritization, comprehensive control and monitoring of all projects within an organization or a completed part of an organization understand.

Among the tasks of project portfolio management
  • the definition of projects and programs for the implementation of higher-level organizational goals,
  • the assessment of proposed projects,
  • The approval, deferral and rejection of project proposals,
  • ongoing monitoring of projects from the perspective of the client,
  • Observation of the project and quality management tasks and
  • the cross-project information and knowledge management.

Recently, in connection with the project portfolio management also of strategic (multi) project management is discussed (see also multi-project management ).

Consequences of project portfolios

Projects within the project portfolio of an organization are often in competition with each other for

  • Management attention
  • Availability of resources

Comparative selection of projects in a project portfolio

Various methods can be - and often in combination - used:

Monetary methods

Comparison based on the project NPVs ( Net Present Values ​​- net present value ) of projects over a given period. In the example, this period of four years, the Future Values ​​( future values ​​are taking expectations) with the discount rate (discount rate discounted) to use in the comparison Present Values ​​( present values ​​to be determined):
Instead of the NPV and the IRR can ( Internal Rate of Return - IRR ) are used.

Strategic Assessment

Another approach uses Strategic scoring - the strategic review of projects under weighted criteria:

Multi-dimensional view

Often, the results are considered in combination:
In the example above, it is for Project1 , which is neither strategically nor financially attractive, most unlikely that it will be executed. project4 costs a lot, but strategically interesting. Project5 is indeed strategically irrelevant, but financially attractive. Project3 is both strategically and financially attractive.

Nonlinear Optimization against a constraint (a restriction)

Several factors may limit the ability of an organization to carry out projects, such as personnel, finance, technical limitations, or even the need to not overwhelm the ability of the organization to control constant changes.
In the following example in a decision tree to select from a list of 7 potential projects is made. The selection is limited by a budget of $ 10,000,000. Project selection remains with total costs of $ 7,740,000 within this limitation and offers the highest possible payoff of $ 2,710,000. All other combinations of projects would either produce a lower payoff or over budget.

Other tasks of project portfolio management

Prevention of duplication

Especially in large organizations with many sub-organizations (eg businesses), it is possible that projects with similar objectives to be carried out in parallel without the portfolio managers know about it.

Standardization of project management methods

In many organizations, a PMO ( Project Management Office sure) that the Project Manager to develop uniformity in

  • Terminology and Glossary
  • Methods used
  • Forms, templates, tools
  • Communication and Reporting
  • other elements of project management