Saturday, October 25, 2008

ICKM 2008 - Open Source tools for Knowledge Management

Study was completed by Anne Gregory and Dinesh Rathi. Dinesh Rathi presented the results.

They started specifically looking at small non profit organization. The challenges of knowledge management is the same in these organizations, but they have smaller budgets, smaller staff. The study worked with a single small NPO. They began with a knowledge audit to identify the existing knowledge and processes. The audit was done with a open ended interview to gather the information, identified significant gaps.

The organization lacked the organization and storage of digital and paper based documents, past activity details, any tools to organize dataset or sources. They lacked details on their volunteers, their donors, or a way to get details on the particular events. No past knowledge of process for permits.

Two components to KM solutions :
1) Physical Organization and storage system
2) Digital organization and storage system.

The team offered open source products, because there is no budget and no physical space.

4 key identifying information is required to be associated with each document.

  • Topic
  • Event, or type of event used for
  • Format
  • Title

Proposed a technology and tools based on:

Provide an excellent means of organizing and sharing information.
Openness and flexibility of a Wiki helps with adding and editing the new content.
Supports version control.
Becomes the electronic list of all physical documents.
Centralized location for links to resources, FAQ, event planning details, and statistics.

Collaborative Writing and Data Manipulation tools
Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet.
Centralized single storage point.
Easy, secure access to documents.
Anywhere and anytime access.

On-line Bookmarking
On-line is a vital source of information.
Currently relevant website links reside on individual volunteers computer.
Moving to allows for sharing on-line tools and sources of information.
Bookmarks could be saved with consistent tagging.

On-line Multimedia Solution
Group takes lots of photos and videos, but are lost all the time.
Post photos on Flickr and videos on Youtube.
Add links and metadata along with descriptions stored in Wiki, so you can find them later.

On-line Forums, Blogs & Calendar
Continue to use the current on-line forums, as used currently.
A free blog with RSS capability for updates.
On-line calendar via Google or Yahoo for schedules.

The team recommended using these tools for the new content, and not to concentrate on reentering data.

The archive should be updated and moved to the new tools, when there is time and availability.

Core members will set the tone, and establish the new knowledge sharing culture.

Create good "how to" documentation for training volunteers for effective use of the tools.

Looking back at the event, this was about using free web tools, not open source tools. There are some concerns about the plethora of interfaces and tools that are recommended. The team will present the results of their recommendations at the next ASIS&T session.

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