This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Flowing organization or personal efficiency

White Pelicans in synchronized feedingAs many of you know, I am always looking for better ways to do my own work - personal knowledge management or just plain old being smart about how I work.  But why is that?  Why do I think it is so important that my own work moves so smoothly?

I suspect I have a hidden assumption in my interests: if I am efficient, then the interactions I have with others will be efficient.  And if those are efficient, then we will get more done and (eventually) make more money.  I suspect there are a few "long arrows" in that logic tree.  Sig Rinde brings it a little closer to home in his Organizational Effectiveness vs. Personal Efficiency

It's all about organisational effectiveness. How fast, efficient and correct all information is disseminated, how effective hand-overs in the workflow happens, how visible and easy to understand the process is, how effective the capture and subsequent dissemination of knowledge is and how little time you spend on making the flow happen.

Sig's business interest has him thinking about how many enterprise software sales angles around around making it "easier" for the individuals.  But that isn't what is important at the enterprise and organizational level: the software should be helping to speed the flow of work to improve the throughput. 

And while I still believe PKM (or whatever you want to call my interest in personal effectiveness) is important, in the organization it is more important that the whole thing works effectively.  This means that for many people, there probably should be inefficiencies, according to people who measure "up time" of every single person or piece of equipment.  What PKM should do is enable everyone to have the time to consult and confer and converse as the work goes through the system.  We should have the expectation of working things out, rather than hiding behind piles of paper on the desk or "the system" that tells us to do the wrong thing.

[Photo: "White Pelicans in synchronized feeding" by Alan Vernon]

Shadows of knowledge management

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