This website covers 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.

KM glossary looking for help

Update: The links to the NELH are no longer active.

For anyone who feels they have the time, Caroline De Brún in the KM group at the U.K. National Health Service is building a KM glossary and are asking for help

At the last Specialist Library Knowledge Management Advisory Group meeting, we agreed to review the knowledge management glossary and try to make the terminology more relevant to health care. We would like as many opinions as possible, so I hope you can help. The first stage is to look at the current glossary and see if there are any terms that are missing or if there are terms which are no longer relevant.

Their glossary covers terms that range from sociology to learning to technology and back.  Rather than pointing them to the Wikipedia, which isn't a bad idea, they are looking for brief descriptions (few sentences) of the term or concept.  In fact, it might be worthwhile creating a link to a valuable external source for many of these topics.  The Wikipedia comes to mind on a first pass.  Of course, there are many others.

Here are some I see as missing or needing modification:

  • Business Process Management (BPM): The practice of representing and managing business functions in a systematic way.  One reference might be the APQC Process Classification Framework.
  • Competitive intelligence (CI): Seeking out information on the activities and operations of one's competitors in order to respond to constantly changing pressures in the market and the culture. (Related term: Business intelligence)
  • Context: Context adds a deeper layer of understanding and meaning to a situation or knowledge source.  Storytelling, for example, helps add context and nuance that the basic facts would not be sufficient.
  • Folksonomy (folk + taxonomy):  An uncontrolled mechanism for allowing individuals to add their own keywords to documents, web sites and other content they come across.  Rather than use a structured and controlled taxonomy, folksonomies let the users decide how to categorize their content.   
  • Governance: Processes put in place to help an organization guide and manage projects, such as knowledge management initiatives.  Governance covers everything from who is responsible for making decisions and changes to how an initiative gets introduced to the organization.
  • Information literacy: Information Literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand (source).
  • Knowledge-conscious culture: A culture in which people are cognizant of the knowledge flows and network of relationships that impact the knowledge needed to get work done.  (Related term: Information literacy)
  • Lost knowledge: If knowledge is truly housed in the brains of the people who do knowledge work, then when they leave the company that knowledge is "lost."  This is a particular concern as people retire in large numbers in the coming years.  (Related: Knowledge retention)
  • Meme: And idea or concept that gains currency within the community.  It may grow from discussion or get imported and translated from another community. 
  • Social networks: The fabric of who-knows-whom and who-knows-what that enables knowledge work to get done.
  • Social network analysis: Analysis of the links and connections between people in an organization or community to help diagnose communication and cultural problems.  (Related term: Human Capital, Social Capital)
  • Stealth KM: Doing knowledge management without calling it knowledge management.

Note that (for now) you'll have to provide feedback via email from Caroline's profile, since their comments are closed to team members only.

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