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.

Another look at categorizing KM: PKM

Hipster PDA and mini USB cablePatti Anklam has a nice summary of what she calls The 3rd KM: personal knowledge management.  There are ample comments and trackbacks (!) as well, which provide their own views and angles on the idea.

Personal knowledge management (PKM) is something that we all do all the time, but often take for granted. I suppose, in that respect, it’s not unlike the other 2 KMs, Big KM and Little KM. There is always (has always been) some kind of KM going around, but until it was brought into the foreground as a distinct topic we did not approach it intentionally. Intentionally, at a gross level, PKM is about the tools that we use and strategies we employ that make it easier for us to identify, locate, and process knowledge.

Patti covers about five years worth of research and writing in her extensive summary, referencing many of the same people I would use as sources for this kind of discussion.  This should be excellent fodder for anyone attending next week's Boston KM Forum on Personal Knowledge Management - Professional Know-How.  Patti is going to be there, in case you need another motivation to attend.  Unfortunately, I am going to miss it (fun) business travel.

Here are the broad topics she touches on:

  • Distinguish Skills from Tools
  • Tool Selection is a Matter of Personal Preference
  • People are not Born Knowing How to Use Tools
  • Distinguish the Private from the Social
  • The Leader’s Net Work and Personal Net Work

For me, the key to PKM is that I need to have good processes around my connections to people and information.  These processes are a big part of my "getting stuff done" work flow.  I have "trusted systems" (David Allen's phrase) that help me ensure I can get back to people or find stuff or meet my commitments.  And not only do I need to find my local stuff, I need good processes for reaching out to my network and discovering answers (or questions) that I don't necessarily have at my fingertips.  In my world, a big element of this is being willing to put myself out in front of people via my blog or Twitter and ask for help. 

A lot of PKM has to do with knowing what I know and where my knowledge stops and that of friends, family and the network can expand my own knowledge.

[Photo: "Hipster PDA and mini USB cable" by Teo.]

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