1. Discuss the statement that knowledge management is a business process, not a technology.
I agree completely that knowledge management is a business process and not a technology since knowledge should be communicated and shared with others for it to be useful. Knowledge is more beneficial and useful when it is shared by all the employees in an organization. This is demonstrated by the knowledge service programs and workshops presented by the NASA engineering and safety center for sharing information. Effective knowledge management is imperative in creating, storing, transferring, and applying knowledge throughout the organizations, companies, and firms. However, the knowledge management has greatly benefited from the innovations and advancements in the Information Technology in supporting various business processes. Additionally, with the application of Information Technology in the knowledge management organizations and companies can create and share information in fast and safe ways.
2. Discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing knowledge management systems.
The largest benefit of implementing a knowledge management system that I heard about most often in my organization surrounded the positive impact to bottom line savings. The overall benefit of knowledge management systems is to increase productivity and corporate profits. Implementing a solution that meets the organization’s needs requires a great deal of planning if the system is to be successful in accomplishing what it was intended to do.
Knowledge management systems involve many elements that ensure accuracy, relevance, and currency. The organization must plan in advance as to the need for such a system and to understand the return on the investment. A variety of resources must be introduced to the system for continuous maintenance. Knowledge must grow and evolve. Additionally, there must be effective use of knowledge which depends upon the robustness of the processes developed to manage that knowledge. Also, many organizations fail to align their knowledge management efforts with their strategic objectives. Instead of utilizing knowledge for critical business problems, our company chose to focus knowledge on pressing business issues that did not align with the strategic objectives of the company.
3. What measures can be used to encourage employees to surrender their knowledge and experience to help build a knowledge management system?
By connecting the knowledge management with the goals and objectives of an organization, employees can easily share their knowledge and experience which will help in building a knowledge management system. This will also help build teamwork. For example, NASA established Academy Of Project/Program and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) for the technical support of knowledge capture of the employees. This support can consist of reducing the costs, increasing revenues, or improving customer-related services to name a few examples. Therefore, employees will share knowledge and ideas for the better results of the organization and themselves (Reynolds 2016). Additionally, by creating a culture that values knowledge will strongly encourage employees to share it and thus build a knowledge management system.
4. You have been tasked to justify the investment in a knowledge management system. What is the productivity paradox when it comes to investments in information technology? How will you justify the investment, keeping in mind the productivity paradox?
Productivity is the most basic economic measure of the contribution of technology in investment. The phrase refers to the fear that as more investment is made in information technology, productivity could potentially go down (Background, 2018). As a manager, I have watched leaders of organizations make huge investments in computer related technologies and have not seen my production decrease. Instead, I have found that by improving the ease of completing our tasks, our productivity in most cases actually increased after an initial learning curve. For this case study, NASA, with the help of IT, developed system such as search, tag, taxonomy tools which allow people to access certain specific sites with information about the organization (Reynolds 2016). Some have said that IT does not bring measurable returns, however, real benefits and investments can be seen in the improved operations within an organization.
Reynolds, G. W. (2016). Information technology for managers. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Background. (2018). Retrieved from https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/productivity-paradox/background.html