24. Dezember 2004

[ English , Wissensmanagement ]

On "Corporate Memory"

Denham Grey asked a question through KnowledgeBoards's "Expertise Locator" this morning which reached me. I post my answer here, mainly for personal record and to get back to them later and elaborate my thoughts.

The question was: Corporate memory: What are the 5 most important issues?

Here is what I replied:

1) Deciding wether there is such a thing as a "corporate memory" and, if a company decides that there is one, finding out where it resides and how it works.

2) Understanding how knowledge is passed on between employees, especially those of different age. How is the knowledge from the old people passed on to younger ones? Just by informal observation? By informal observation and dialogue? In "apprenticeships"? In classes? Mediated through documents?

3) Understanding if and how codification helps to capture information and knowledge.

4) Working out ways to stay in contact with employees that left the organisation to be able to access their knowledge when it is needed.

5) I can't think of a fifth point at the moment. :-) Have a nice

What do you think?


Thanks for your thoughtful reply and kind wishes.

Understanding how 'corporate memory' works within your firm is certainly a worthwhile effort, and I like your focus of 'working with those that have left' to retain expertise and know-how.

The balance between codification and personalization is a difficult design issue to this I would add finding a suitable (combination of?) representations seems key: stories, rules, cases, patterns, ontologies......

Denham am 25.12.04 03:03 #

There´s NO corporate memory. Absolutely! With people going, and others coming, companies make the same mistakes over and over again. A corporate memory would help save some money, but unfortunately it didn´t.

Then, maybe some form of knowledge management would help, for sure. Just a file server with a bunch of files in unknown directories doesn´t!

Adalbert Duda am 29.12.04 14:39 #

I have worked for companies which definately had a "corporate memory". (Womöglich haben wir hier ein Sprachproblem: Ich meine "Gedächtnis", nicht "Speicher".)

Martin Röll am 29.12.04 14:48 #