There is consensus that explicit knowledge is information. In addition there is tacit knowledge that exists in the human minds. Tacit knowledge is applied unconsciously. It is a result of people \ Agents Interactions with each other and the environment. While explicit knowledge in the form of skills and competencies is normally acquired through training and Interaction, tacit knowledge is difficult to articulate. It is something that often cannot be expressed (Polyani 1966, Polyani 1996). Here we present various ways in which the creation and use of tacit knowledge can be assisted to become part of the Enterprise Knowledge Infrastructure to enable the BioS goals of the complex system.
How does knowledge management benefit the organization?
How is knowledge used in the delivery of services and to reduce Interaction costs?
What are the different aids to knowledge management?
How can knowledge be captured?
What processes and electronic tools enable the evolution of practice knowledge?
Knowledge is a “fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knower. In organizations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms” (Davenport 1998). The business challenge for service-oriented organizations is to provide an environment within which knowledge is actively discovered, captured, shared, vetted, and delivered to improve the service. Since Knowledge is an asset, to what extent should investments be made in its management?
Knowledge discovery related to services is the process of discovering interesting, non-trivial patterns in information that help deliver more effectively. The discovery process targets Interactions and knowledge applied by Roles. Knowledge is often discovered by generating information from data while practicing. This type of reflective knowledge (Schon 1979) can be obtained by monitoring Interactions and by abstracting or mining non-trivial patterns (rules or associations for example) from the information. The discovery process can also be done using numerous methods and aids - visualization, data mining, statistics, neural networks, mathematical modeling and simulation, or even organizational processes. See Despres and Chauval 2000 for an overview.
Triage to Mine Organizational Knowledge: The CSC is the heart of any customer-focused service organization since here Requests are logged and prioritized, rules are applied for classification, initial assignments made, knowledge applied, and status monitored.
Triage knowledge is applied in the form of rules applied to Requests that come in through a single point of contact for the customer. These rules are often based on organizational knowledge and applied to provide the dynamic Interaction networking capability as we have seen with the 311 example in the previous chapter. Thus, the CSCs is a good place to capture and mine knowledge applied to provide services. The Interactions initiated by the CSCs also generate performance information which can be synthesized and mined for additional knowledge.
Nested Triages: The pattern underlying CSC is triage or broker. Thus the CSC | triage is a useful organization structure that can be repeatedly applied not just for larger organizations but also for smaller teams and groups relying on shared high-cost resources that take in many Requests from their own specific environment. These points of networking often begin to capture Requests, unusual requirements, frequently asked questions, etc. as well as the knowledge needed to service them.
Often a service organization with a CSC contains nested organizations each with their own CSCs. Sometimes this structure is implicit, but it nevertheless exists. For example, within the hospital enterprise, an emergency triage CSC uses specialist administrative desks and CSCs as well as IT CSC. The IT CSC in turn communicates with a technology CSC for support with equipment failure. The incoming Requests for different CSCs within an organization could thus be different – including the Requests for medical assistance, Requests for equipment repair, Requests for application program services or for product maintenance. Thus, the different CSCs become the ‘customer face’ for all the service providers (either for external or internal customers).