Skip to main content

Knowledge Management - the "what"

George Santayana, the Spanish American philosopher, wrote the famous saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
This really is the underlying basis for the process of knowledge management.  It plays a key role in CSI but data must be captured in each of the service lifecycle stages.  This Data capture must then be processed into Information, synthesize the information into Knowledge and applied to the context of the environment we are supporting to create Wisdom.  This is known as the Data-to-information-to-Knowledge-to-Wisdom structure. DIKW.  Wisdom (not repeating the past) will allow us to make more informed & better decisions around improvements in our processes, functions and services. The purpose of knowledge management process is to quantify all of this D-I-K-W and then to share perspectives, ideas, experiences and information at the right time in the right place with the right people to enable informed decisions efficiently by not having to rediscover this valuable knowledge.
Let's review the four elements of DIKW:
Data: Is a set of discrete facts about the CIs that we have within our environments.  This data is captured in highly structured databases such as “Service asset and Configuration management systems.  These advanced systems allow us to create relationships between these CIs and the discrete facts are captured as attributes of these CIs.  This allows us to identify the relevant data and accurately capture it.  We can then analyze and synthesize this data into information.

Information:  We create information by putting the data into some context as it relates to our environment.  This information is typically stored in things like emails, records, documents and multimedia.  We do this so that it can be easy to capture, query, find, re-use and learn from.  I like to think of the information as somewhat static.  It’s the state of a CI at a particular moment in time.  We can then trend these different moments in time to garner knowledge about the lifecycle of a CI or group of CIs.
Knowledge:  Knowledge is gained from the analysis of information.  This is then combined with peoples own experiences, insights and expertise to create new knowledge.  Knowledge is dynamic and context based.

Wisdom:  Wisdom is the ability to make use of our combined knowledge to create value through correct and well informed decisions. (Back to that not repeating the past thing).
In our next blog, we will explore "why" Knowledge Management is critical to successful service management.


Bordeaux said…
The DIKW construct would make sense if, as with most things IT, we first removed all the humans.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with