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KM and Domino

Knowledge Management and Domino

This is the first installment in a three-part series that looks at Lotus' forthcoming knowledge management tool, Raven, and the new roles, responsibilities and career paths that will be generated for knowledge management. This week's tip looks at background information and resources for knowledge management.

Knowledge management seems to be all the buzz lately. And Lotus is addressing this issue with its KM tool set, code-named Raven, which is slated to roll out during the second half of this year. Raven will no doubt create new roles for Domino administrators and developers as well as require them to learn new skills. In turn, these new roles and responsibilities ultimately will forge new career paths in companies that adopt Raven.

Long-term, Domino professionals who move into the knowledge management arena could aim for a chief knowledge officer position or leverage their new skills to pursue jobs within line-of-business units.

Those new skill sets center around how data is categorized, organized and accessed, says Scott Eliot, Lotus product manager for knowledge management products (including SameTime, Quick Place and Raven). Raven enables building browser-based content maps, corporate skills/expertise locators, and personal portals to corporate information for individuals, project teams and business units. (See Lotus for more information on Raven.)

"Each of those will require some new skills and new creative ways of thinking about how you process information in the organization," Eliot says. "There's a science around that, a discipline called 'library sciences.' We don't expect every organization to have library sciences skills on hand. That's why we're writing a methodology to help users shape the content map."

In addition to publishing the methodology, Lotus also will ally with third-party training providers to offer courses on how to use Raven and knowledge management concepts, Eliot says. The company will announce its partners and course availability in late April or early May, and classes are expected to begin before Raven is released.

In the meantime, Domino professionals should start following the KM literature. "It sounds more confusing than it really is, and there are a lot of good Web sites and books that put KM into context for IT professionals," says Wendi Pohs, a user assistance manager at Lotus who is writing the methodology for using Raven.

Knowledge Management Resources

"Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences" by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star (MIT Press, 1999). Poh recommends at least the Introduction and Chapter 1 for a theoretical overview, and Chapters 9 and 10.

History and background informaton:
"As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush; originally published in The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.
A classic article, written by one of the fathers of modern computing.

"The Seven Ages of Information Retrieval" by Michael Lesk
A look at the history of how we have used computers to access and retrieve information since the 1950s.

Online resources:
Library Sciences discipline overview at the Web site for the American Society for Information Science (ASIS).

KM World Online
Analysis, commentary, reviews and feature articles; a careers site featuring a handful of KM job listings and profiles of KM professionals; a calendar of KM-related conferences and seminars, as well as IT industry trade shows, with links to each event's Web site; and an extensive listing, with reviews, of other KM-related sites.

CIO Magazine Knowledge Management Forum
CIO case studies, analysis, advice and discussion boards, as well as links to white papers and other resources off-site.

And don't forget SearchDomino's Editor's Picks.

In two weeks, our second installment will focus on the role of the Domino Administrator and Raven.

Leslie Goff is a contributing editor based in New York.

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