The DIKW Pyramid Must Die! #KMWorld

Gordon Vala-Webb is former National Director, Knowledge Management at PwC Mnagement Services LP Canada.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The charges against the accused. (1) Attempting KM alchemy. (2) Subverting KM novices. (3) Attempting to kill the knowledge management profession.
  • The theory of the DIKW Pyramid. The idea is that you start with an enormous amount of data which is then refined into information, and then refined again into knowledge.
  • 1st Set of Issues. What data to collect? (Conceptual framework) How to express it> (Language) What else is going on? (Context)
  • 2nd Set of Issues. What is Information? What is Knowledge? What is the difference? And, how do you accomplish the required KM Alchemy (i.e., turning the information “lead” into knowledge “gold”)?
  • The Top 5 KM Problems Resulting from the DIKW Pyramid: (5) Collection of data in the hopes that this will lead to information and, ultimately, knowledge. (4) Just-in-case collection and organization of content. (3) Build it and they will come. (2) Ignoring the context (of people, of knowledge objects). (1) The pyramid does not help you link your KM work to any business results.
  • A Path to An Alternative Model. What would we want in a new model? (1) Start from the desired business result. (2) Determine how you will link your KM strategy or intervention to that business result. (3) Focus your KM efforts and then measure your results (hopefully, your success). (4) Put people at the center as active doers. (5) Make sure it is context sensitive.

 

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Flow Systems and KM #KMWorld

Gordon Vala-Webb is the former
National Director, Knowledge Management, PwC Management Services LP Canada. This talk is based on ideas from mechanical engineering professor Adrian Brejan’s book Design in Nature: How the Contructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization. The presentation focuses on KM lessons from flow systems and how they design and redesign themselves.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The Constructal Law. “All of nature is composed of flow systems that change and evolve their configuration over time so that they flow more easily to create greater access to the currents they move.” Look at a river delta moving to tributaries, to rivers, to streams, etc. In basketball, the ball is passed from one player to another until it “flows” to the person most capable of making the basket. Even if the initial design is flawed, it will adapt of time to make it work more effectively.
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