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Papers, Briefs, and Presentations On Distributed Knowledge Management  Systems and Knowledge Management

These papers, briefs, and presentations focus primarily on the above subjects and only secondarily, or not at all, on Data Warehousing, Data Mining, or OLAP considerations. In instances where this distinction is not so clear, an abstract may appear both here, and on the Data Warehousing, Data Mining, and OLAP Papers page. The following white papers, working papers, briefs, and presentations on Distributed Knowledge Management Systems (DKMS) and Knowledge Management (KM) are available. 

For more information about EIS Papers product see the abstracts below and here.

New DKMS Brief and Presentations Released

Executive Information Systems has released one new DKMS brief, one KMCI Research Center Working Paper, one response to a comment on Knowledgeboard.com and five new presentations, in addition to the two Professional Papers. They are:

Corporate Epistemology: Competing Philosophies of Truth in Business and How They Influence Knowledge Management (Co-authored with Mark W. McElroy) (November 3, 2003)

Response to Denham Grey's posting on "Truth and Knowledge" and Knowledgeboard.com (Co-authored with Mark W. McElroy) (September 26, 2003)

Eliminating Medical Errors. (Co-authored with Mark A. Notturno, Mark W. McElroy, and Arthur J. Murray). (Worling Paper No. Four, June 14, 2003).

My Road to Knowledge Management Through Data Warehousing. (DKMS Brief No. Eleven, May 22, 2003).

Knowledge Management: Three Stages or Two Generations? (September 17, 2002).

Is Knowledge Management IT? (October, 22, 2002).

Picking Portal Players for Knowledge Management (October 30, 2002).

Portal Progress and Enterprise Content Management (January 9, 2003).

All are abstracted below.

Eliminating Medical Errors. (Co-authored with Mark A. Notturno, Mark W. McElroy, and Arthur J. Murray). (Worling Paper No. Four, June 14, 2003). The problem of medical errors, one of the most serious national problems in terms of social costs, can be addressed using a combined educational/Policy/Program/Communty of Inquiry/Medical Knowledge Portal approach to attitudinal and behavioral change focused on error elimination. The educational component proposed is a workshop program designed to train medical personnel in Popper's problem-solving approach focused on error elimination. The environmental component proposes the shift towards Open Enterprises and Communities of Inquiry, along with ‘open’ and ‘inclusive’ learning and innovation policies, supporting programs, and an IT infrastructure for supporting them called a Medical Knowledge Portal (MKP). An MKP is a type of Enterprise Knowledge Portal (EKP) that provides a virtual space for knowledge production through critical analysis and error elimination.

My Road to Knowledge Management Through Data Warehousing. (DKMS Brief No. Eleven, May 22, 2003). How does one come to Knowledge Managenent from other fields? What is the logic that drives the growth of interest in this new field? Of course, the answers to these questions and the journey undertaken will vary somewhat for each individual making the transition to this very exciting focus. This brief describes the steps, considerations, and incentives that led Joe Firestone to transition from a primary focus on Data Warehousing to one on Knowledge Management.

Knowledge Management: Three Stages or Two Generations? (September 17, 2002). Contrasts one three-stage theory of evolution in KM, with the two generations view of The New Knowledge Management. It explores the basics of The New KM, the new problems generated by that point of view.

Is Knowledge Management IT? (October, 22, 2002). Develops a conceptual view of Knowledge Management and uses it to address and answer the question of how KM is related to IT. In the course of describing this relationship the presentation also addresses the question of whether EIPs are KMs "killer app". 

Picking Portal Players for Knowledge Management (October 30, 2002). A brief presentation using basic concepts of TNKM and the idea of the Enterprise Knowledge Portal to select the most important portal vendors from the point of view of support for KM. 

Portal Progress and Enterprise Content Management (January 9, 2003). Develops the idea of Enterprise Content Management and analyzes the relationship between portal progess and recent developments in ECM. 

White Papers

Distributed Knowledge Management Systems (DKMS): The Next Wave in DSS (White Paper No. Six, August 23, 1997). The future of software application development will involve familiar activities and components. But these will be encompassed in a broader "adaptive component architecture" and in a more encompassing application. This "unifying template," the DKMS, will not be data-driven. It will be process-driven, with data playing a vital role. This paper defines and develops the DKMS concept, lays out what is involved in an object-oriented approach to constructing a DKMS, and discusses DKMS integration tools. The paper concludes with a discussion of the differences between  DKMS and  data warehouse applications.

Dimensional Object Modeling (White Paper No. Seven, April 30, 1998). An object modeling approach offers advantages in supporting Dimensional Data Modeling (DDM) of data warehouses and data marts. The current approach to making the basic decisions in producing a DDM is a pragmatic one. The pragmatic approach has had considerable commercial success, but it still makes tight coupling of strategic goals and objectives to the DDM result a matter of art, rather than a product of an explicit method or procedure, results in a model composed of passive containers for data attributes, rather than components that combine both data and behavior, does not place DDM within a broader framework for integrating data and process -- that is, the pragmatic approach is too data-centric, at a time when data warehousing is concerned with integrating a complex diversity of server-based decision support system functions. This paper examines the nature of DDM and DOM, develops the argument for tight coupling of strategic goals and objectives to the DDM through an object modeling approach, and discusses the advantages of the DOM approach in more detail.

Basic Concepts of Knowledge Management (White Paper No. Nine, June 24, 1998). This paper provides an introductory conceptual framework for knowledge management. It treats the concepts of Knowledge Management System, Knowledge Base, Knowledge, Knowledge Process, and Knowledge Management in the abstract. It then develops corresponding definitions at the slightly lower level of abstraction of human organizations. Two approaches to knowledge management are identified and characterized. The paper then concludes with a discussion of some issues suggested by the framework.

Knowledge Management Metrics Development: A Technical Approach (White Paper No. Ten, June 25, 1998). This is one of a series of studies developing a Use Case approach to Knowledge Management (KM). This paper is primarily focused on the problem of developing measurement models for KM metrics in the context of a projected information systems application fulfilling the "Perform Measurement Modeling Task" within the "Perform Knowledge Discovery in Databases" use case.   In the course of this development a detailed specification of both the use case and the task are provided. In specifying measurement modeling a number of techniques for developing ratio-scaled measurement models applicable to KM metrics development are described. These include techniques for developing rules that map: (1) categorical variable (e.g., event or type) values onto a ratio scaled abstract metric; (2) frequencies of an event occurrence onto a ratio scaled abstract metric; (3) multiple indicators into a ratio-scaled composite.

Architectural Evolution in Data Warehousing (White Paper No. Eleven, July 1, 1998). This paper is concerned with DSS/data warehouse system architectural evolution in response to the growing complexity of the enterprise DSS environment and with the relationship of new architectures to a developing capability to handle the Dynamic Integration Problem. The paper briefly describes and analyzes the following architectures: Top-Down; Bottom-Up; Enterprise Data Mart (EDM); Data Stage/Data Mart (DS/DM); Distributed Data Warehouse/Data Mart (DDW/DM); Distributed Knowledge Management (DKM); Variations with introduction of the ODS. In addition it comments on the relationship between DKM architecture and data mining and provides some brief comments on software tools for implementing DKMA.

Enterprise Knowledge Management Modeling and Distributed Knowledge Management Systems (White Paper, No. Twelve, January 3, 1998). A Distributed Knowledge Management System (DKMS) of an enterprise is a specific type of Artificial Knowledge Management System (AKMS) designed to support the enterprise's knowledge and knowledge management processes. An Enterprise Knowledge Management (EKM) Model is a primary component of an enterprise's knowledge base. The relationship of the DKMS to the EKM model is one of mutual feedback and virtuous circularity over time. And it is also one of complexity and detail touching on many aspects of both the EKM model and the DKMS. This paper examines this relationship and articulates its many facets.

Defining the Enterprise Information Portal (White Paper No. Thirteen, July 31, 1999). This White Paper surveys the major definitions of Enterprise Information Portals offered by analysts, vendors, and consultants, during the brief life of this newly introduced concept. Beginning with the definition offered by Shilakes and Tylman in the Merrill Lynch Report that arguably ignited a spark focusing industry attention on EIPs, the survey attempts to create a road map of usage distinguishing the main types of portals and also to distinguish sub-types within each portal category.

Accelerated Innovation and KM Impact (White Paper No. Fourteen, December 21, 1999). While "first generation" or "supply-side" knowledge management focused mainly on problems and concerns of managing knowledge storage and distribution, some individuals in knowledge management have recently championed the cause of "demand-side" knowledge processing. They argue that knowledge management is broader than "supply-side" activities, and that, moreover, the KM value proposition is greatly enhanced when we expand its focus to include knowledge production activities, and in particular business innovation. This paper develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the impact of KM on innovation. It defines innovation, presents a knowledge life cycle model, relates KM and innovation to the model, discusses the impact of KM on knowledge processes, cycle times, innovation rates and relevance, and discusses KM metrics and interventions.

The Enterprise Knowledge Portal Revisited (White Paper No. Fifteen, March 15, 2000). It's been a year since the concept of The Enterprise Knowledge Portal was defined in DKMS Brief No. Eight. That year has seen little explicit attention given to EKPs. A recent article in DM Review by Jeff Grammer called "The Enterprise Knowledge Portal," presents a new attempt to define and characterize the EKP. While the attempt has much to recommend it, in the end it doesn't precisely define the EKP or provide a comprehensive characterization of it. In this White Paper the alternative view of the EKP presented in the earlier DKMS Brief is expanded and developed further through a detailed  commentary on Grammer's article.

Enterprise Knowledge Portals and eBusiness Solutions (White Paper No. Sixteen, October 1, 2000). Portal technology is currently in full migration to the field of e-business. Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) technology is equally applicable to internally-facing, trading communities, trans-enterprise and externally-facing enterprise applications of all types. Eventually when true Enterprise Knowledge Portal (EKP) products and solutions are implemented, they too will be used in e-business. Especially in trading communities, and in communities of practice in medicine, pharmacology, architecture, engineering, science more generally, and in other areas where the distinction between true and false information is central. This paper looks at the EKP from the e-Business perspective. It examines: Relations among business processes, knowledge processes, and eBusiness processes; The Knowledge Life Cycle Model;The Nature of KM; The EKP; EKP architecture; and eBusiness Knowledge Portals and eBusiness Solutions.

Knowledge Management: A Framework for Analysis and Measurement (White Paper No. Seventeen, October 1, 2000). Knowledge Management (KM) is a field in ferment and disorder. In any such field a first order of business is developing a conceptual framework to serve as a map for problem definition, analysis, measurement, impact analysis, software applications development and research of various kinds. KM is no exception. This paper offers such a conceptual framework. It provides basic KM-related concepts, a business process decision model, a knowledge life cycle model, a KM framework, and a detailed listing of descriptors and metrical concepts associated with the main categories of the conceptual framework.

Enterprise Knowledge Portals: What They Are and What They Do (Reprinted from Knowledge and Innovation: Journal of the KMCI 1, no. 1 (2000) 85-108). The Enterprise Knowledge Portal is an application on the verge of development. The benefits associated with the EKP are nothing less than realization of the promise of the EIP to achieve increased ROI, competitive advantage, increased effectiveness, and acceleration of innovation. This paper analyzes the roots of the EKP in a knowledge processing/KM framework and then develops its high-level architecture. 

Knowledge Management Process Methodology: An Overview (Reprinted from Knowledge and Innovation: Journal of the KMCI 1, no. 2 (2001) 54-90). Insofar as KM Methodology is treated at all, it is frequently viewes as a full Life Cycle Methodology. This paper assesses full life cycle versus iterative/incremental methodologies in KM and proposes a new methodology that is task pattern-driven, business structure-centric, and iterative and incremental. The methodology decouples project phases from work flows and manages risk in developing KM solutions. It provides a place for process tools and IT tools. It incorporates conceptual frameworks such as the KMCI's knowledge Life cycle (KLC) and Metaprise models. It also provides methods for measuring the balance of benefits to costs resulting from KM solutions, as well as methods for developing KM metrics.

Estimating Benefits of Knowledge Management Initiatives (Reprinted from Knowledge and Innovation: Journal of the KMCI 1, no. 3 (2001)). This paper presents concepts, methodology and tools for producing improved KM benefit estimates. It provides a framework for thinking about more comprehensive estimation of KM benefits -- estimation that is tightly coupled to corporate goals, and that distinguishes benefits according to their relative importance. Instead of a single methodology, the paper defines an abstract pattern of Comprehensive Benefit Estimation (CBE) that achieves the goal of tight coupling of benefits, goals, and KM initiatives and competing alternatives. The paper ends by specifying how one may tailor the pattern to achieve a feasible estimation procedure in different concrete situations.

Key Issues in Knowledge Management (Reprinted from Knowledge and Innovation: Journal of the KMCI 1, no. 3 (2001) 8-38). This is an article about key issues in Knowledge Management (KM). It is one person's view about some of the main issues dividing practitioners about how to pursue KM, comprehend it, and eventually realize its value.  The issues covered include: Approach to KM, What is Knowledge? What is Knowledge Management? Hierarchical VS. Organic KM, Knowledge Management and Data Management, Knowledge Management and Information Management, KM and Culture.

Generations of Knowledge Management (co-authored with Mark W. McElroy, Jul 1, 2002). This article is a detailed consideration of three theories of change in KM including Mark Koenig's, David Snowden's and Mark McElroy's. The paper also provides an analysis of Snowden's Cynefin framework and considers the following questions. Which of the three views is correct? Are there two generations, stages or ages of KM? Is a third age about to begin? Or are there already three? Are the changes best seen as occurring along the information technology dimension? Or along linguistic dimensions such as taxonomy construction, context, and narrative? Or in terms of whether we view organizations as mechanisms, or Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs), or CASs modified by human Promethean interventions? Or just in terms of the popularity of different intervention types from one period to another? Or is change in KM best viewed as occurring in terms of the shifting focus of management on the scope of knowledge processing as identified by McElroy?

Knowledge Management Consortium (KMC) Working Papers

The Artificial Knowledge Manager Standard: A "Straw Man" (Working Paper No. One, January 25, 1999).An enterprise Artificial Knowledge Management System (AKMS) is an enterprise wide conceptually distinct integrated component produced by its Natural Knowledge Management System (NKMS). The AKMS is designed to manage the integration of computer hardware, software, and networking objects/components into a functioning whole, supporting enterprise knowledge production, acquisition, and transmission processes. The AKMS supports producing, acquiring, and communicating the enterprise's knowledge base. This Working Paper presents a conceptual model of the AKMS and of its key integrative component, the Artificial Knowledge Manager (AKM). It is intended as a "straw man" to help the Artificial Knowledge Management Systems Committee of the KMC begin work and focus its deliberation on an AKM standard.

Knowledge Base Management Systems and The Knowledge Warehouse: A "Strawman" (Working Paper No. Two, January 25, 1999).The concepts of Knowledge Base Management System (KBMS) and the Knowledge Warehouse (KW) are analogues of Database Management System (DBMS) and Data Warehouse. To arrive at a standard practice on the KBMS, and a standard definition of the Knowledge Warehouse, it is reasonable to begin with "straw man" definitions of both these concepts, next develop a general concept of what a standard practice might encompass, and then subject these products to vigorous criticism and analysis. The purpose of this paper is to produce this straw man. The paper presents some basic distinctions among data, information and knowledge, then discusses DBMSs, the DW, DW evolution, and Data Warehousing as a process, and then moves from there to develop the analogous concepts in the knowledge and knowledge management spheres.

The Metaprise, the AKMS, and the Enterprise Knowledge Portal (Working Paper No. Three, May 5, 1999).This is a paper about four terms: The Metaprise, the Artficial Knowledge Management System (AKMS), the Enterprise Information Portal (EIP), and the Enterprise Knowledge Portal (EKP). The Metaprise is short-hand for the 21st Century knowledge-managed, knowledge innovating organization, The AKMS is the name of a comprehensive type of IT application supporting KM. It is at the foundation of the KMC’s AKMS Standards Sub-Committee. EIP is a new software application and investment space identified by Merrill Lynch. And the EKP is a type of EIP segmenting that space. This paper lays out relationships among these terms and develops a concept map including all of them. The map shows the convergence of terminology on a new and, I hope, powerful construct: the Metaprise as the knowledge-managing, knowledge-innovating organization of the 21st Century supported by an Enterprise Knowledge Portal system as its central AKMS application.

DKMS Briefs

The Corporate Information Factory or the Corporate Knowledge Factory? (DKMS Brief No. One, July 10, 1998). Bill Inmon has introduced the Corporate Information Factory. But should he have introduced the Corporate Knowledge Factory? Does it really make any difference?

Prophecy: META Group and the Future of Knowledge Management (DKMS Brief No. Two, July 15, 1998). Here's a commentary on some important questions suggested by a recent META Group Prophecy. Will KM be a discrete (product/service) entity after 2001? Are there only a few companies integrating KM into their consulting fabric? Should users avoid generic KM service offerings? What's the real future of KM product/service offerings?

Software Agents in Distributed Knowledge Management Systems (DKMS Brief No. Three, July 30, 1998). Software agents are among the most significant technical developments in IT today. This brief provides a view of how agents fit into the DKMS picture. It concludes that agents can be vital in solving object and component state and change management, and in solving the Dynamic Integration Problem. In addition, agents can make a wide range of contributions in supporting various aspects of the use cases and associated work flows comprising the DKMS.

Business Process Engines in Distributed Knowledge Management Systems (DKMS Brief No. Four, August 28, 1998). John Rymer, in a White Paper written for Persistence Corp. recently defined "a new category of application server software" called the Business Process Engine (BPE). "Business Process Engines manage the most important business state both in a fast in-memory environment and in close coordination with back-end databases." In addition, they specialize in complex business rule processing, because their ability to maintain state is a special advantage in performing such processing. This brief develops the business process engine concept and relates it to Distributed Knowledge Management Systems.

Enterprise Information Portals and Enterprise Knowledge Portals (DKMS Brief No. Eight, March 20, 1999). In November of 1998, a new "investment space" called Enterprise Information Portals (EIPs), was declared by Merrill Lynch. This Brief summarizes the definition, characteristics and benefits of EIPs, examines how they differ from Data Warehousing Systems, defines and characterizes Enterprise Knowledge Portals (EKPs) and contrasts them with EIPs, the DKMS and the AKMS, and comments on the future of EKPs.  

Enterprise Integration, Data Federation, and The DKMS: A Commentary (DKMS Brief No. Nine, May 3, 1999). This brief examines Stonebraker’s views on enterprise integration and on the superiority of the federated data integration approach to alternatives such as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). It argues that his analysis of EAI is restricted in scope and that his conceptual framework excludes the information integration, and knowledge integration approaches to enterprise artificial systems integration. The DKMS is presented as an alternative form of logical integration encompassing application integration, information integration, and knowledge integration, and providing a solution to the "islands of information" problem. Lastly, the DKMS and federated data integration approaches are contrasted in the context of recent developments in the areas of Enterprise Information Portals and Enterprise Knowledge Portals.

Benefits of Enterprise Information Portals and Corporate Goals (DKMS Brief No. Ten, July 31, 1999). The introduction of the Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) is no different from other waves of IT innovation in the rapidity of progression of the technology adoption cycle through the ranks of "innovators" and "early adopters." The benefits of EIPs are already being widely claimed, even though the EIP wave has hardly touched the "pragmatist" shore. How justifiable are these claims of EIP benefits in relation to corporate goals? That is the question answered in this brief. This brief is an excerpt from a longer forthcoming report (available for purchase from EIS) entitled "Approaching Enterprise Information Portals." 


Architectural Evolution in Data Warehousing (September 9, 1998)

Distributed Knowledge Management Systems and Enterprise Knowledge Management Modeling (October 15, 1998)

Project 4: Standard on the Artificial Knowledge Manager (January 29, 1999)

Project 5: Standard Recommended Practice On Artificial Knowledge Base Management Systems (January 29, 1999)

The Artificial Knowledge Manager and The Distributed Knowledge Management System (February 10, 1999)

Enterprise Information Portals: The Next ERP? (September 30, 1999)

Accelerated Innovation and KM Impact (December 6, 1999)

At the Cutting Edge of KM: The Metaprise, the AKMS, and the Enterprise Knowledge Portal (December 6, 1999)

The Enterprise Knowledge Portal: the Concept (January, 2000)

Enterprise Knowledge Portals: What They Are, and What They Do (May 23, 2000)

Defining and Distinguishing Corporate Portals (January 23, 2001)

Enterprise Knowledge Portals in e-Business (February 20, 2001)

Portal Solutions: Assessing the State of the Art (November 13, 2000)

Culture and KM (April, 2001)

Our Vision of Knowledge Management II (October 8, 2001)

Knowledge Management and the Terrorism Crisis (November 20, 2001)

Portal Progress and Knowledge Management (March 20, 2002)

Knowledge Management and Quality Management (June 10, 2002)

Origin of the Knowledge Life Cycle (June 27, 2002)

Knowledge Management: Three Stages or Two Generations? (September 17, 2002)

Is Knowledge Management IT? (October, 22, 2002)

Picking Portal Players for Knowledge Management (October 30, 2002)

Portal Progress and Enterprise Content Management (January 9, 2003)

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