SMLS (CS12) KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Turning people, process, and technology into knowledge

Knowledge Management Systems

The Six Steps

CS/KMS – Knowledge Management Systems means organizing and integrating the sources and flows of information within your business or department so that they result in answers.

It may seem strange to put it in this fashion, but the distinction is critical and not subtle. The recent past in management science has viewed this process as quite sufficiently controlling the flows of information. Management Information Systems (MIS), the key controlling concept, has effectively buried itself in its own success. MIS has produced too much information to allow managers to understand what it all represents. Managers in the past gathered data, analyzed it, and then made decisions about the future. Management control systems then, as described in COMMON SENSE Workbook 11, was all about monitoring these plans, and making small adjustments as needed to stay on track. The problem today is not only the overwhelming flood of data and information, but the rate of change as well.

The rate of change in the business external and internal environments is so rapid that traditional longer term planning and control techniques simply don’t work very effectively. By the time you see a problem or an opportunity coming, there is no time to strategically reposition – you’re in the middle of trouble, or the opportunity is no longer available to you.

The real questions then are how to effectively segregate out the data and information that you need to understand and control your operation, and to be able to position yourself and your business unit to respond to change.

The key elements center on management style. The traditional style for the entrepreneurial manager is to get all the information and make all the decisions. This is fine in a very small business, perhaps in a small town somewhere in the boondocks, but it simply won’t work for most businesses. The key must come through a different management style. Today, the effective elements of that style are MBO and MBE.

We have created a synthesis of these two critical management styles into a new technique we call CS/KMS – Knowledge Management Systems. This learning workbook describes CS/KMS as a six-step process that you can use in your business or functional unit. Applying these techniques will help you to avoid the information overload problems created by technology and an overzealous staff. In addition, you will build the critical knowledge that will enable you to effectively respond to the critical issues of a constantly and rapidly changing business environment, such as market shifts, technology advancements, increased competition, customer needs, and even more general issues such as the fluctuating economy. Today, even the smallest business operation must deal with the forces of change. Avoid problems by adequate planning and exploit opportunities by recognizing them when they arise – all COMMON SENSE.

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