Monday, May 17, 2010

KSGhana: Icebreaker and introduction to Knowledge Sharing

This morning we started off with a tagging icebreaker. The idea was to get people to get to know each other but also in the mood for the participatory workshop. The first part of the exercise was to tag yourself with a word that describes you at work and the second was to tag yourself with a word that describes you personally.

Once the tagging was done, people were asked to move around and cluster into tags that were similar. The idea of the exercise was to also show people how "tagging" is done in social media.

Following the exercise, Lucie made a presentation on knowledge sharing and its components. Some of the elements covered were:
  • Differentiating data, information and knowledge
  • Clarifying the difference between a tool and a method
  • Why share knowledge? (i.e. the benefits)
  • KS self-assessment framework
  • Knowledge sharing success factors
Following the presentation will be a small group discussion and debrief. Participants wrote up their questions and some of the questions that were asked were:
  • What is the difference between knowledge management and knowledge sharing? - Knowledge Sharing is part of knowledge management which encapsulates other activities such as capture, codification, monitoring, etc. These aspects will be touched only partially as the focus will be more on the interaction or sharing.
  • Reinventing the wheel - further explain. - Justin gave a good example of when this may happen. When he moved to RAF office, he didn't know whom to contact for specific questions. He tried to read previous back-to-office reports to find out solutions to many of his problems and as a result tried not to start from the beginning. In development, this is often the case and we should try to see what has been done before we start from the beginning.
  • Trust - how does one create a trusting environment in communities in the field? - This was a question which resulted in some good discussion about creating trusting environment at community levels. The creation of this does not happen overnight and needs time and getting used to.
  • What is the difference between methods and tools? - What we normally mean by methods are face-to-face interaction techniques that can be used in knowledge sharing. The tools are often technology based solutions that can be used to capture and share information.
  • What is knowledge sharing focusing on? Tacit or codified knowledge? - In the case of this workshop and our work, we are focusing more on tacit rather than codified knowledge.
  • What are the tools that we can use at community levels? - At community level, we would normally use face-to-face techniques due to access issues. However, there are also communities where it would be matter of figuring out what could be the best technology solutions. The BROSDI example shows how mobile phones can be effectively used for knowledge sharing.
  • How can we monitor the usefulness of shared knowledge? Why is it difficult to measure? - Monitoring and evaluation is diffiult because it is time consuming to follow-up with people you share knowledge with. Also, sometimes you may share something with someone and that person may use that knowledge after a year. This makes keeping track of shared knowledge and its effectiveness difficult. Normally this can be done using quantitative (access statistics, document downloads, etc.) as well as qualitative methods (capturing stories of how someone's knowledge sharing helped someone else, etc.).

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