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My company is looking at integrating some other business units within the mother company in other to spread the KM culture, but we need a hands on software tool that meets the immediate need of the frontline users.

Basically, apart from having the every day by day functions of documenting, storing, archiving, retrieval etc It should also be a software that we can easily assimilate the other business units and future ones if need be, has an interface to other softwares used within the company so we are not just restricted to it. It also needs to have an excellent retrieval function that is, ability to handle numbers like sizes in terms of fractions, decimals, percentages etc. I appreciate any feedback, thanks

Anandha's picture

We use a wiki, specifically http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/

There are free alternatives to Confluence. However, it might be easier to start if you pay a company to host it for you.

On our team we "police" the wiki to ensure some structure otherwise they tend to grow quite organically.

Software is one thing, getting people to understand the value and contribute to the knowledge base is a diferent matter..

 

Good luck.

Anandha

rwwh's picture

You need to define a form in which information is structured, and a way to retrieve the information.

I have tried a wiki, but failed for my purpose. For quite a while we were happy to use some very general report templates for people to store knowledge, and a google mini appliance to be able to find what we needed.

One step further is the Toyota way: store all information about one particular piece of knowledge on a single "A3" (11"x17") sheet of paper named a "Knowledge Brief", and define templates based on the kind of information and the type of audience.

bflynn's picture

I have used wikis in the past, but I do not like them.  There's nothing to destroy the creative capture of thoughts and information quicker than having to look up the tags to format text in a table, or whatever.

With almost any system you use, you will wind up having to convert your existing documents to their format.  How much do you already have, 10,000?

Let me suggest that potentially the problem you want to solve is not knowledge management, but knowledge retrieval?  You don't necessarily care how your information is managed, you just want to be able to find it again when you need it.  The best system I've seen for doing this was a Google Search Appliance.  Everyone knows how to use it and adding new documents is as easy as saving them to a network share.  The cost is a downside.

I suspect there may be less expensive auto file indexing programs out there, but I do not know any off the top of my head.

Brian

 

NorthwestPassage's picture

I just saw a demo of this, it might meet your needs.

http://www.springcm.com/

Mark's picture

Having been involved in several KM initiatives, I have a suggestion.  I don't mean to be a wet blanket, so don't let my comment steer you away from whatever software you're working toward.  I hope it helps.

But the best software for Knowledge Management is email.  Ask a bunch of folks, and see what you get back.  I've seen it paired with a list serve, that works too.

Email.

Mark

Buike22's picture

We happen to have gone beyond wiki and emailing, I need a software  tool that really works, am checking out some tools with BMC and possibly oracle, I hope to find what I am looking for. Thanks all the same. Buike

jhack's picture

and how it works for you.  

John 

mikehansen's picture

When Mark is suggesting e-mail as the best tool for, well anything :)

I have been unsatisfied with KM efforts I have seen involving wikis and intranet portals (ie SharePoint). 

I am intrigued by the e-mail suggestion.  I am not sure how others have used e-mail to do this in the past.  Right or wrong, a lot of sensitive information makes it into e-mail.  However, if it was easy to forward an e-mail to an address (or cc) and have that address add the content to a public KM store, I can see how that would be a very low barrier to getting contributions.

Even if e-mail was not the base of the solution, making it easy to add e-mail content to the mix would be cool.

Either way, I look forward to hearing a follow up if there is a tool chosen.

-Mike

 

scm2423's picture

Somewhat related to KM is enterprise search.  I am preparing an presentation on a Enterprise Search and how we can use it to put some structure around the volumes of unstructred data that resides on our LAN shares.

What I am struggling with is finding some case studies or metrics showing what others have seen as ROI. Has anyone in the MT community found any metrics on this?

Thanks in advance.

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