RealKM Open Knowledge Management Syllabus

Stephen Bounds: Release of RealKM Open KM Syllabus. RealKM Magazine (Series on Professional Accreditation for Knowledge Managers), 5 January 2018.

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Related Resources:

  • Stephen Bounds: Why I developed the RealKM Open KM Syllabus, and the next steps. RealKM Magazine (Series on Professional Accreditation for Knowledge Managers), 11 January 2018 Full text »
  • Bruce Boys: Implementing the RealKM Open KM Syllabus. RealKM Magazine (Series on Professional Accreditation for Knowledge Managers), 11 January 2018 Full text »
  • Open KM Syllabus contributors, ‘Main Page’, Open KM Syllabus, 11 February 2018, 04:24 UTC, [accessed 7 April 2022]

    Recent changes: ???; 15 February 2020 (minor changes); 27 June 2018

RealKM Open KM Syllabus – 2018 Edition (January)

A. Core concepts
A.1. Systems and complexity

Key Topics: What is a system?; Defining the boundary of a system; ‘Open’ and ‘closed’ systems; Complex systems; Types of complex systems; Are all systems complex?; Understanding complex system agents; Navigating complexity

A.2. Knowledge systems

Key Topics: What is a knowledge system?; Defining information, knowledge and action; Williams AKI model

A.3. Problem solving patterns

Key Topics: Knowledge as precursor to action; Problem solving models (eg scientific method, OODA, Deming cycle, Six Sigma DMAIC, knowledge lifecycle, Bounds unified problem solving pattern)

A.4. Knowledge Management objectives

Key Topics: KM objectives chain; Knowledge codification; Narrative; Collaboration; Knowledge distribution; Individual learning; Knowledge integration; Distributed problem solving

A.5. Knowledge Management interventions

Key Topics: Firestone & McElroy 3-tier KM; Business process interventions; Knowledge process interventions; Information process interventions; Problem solving pattern interventions

B. Organisational knowledge strategy
B.1. Knowledge application outcomes

Key Topics: What is the knowledge application scale?; Knowledge deployment – delivery of products and services; Intangible assets – creating knowledge products covered by law; Intellectual capital – curating knowledge systems and information assets; Knowledge entrepreneurship – sponsoring creativity and innovation

B.2. Knowledge construal assessment

Key Topics: Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; Congruence of knowledge value among actors; Accessibility of knowledge; Knowledge delegation; Low involvement vs high involvement; Risk avoidance; Behavioural defaults; Psychological distance

B.3. Trust assessment

Key Topics: Criticality of trust to organisational systems; Vanhala trust model – acceptance of vulnerability; Interpersonal trust – Competence, benevolence, and reliability trust; Impersonal trust – Leadership trust and structural trust; Individual / team / systems knowledge; Irrevocable trade-offs in organisational knowledge systems; Resilience / robustness / productivity triangle

B.4. Systems awareness and design

Key Topics: Ecology and competition; Alliances and partnerships; Recognising and aligning behavioural incentives

B.5. Strategy development

Key Topics: Selecting a systems scope and timeframe; Ideation-realisation axis – Premises, aims, and systems; Specification-indication axis – Design, action, and measurement; Premises establish consensus on values (principles) versus effort (initiatives); Linking why (objectives) to what (goals); Systems define how things are done (norms) and who does them (roles/responsibilities); Design attributes (principles, objectives, and norms) describe future aspirations; Action components (initiatives, goals, and roles/responsibilities) describe present-day status; Measuring benefits to close the organisational feedback loop

C. Knowledge assessment
C.1. Knowledge audits and mapping

Key Topics: Undertaking knowledge discovery; Documenting knowledge needs; Discovering knowledge gaps; Identifying key knowledge processes

C.2. Decision making structures

Key Topics: Governance – policies, standards and accountability; Management – control and execution; Monitoring – reality versus assumptions; Assessment – identifying next steps; Soft influence – indirect behavioural change; Social networks – informal knowledge transmission; Rewards & punishment – providing explicit systems feedback

C.3. Capability design, implementation, and maintenance

Key Topics: Group structures – teams, task forces, and squads; Mentoring and apprenticeships; Equipment and technology; Physical and virtual spaces

C.4. Training and development

Key Topics: Competency and skills frameworks; Communities of practice; E-learning

D. Systems interventions
D.1. Systems management

Key Topics: Identifying complexity; Predictability and propensity; Attractors, blockers, and constraints; Loci of stability and systems disruption

D.2. Knowledge processes

Key Topics: Knowledge discovery; Knowledge evaluation; Solution comparison and selection; Decision support systems

D.3. Information processes

Key Topics: Information theory (Shannon, Vigo); Architecture and taxonomy; Ontology and semantics; Capture, sharing and retrieval

D.4. Business processes

Key Topics: Process / practice divide; Coherence, consistency, and compliance; Documentation; Quality assurance; Collaboration

E. Applied KM
E.1. Knowledge economy

Key Topics: Increased work focus on knowledge-based outcomes; Leveraging increased employee education and capability; Transformative effects of near-zero information transmission and processing costs; Organizational coordination with expectations of near-instantaneous response; Employee mobility and contracting; Deployment of artificial intelligence

E.2. Knowledge brokering

Key Topics: Knowledge linchpins; Social network analysis; Library as knowledge broker

E.3. Development and extension

Key Topics: Critical problem – achieving group knowledge uptake; International cooperation; International development programs; Committees and forums; Conventions and agreements; Agricultural extension – applicability generally

E.4. Management decision making

Key Topics: Agile versus lean – Continuous delivery vs continuous improvement; Multitasking – overhead, pre-emption, context switching, deadlock; Smarter management design – Minimising pre-emption conflict

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