Document Type

Dissertation

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Dissertation submitted for the award of MSc in Computing (Knowledge Management), 2008.

Abstract

Just getting started with knowledge management can be difficult enough for many organisations, however the real challenge is actually how to embed the new practices. The expression "Success is a journey, not a destination" is particularly apt for KM. This research presents findings from stakeholder analyses carried out in an Irish government agency. The agency has been on its KM journey for nearly four years and has attempted to implement a comprehensive and full-scale strategy. The findings indicate that KM practices have not yet become fully embedded in the organisation. This research uncovers some of the reasons why not. In an effort to remediate the situation, it was thought a visual computer map of the organisation's knowledge assets would help. This would satisfy several goals simultaneously, from "findability", to modernisation, to improved efficiency. It is known from studies in pedagogy and psychology that the human mind is particularly well adapted to absorbing information and data in map form. It is also well known, in the field of computer science, the exponential power hyperlinks offer to computer users. The initial method selected was Topic Maps (ISO 13250). Topic Maps hold great promise for KM. It was discovered, however, that the target organisation's data was not in a condition that could be easily mapped. It was evident that a foundational step needed to be taken. An alternate approach was adopted, retaining the theory of Topic Maps. The vehicle for this second experiment was a wiki. Certainly wikis are fashionable at the moment but, as the findings of this project show, they also hold enormous potential for KM.