Personal knowledge management

Personal knowledge management

Personal knowledge management (PKM) is a label for the effort to integrate personal information management (PIM), focused on individual skills, with knowledge management (KM). People undertaking this task have taken an organizational perspective. Understanding of the field has developed in light of expanding knowledge about human cognitive capabilities and the permeability of organizational boundaries.

Focus on Individual Knowledge Worker

PKM is focused on personal productivity improvement for knowledge workers in their working environments. While the focus is the individual, the goal of PKM is to enable individuals to operate better both within the formal structure of organizations and in looser work groupings. This is as different from KM as traditionally viewed, which appears to be focused on enabling the corporation to be more effective by "recording" and making available what its workers know.

A core focus of PKM is 'personal inquiry', a quest to find, connect, learn, and explore.

PKM is a response to the idea that knowledge workers increasingly need to be responsible for their own growth and learning. They need processes and tools by which they can evaluate what they know in a given situation and then seek out ways to fill the gaps in their knowledge. This frequently involves the use of technology, though one can be good at PKM without using specialised tools.

Connections to Organizations and Groups

PKM has recently been linked to social bookmarking, blogging or knowledge logs (K-logs). The idea is individuals use their blogs to capture ideas, opinions or thoughts and this 'voicing' will encourage cognitive diversity, promote free exchanges away from a centralized policed knowledge repository that is additional to ordinary work.

Some organizations are now introducing PKM 'systems' with some or all of four components:
* Just-in-time Canvassing - templates and e-mail canvassing lists that enable people looking for experts or expertise to identify and connect with the appropriate people quickly and effectively
* Knowledge Harvesting - software tools that automatically collect appropriate knowledge residing on subject matter experts' hard drives rather than waiting for it to be contributed to central repositories
* Personal Content Management - taxonomy processes and desktop search tools that enable employees to organize, subscribe to, publish and find information that resides on their own desktops
* Personal Productivity Improvement - knowledge fairs and one-on-one training sessions to help each employee make more effective personal use of the knowledge, learning and technology resources available to them, in the context of their own work

PKM Skills

Skills associated with personal knowledge management.
* Reflection. Continuous improvement on how the individual operates.
* Manage learning. Manage how and when the individual learns.
* Information literacy. Understanding what information is important and how to find unknown information.
* Organizational skills. Personal librarianship? Personal categorization and taxonomies.
* Networking with others. Knowing what your network of people knows. Knowing who might have additional knowledge and resources to help you
* Researching, canvassing, paying attention, interviewing and observational 'cultural anthropology' skills
* Communication skills. Perception, intuition, expression, visualization, and interpretation.
* Creative skills. Imagination, pattern recognition, appreciation, innovation, inference. Understanding of complex adaptive systems.
* Collaboration skills. Coordination, synchronization, experimentation, cooperation, and design.

Criticisms of PKM

Not everyone agrees that the focus on the individual is a good thing, or that PKM is anything more than a new wrapper around personal information management (PIM). Most notably, some argue that knowledge is never an individual product - that it emerges through connections, dialog and social interaction. See Sociology of knowledge.

PKM has been associated with a focus on personal branding, responsibility for personal learning, personal networking - using networking engines (Ryze, Friendster, LinkedIN) and management of individual documents, thought and writings. These activities do not illustrate the rich reach of the concept.

PKM Software

*e-mail, calendar, task managers
*weblogs (with a Web feed)
* Online Web Assistants
**Personal wiki
**Semantic Wiki

Weblogs (with RSS) and wikis are emerging as important elements of some organizational 'bottom-up' PKM systems. Other useful tools include Open Space Technology, cultural anthropology, social bookmarking, stories and narrative, mindmaps, concept maps and eco-language, single frames and similar visualization techniques, just-in-time canvassing tools, automated knowledge harvesting tools, and Google Desktop and similar desktop content management tools. All these tools are self-organizing and self-managing tools, introduced ad hoc by self-forming groups within an organization to facilitate knowledge sharing and personal content management.

The use of MediaWiki as a combination knowledge management/project tracker/note taking/document generation software has been suggested.

External links

* Online-Survey about [ Personal Knowledge Management Tools and Requirements]
* [ Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) -- an Update] , blog post in [ How to Save the World] by Dave Pollard
* [ My personal KM] , [ Knowledge work framework (PKM + tasks)] in [ Mathemagenic] , blog post by Lilia Efimova
* [ Personal Toolkit: Three thousand communities of practice] , article by Steve Barth in [ KMWorld]
* KM Question of the Week: [ "What is personal knowledge management? How can individuals manage their own knowledge?"] , blog post in [ Weekly Knowledge Management Blog] by Stan Garfield
* [ Personal Knowledge Management Home Page] at [ Millikin University]
* [ Climbing the Personal Knowledge Mountain] by James Dellow - a goal-based approach to PKM focused on Relationships & Networks, Information and Technology posted on []


* Max Völkel, Andreas Abecker (2008) " [ Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Design of Personal Knowledge Management Systems] ", Proc. of 10th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
* Wright, K. (2005) “Personal knowledge management: supporting individual knowledge worker performance”, Knowledge Management, Research and Practice, (2005) 3, 156–165.
* Jason Frand,Carol Hixon: [ Personal Knowledge Management : Who, What, Why, When, Where, How?] ,December, 1999
* Paul A. Dorsey: [ Personal Knowledge Management: Educational Framework for Global Business] ,Tabor School of Business, Millikin University
* Dace Apshvalka, Peter Wendorff: A Framework of Personal Knowledge Management in the Context of Organisational Knowledge Management. ECKM 2005: 34-41
* Susan Avery,Randy Brooks,James Brown,Paul Dorsey,Michael O’Conner. [ Personal Knowledge Management: Framework for Integration and Partnerships]
* Efimova, L. (2005) " [ Understanding personal knowledge management: A weblog case] ". Enschede: Telematica Instituut.

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