Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Sep 23, 2002
Industry & Economy - Management
Columns - Browser's Corner
Putting knowledge to use
A pioneering book in a path-breaking field is hard to pass by, challenging to analyse and trickier still to judge. When there is an amalgamation of different thought processes there is a new trail ahead. When two disciplines are kneaded for a holistic projection what ensues is a whole new approach in areas of not just theorising but applications and influence as well.
Knowledge management is the latest offshoot of managerial aptitudes. Combining computer science with management, it works on the premise that knowledge is the master key in an organisation. Knowledge nestles in information systems, which has to be sharpened to technical excellence and organisational perfection both in terms of design and implementation in order to achieve viable effective efficiencies.
This book has a panel of seven authors to its credit and has been so craftily edited that the uniformity is homogenous. The book deals with its subject very objectively, systematically, making it substantive and comprehensive.
The behemoth of information systems and practice gains an identity and meaning only when in context of organisational planning and execution.
For organisations to progress, the growth mechanism falls back on technical awareness via information systems. Logically, the two in tandem is a corollary. To make it effective is the new culture and this book clarifies and crystallises that delineating theme.
The complete methodology from corporate knowledge management to knowledge analysis and engineering, to knowledge intensive systems design, to implementation, is brought forth very comprehensively and lucidly.
This methodology called `Common KADS' is found to be operative in most major corporate sectors the world over. It is a practical evolvement of need-based, contemporarily relevant working format that has found simultaneously application and universal usage.
This publication has formally formatted a home brew to a system, simplifying the practice as a `theory model' even while being fully aware that the application does not fall into any classic knowledge system. Even while providing a consolidated baseline of knowledge management, the book bridges various gaps within the system, the industry and the organisation at different levels.
For the information analysts, it fine-tunes the crucial link between information inputs and development challenges. For the information systems/science managers, it exhibits the seamless transition of business analysis and IT systems in terms of modelling and design and thereby projections and prospects. It provides the extra edge to the clarity that is so vital to the manager. For the software engineer, the exposure of the hitherto unexplained area of reusable software cores, designs and implementation gives his conceptual modelling vital inputs and baselines.
For the IT project manager, the tight rope between control and flexibility becomes a structural pathway of quality systems and development methodology.
Exclusive case studies, in depth analyses and unabashed explanations make seemingly improbable projections believable and practical. The target reader is addressed to very critically and the end result makes approaches very flexible and systems efficient. In this growing climate of increasing expanse of businesses, the clash between quality and quantity is inevitable. Increased efficiency is not just the password but the life-blood. To achieve which, knowledge and information play crucial roles in design evolution, projection, promotion and application.
Judicious use of this knowledge, effective exploitation of information and a balanced application of managerial prudence ensures optimum efficiency.
The book makes an unique effort in effectively trying to marry technology with control, vision with means and the end result is the guideline that is at once practical and prophetic.
What adds to the exclusivity of the enterprise is that it is not a dogma culled from experience or a precept that works under laboratory conditions or even a premise that needs to be put to test but an amalgamated synthesis of practice that is being followed in differing ways via varied applications in major corporate sectors effectively.
The authors have painstakingly theorised what managers and information professionals have pragmatically evolved for convenience and efficiency. Efficient effective management becomes a reasonable prospect under the principles of knowledge management.
The increasing complexities of systems applications and organisational disciplines become more approachable, flexible and pertinent in the pernicious prospect of competitive climes. It is a referral hand-book and a significant step into the inevitable future of integrated growth models of corporate entities and industry.
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