Knowledge Management Still Needed in the Era of AI

Knowledge Management Still Needed in the Era of AI

Knowledge Management Still Needed in the Era of AI

A news dated 2020-06-19 from David Lavenda caught my attention.  As part of the rollout of the Cortex Project, Microsoft is advocating for new knowledge management positions.  It would be interesting to see what kind of knowledge positions are wanted, and below is the list:

Content Services Admin (aka "Knowledge Admin")

An IT role whose responsibilities include setting up the knowledge product suite (i.e. Cortex) and keeping it running as a knowledge platform.  This person is also responsible for ensuring security and compliance standards.

Knowledge Management (KM)

Is responsible for the quality of knowledge shared across the organization.  KMs are responsible for aggregating the taxonomy of the organization by creating, editing, deleting and rejecting topic suggestions provided by subject matter experts.  While this is not a new job definition per se, to date, it has been instituted in only a very small number of organizations that have invested heavily in the classification of their assets, like documents and emails.  Cortex is proposing that each organization retain a senior level KM.

Subject Matter Experts

are business workers who have a deep understanding of how information is organized in their department or business function. Experts have always existed, but they are now being tasked with organizing and curating knowledge by defining topics for their departments.


Regardless of the technology behind, this matches extremely well into my experience and proposal in knowledge management in actions in organizations.  There need to be responsible people in an organization to gather, acquire, screen valuable and re-usable knowledge which should be maintained, and converted into a usable style and format.  The transformed knowledge could be an article, a check-list, a glossary, a case sample, a video, or even a training course, etc.

If we rely on the people to do it, it will never get done.  That's how these KMs and Content Admin comes into place, and they should work together with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  The KMs and Content Admin will work as a small team, and are equipped with extremely mix of knowledge and skills to have the knowledge content recorded and handled.

Maintenance of valuable and re-usable knowledge which fits to the business needs is extremely important.  It is not a matter of volume.  It is a matter of values and quality.  This small KM team will be responsible for execution of these knowledge repository, transformation and make it re-usable.

The mix of experience and skills by the KM team is very non-traditional.  They will need to understand the business, so they know what is important, what people need and how the knowledge can help achieving the jobs and objectives.  They need to learn digital skills to handle repository and codification of knowledge, its transformation or conversion.  They also need to handle a knowledge platform which is good for repository and search as well as training.

In the past few years, I have been working towards this, establish flexible platforms in the BYOS manner, yet providing an extremely flexible environment for a knowledge repository platform, equipped with search, taxonomy and training capability.  The most important element is the BayGO: Build-as-you-GO approach.  Most people do not know what they know and what they need.  However, with a BayGO approach, they can do it one step at a time.  Eventually they will start to discover more about what they know, and what they don't know.  In my opinion, this is a process that a knowledge organization or knowledge workers need to learn.  If we try to define everything upfront, the chance of failure is high.

To support BayGO, a very flexible working style, tools and platform is important.  The BYOS platform provides an excellent start at an extremely low cost.