Knowledge management (KM) system for large organisation?

5 pts.
Tags:
Database
Knowledge management
Knowledge management applications
Knowledge Management Software
We are a large non-profit organisation (20,000+) with many individuals producing minutes and summaries from internal and external meetings, parliamentary debates, conferences, etc. We are considering to implement a Knowledge Management system, which should allow local users to enter summaries directly in a database and thereby make the summaries available to all members of the organisation. The system must facilitate production of use-defined reports of the type "All summaries of meetings in committees X, Y and Z, where proposal P was discussed during the time periode T", etc. Which system can be recommended ? Many thanks in advance for your advice!
ASKED: November 20, 2008  12:56 PM
UPDATED: November 21, 2008  5:36 PM

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<i>ANSWER 1 from ?</i>

I know how frustrating researching knowledge base software can be. I did a little keyword searching for you on www.sourceforge.net and was able to find a legal case management software that mey meet your needs. I hope this helps. Here’s the link : <a href=”http://www.lcm.ngo-bg.org/article45.html”>http://www.lcm.ngo-bg.org/article45.html</a>

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<i>ANSWER 2 from Gregory Culpin</i>

Which systems have you already looked at and potentially seem appropriate?

1) You could use <b>wiki-based systems</b>, like <a href=”http://www.mindtouch.com”>Dekiwiki</a> or <a href=”http://www.mediawiki.org”>Mediawiki</a> but their structure isn’t easy to maintain and keep clean in larger organizations due to scale. Besides publishing features are often limited to single page items which will make it very difficult for you to create the custom reports you mentioned.

2) You could also look at <b>collaboration portals</b> such as <a href=”http://www.cmswatch.com/SharePoint/Report/”>Sharepoint</a> but which wouldn’t support such features out-of-the-box and therefore which would probably require a lot of custom development before you can get to a system to effectively deal with such items. As always, when it has to be custom-built/developed, always be very careful about the amount of time and ressources to be allocated to the job as it quickly sums up. Another issue with these solutions are categorization based on folders and lists which quickly lead to information silos in their own right and make refinding information difficult.

3) Another element which has to be taken into account is the system’s ability to reduce the amount of noise generated when implementing this type of solution for a large user-base and with a large amount of documents. <b>Enterprise search</b> solutions are regularly brought in to solve this issue but relevancy is where they fail as they lack cross-filtering mechanisms and don’t allow for real collaboration around search results.

4) A solution called <a href=”http://www.knowledgeplaza.be”>Knowledge Plaza</a> seems close to answering your question as it allows cross-enterprise sharing and collaborative editing of information (such as meeting minutes), and then allows to package custom subsets of this information to generate pdf reports. The advanced filtering/grouping abilities you’re asking for is actually linked to having the classification of all information with tags and facets which must be one of the central concepts of your platform (and not just an add-on like in many cases). This is what then allows you to apply actions to specific contexts such as giving you the possibility to, following your example, select all minutes from conferences X and Y during time period T about proposal P and have them published to a single pdf report.

Gregory Culpin.

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