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Knowledge Study Tool (KST)

Applied Knowledge Research & Innovation (AKRI Limited), UK

AKRI specialises in the study of organisational knowledge and in the promotion of innovation. The knowledge resource which is the target of study is the knowledge that people need to possess in order to know how to carry out activities for the organisation. Studies can be at any level of granularity from what knowledge is required in order to be the prime minister of the UK to the knowledge needed in order to repair a bicycle puncture. Studies can also be about more abstract knowledge or knowledge needed for something which has not yet been set up. The aim of the study is to provide managers with a clear visualisation of the knowledge area as well as analytical information such as knowledge risk assessment.

The software, KST, supports the whole process of Knowledge Structure Mapping (KSM) which is the name given to the method used to study the knowledge resource. The tool is used to explain what will be achieved; it is used throughout the interview process and map construction, it is used to create a final map and to analyse the data elicited, it is used to help create a report for business and it is also used to automatically generate a complete web site for each knowledge study undertaken.

The initial research which produced several earlier software tools to support the method took place between 1999 and 2005. The current commercial version of KST was started in 2005 and is still under development as new requirements are identified as part of ongoing work with business and industry.

KST being used to show the knowledge overlap between two important knowledge areas on a completed knowledge structure map. KST being used to show the knowledge overlap between two important knowledge areas on a completed knowledge structure map.
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A section from the top of an on-screen table showing the knowledge elements from the map which have the highest risk. The risks in red are the top 10% high risk items from the map. A section from the top of an on-screen table showing the knowledge elements from the map which have the highest risk. The risks in red are the top 10% high risk items from the map.
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Zooming in to a small area of the map and a selected node shaded in grey. The colour coded border is coded for risk to give a visual interpretation of knowledge risk data. Zooming in to a small area of the map and a selected node shaded in grey. The colour coded border is coded for risk to give a visual interpretation of knowledge risk data.
Click image to enlarge

The software tool is developed entirely in Lisp. A Microsoft Windows compatible executable tool is produced from LispWorks. LispWorks is an excellent language for this development because of the very broad range of requirements needed by the tool. These range from simple graphics through automated map layout, to integrated rule based systems and learning support capabilities, not to mention automated web site production. Lisp also greatly eases the ongoing development task where new ideas need to be constantly tested in an integrated tool environment.

KST is briefly presented here where there are menu links to the study method and additional capabilities.

Links:
www.akri.co.uk

Dr John L. Gordon
Applied Knowledge Research & Innovation (AKRI)
Copyright © AKRI Ltd.

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