May 24, 2010

What's IP got to do with Community Participation and E-Gov - from ARK Sydney KM Conference

A Patent examination presentation was not where I expected to hear of Gov 2.0 - but that is what you get when you attend conferences like ARK's KM Sydney conference - you get exposed to people well outside of your usual discipline area - that cross fertilisation has got to be positive in the short through to long term.

I'd spent about 20 years in local politics - including over 12 as an elected Ward Councillor in my local Council. Along the way a lot of older community activists did a lot of knowledge sharing with me - embueing the concept of communities contributing to their local council. So we had dozens of community liaision committees - from Libraries to Heritage, to Cycleways to Sport to Arts & Culture. There was simply so much knowledge possessed by the community members of our Council Community Liaison Committees. I also started developing a Councillor Internet Web presence as a communication tool from 1996 - one of the first in Australia as it turned out. So I didn't need too much convincing of the value of Gov 2.0 tools - so long as this didn't create a digital divide - excluding those with less access to the internet or with less skills.

A favourite would have to be where the Cycleway Community Liaison reps went back to their communities and surveyed them as to where they would like the cycleways to be extended as the council found funding. Council & RTA engineers working with school teachers & steelworker commuter cyclists - so much knowledge and good will.

Early on, in local government training sessions for new councillors, I was exposed to Arnstein's Ladder of Consultation & Participation - ie  from telling the community nothing through to an all too often seemingly utopian ideal of full democratic decisionmaking.

Obviously I am a big fan of any initiative that promotes community social capital. So it was intriguing to hear Paulette Paterson cover E-Gov in her Patents presentation on Developing & Nurturing Knowledge Flows – Peer to Patent Case Study at the ARK Sydney KM conference.

Key facts

  • Value of patents to Australia  = $12 billion pa
  • 2000 patents granted each year in Australia


To some Peer to Patent might seem a more dry subject but in fact Paulette described it intriguingly as an Innovation Ecosystem, part of Gov 2.0, to promote the disclosure of discoveries & follow on generation of ideas - also seen as a legal framework in which to trade ideas - which is so vital to Australia's economic future & well being

She observed

  • Ordinary people possess extraordinary knowledge they are willing to share when it is easy to do so – Crowdsourcing underpins peer to patent concept
  • People need to share what they already know, in order to achieve more & innovate – a swirl – not linear – aided by Web 2.0 to make the connections

I couldn't agree more with her observation : "Govts need to recognise that they can’t do things alone – need citizen participation"


Also interesting were her references to Arnstein's Ladder of Consultation & Participation - now being seen in its 21st Century incarnation as Crowdsourcing. In fact crowdsourcing was an approach utilised by the New York Law School on open public participation in patent examination process between 2007 and 2009.




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Driving Effective Transfer & Retention of Knowledge Transfer – Mira Renko - Blake Dawson Waldron

A lot of ground was covered in this presentation at ARK's Sydney KM Conference today - I would really recommend attending this type of conference put on by the ARK folks.

In essence it was a really back to basics KM foundation & utilise Confluence Wiki technology (very affordable) :

  • Focus on practical solutions to help people work together & capture value knowledge & expertise along the way – without reinventing the wheel
  • Leveraging existing collaboration & social networks that exist inside the firm – generally occurs naturally when lawyers are doing their job
  • Focus on naturally occurring collaboration as a lot of the documented material already captured in systems already

A key advantage of their Wiki : its Search functionality & friendliness

  • Great search capacity cf Document Management System's  
  • Why - because it is a Google search style  vs DMS search where you have to select which database etc which is more Advanced structured search 

A key change in the way young lawyers learn today compared with the old  Master Apprentice interactions of the past

  • not able to see many of the interactions of today as so much occurs by email & not face to face

So face to face training bootcamps are vital for young lawyers professional learning & development

  • Who are the experts
  • What is the key knowledge needed to provide an excellent client service
  • What are existing practices
  • What is the knowledge / info that org needs to access quickly & effectively
  • What is the Business case & cost to business

Lessons Learned

  • one size doesn’t fit all
  • dealing with barriers to buy in


A lot of the above would be universal to many organizations outside the legal world


And echoing a strong theme throughout the day ....


"Technology does not automatically improve conversation  communication or behaviour automatically"

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Promoting Knowledge Management in a University - that would be obvious wouldn't it

At ARK's Sydney KM Conference Philip Uys of Charles Sturt Uni spoke on Promoting KM  & Knowledge Transfer in an Educational Setting.


I spent 12 years on the governing Council of the University of Wollongong & on a number of its visiting committees to faculties  - so I inevitably got to hear about the transition in educational focus from Teaching to Teaching & Learning. Wollongong was also heavily into ICT enabled learning from about 15 years ago. Like Charles Sturt, it has external campus sites in its broader region as well as the UOWD - University of Wollongong Dubai campus, and a Sydney one as well. Wollongong has also always prided itself on maintaining good student satisfaction rankings.

Along the way I learnt that a key difference for uni academics when it is comes to KM, is that their research must be published in the "right" journals to ensure their university maintains its Research Intensity rankings - crucial when it comes to attracting grant funding & post grad students - not to mention quality academic staff to underpin all of this.

So I found it interesting to hear how Philip particularly focused on ICT enabled learning : university wide & distributed (external campus sites & partner international uni’s) - with an emphasis on

Communities of Practice - COP's - they  need : Nurture, support, participation , executive sponsorship

Learner engagement & interactivity

Face to face is great - at Conferences VIP plus serendipitous meetings in corridors

Corridor conversations difficult to emulate in a virtual COP world – however Philip is seeing the possibilities of Yammer : suggested that this could emulate these corridor conversations 

Use of Yammer - yammer gems (someone goes through the Yammers – picks out the gems and puts them on the wiki) - now that's a labour of love

Why is yammer so valuable ? 

People don’t tend to go back to something that was a week or old – focus seems to be on the immediate sharing – although some go onto create entries on their own Delicious social bookmarking site - adding to their own collection of url’s

Questioned by Denise Quay : Did they aggregate the Delicious sites - so they could access each others ?

Reply was No - although when the advantages of colleagues sharing social bookmarks with each other - ie pre-filtered and time saving - Philip could see the possibilities - but they hadn't got that far as yet

Interestingly they found more diversity & richness with Social presence in a distributed community of practice being generated via Yammer social presence – people we never knew about had created a presence – including some people in perecived "lower levels of uni academia rankings" or buried in the libraries – enabled diversity of ideas being shared & captured

I also hadn't realised that Yammer had moved from operating only within your own organization to now being able to create networks with key external colleagues

Now that Sharepoint are promoting Office Talk as an alternative to Twitter & Yammer - it will indeed be interesting to see how the Microblogging space evolves.



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Don’t be technology led – KM must be user led – don’t underestimate the culture

Jenny Owen of Telstra Legal speaking at the Sydney ARK KM conference emphasised :

"Don’t necessarily be technology led in KM – should consider the alternative view as well - that organizations' KM systems be user led – don’t underestimate the Culture - although you do need to make sure folks are aware of KM tools – but you should not be necessarily just technology driven in KM"

Vital to  minimise reinvention of wheel  & loss of key IP - but - will you always know what info will be useful in future

Understand who is your audience- the needs of the “bigger team” & “smaller teams” – and needs of individual

Encourage sharing – explicit/tacit : culture of trust, openness – looking for opportunities to improve – need a culture of being allowed to say this didn’t go so well – yes there were a few issues  …– rather than being blamed for what went wrong

Does some knowledge need to be quarantined for legal reasons ?

KM system doesn’t have to be the biggest whiz bang thing – eg focus on assisting with locating the legal contracts – not necessarily storing all the legal contracts in the one place – even an INDEX can help findability

Interesting observations indeed - considering the time being estimated that people spend each year in trying to locate key organizational knowledge


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Knowledge Sharing - Accessibility Issues – Evan Bailey of NSW Dept Education Training at ARK KM Sydney

What is Accessibility was a question posed at ARK's Sydney Knowledge Transfer & Retention Conference ?


I found this interesting as years ago as a City Councillor I had chaired my local Council's Access Committee for the Disabled. At the time I had a minor disability with restricted use of my right hand, needing lots of assistance to help with my brand new baby. And prior to their passing, both my father and father-in-law had been affected by strokes - each with a range of associated physical restrictions.

I learned so much from the Access Committee members - some in wheel chairs - some amputees & others with vision or hearing impairment. A key feature of the committee was to feed input into Town Planning assessment of development applications from the Access Committee members' perspective.

Why accessibility in Knowledge Management ?

  • Equity – make sure everyone has opportunity to contribute and make their knowledge available to others – a range of disabilities - with a strong focus in today's presentation being on vision impairment
  • Social inclusion ? Use collaboration tools – websites & pdf’s that are accessible 
  • Education is 2nd largest state govt dept in NSW after Health - so the numbers of people in Education impacted by various disabilities is significant
  • Accessibility can encompass the Digital divide – a more political definition to encourage inclusiveness - but today's focus was on web page & pdf design to be more readable/comprehensible 
  • Referred to Anti-discrimination & EEO legislation – the work of the Human Rights Commission
  • Make online resources available by the widest number of users - there are Web content accessibility guidelines eg Australian Govt information management organization - AGIMO
  • Evan spoke of the challenges of pdf's for people with vision impairment & how it could be possible to improve this
    • Suggested the use of web accessibility toolbars on Internet Explorer - Firefox
    • Optionkeys


Evan also spoke about being in an organisation which was being restructured and the importance of strategies to prevent key knowledge loss & collapse as an outcome - especially in the Accessibility area


Remember - our vision and hearing deteoriates with age – so ultimately it probably affects all of us 


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More from ARK KM Sydney - Matt Moore – Manage Expertise Sustainably - Beyond Retention & Transfer

Matt Moore spoke of his expertise research with Patrick Lamb of Straits Knowledge at ARK's Sydney Knowledge Transfer & Retention Conference.

Showed slide – of rockets that NASA forgot how to make – Saturn B - $40 billion to recreate the knowledge 

Showed slide – of Bandar Aceh – an international  centre of Islamic learning with an extensive library – lost with all the librarians who were killed in the 2004 Tsunami – now they don’t know what they’ve lost as all the custodians who knew what was in it were lost.

Several years ago I heard a speech given by the Regional Director of UNESCO, Professor Stephen Hill, speak at Wollongong University. Professor Hill was active in the recovery of Bandar Aceh post the Tsunami.

He told how key people in government & public service had been killed - of the challenges of losing such key people - not that the loss of any lives is insignificant in such a tragedy. However I hadn't realised the extent of the tragedy of losing such a cultural knowledge resource.

Moving on from this dramatic opening Matt described his and Patrick Lamb's approach to collecting stories on how organizations value & use their experts's knowledge or not ...    

  • Can you remember a time when you saw expertise being valued – or not ?
  • Guide participants away from generalised opinions or fact – otherwise sit back & let them talk
  • Starts slowly but difficult to stop
  • Expertise Types : Role Knowledge – Know Who – Experience – Memory – Skill – Technical
  • Impact of failing to leverage expertise – expertise failures nuggets
  • What about risk mitigation wrt loss of expertise – succession planning – handover – documentation – team working – job rotation – contracts/notice periods – post retirement
  • Expertise development & growing processes
  • Managers are important in risk management wrt knowledge processes – need to encourage & value expertise & its continuity – walking the talk
  • Ways of improving expertise management – “getting visibility into our knowledge base” – “senior management support “ – KM & expertise strategy
  • Long tail of expertise (Chris Anderson) – there may be some people with lots of similar expertise – but a few people with rarer kinds of knowledge – so their loss is particularly painful – focus on these rather than the areas where there is more coverage of knowledge amongst more people


As usual an entertaining & enlightening presentation from Matt.

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Damien Lumby of UBS has been at the coalface of GFC era

Sydney's ARK Knowledge Transfer & Retention conference kicked off with Damien Lumby speaking on Developing Networks to Sustain Relationships & Improve Knowledge Retention - especially in a GFC world of outsourcing & operations being relocated internationally.

Key points I picked up from Damien :

The reality of

  •  Being heavily hit by GFC – lot of people left & leaving the organization – 2 weeks notice
  • Challenges of moving from permanent employees to shorter term contract employees - who value knowledge management differently
  • Can you find your info & quickly remains a key focus no matter the makeup of your workforce
  • “It would be impossible to manage our support (partners) information without healthy networks/relationships  
  • If we made our support partners feel they were just wanted for their info they wouldn’t contribute them as much – need to have them realise they we enjoy their involvement (& valued it …)
  • Started opening KM Tools Knowledge Base to other IT folks who had not been part of project – they were keen to participate & started sharing heaps more info with KM project
  •  As KM Team worked on projects with not just a KM focus –so they encountered other folks – people not normally encountered – extended the network and increased content & value of knowledge base
  • “Hiding info is not a path to mutual success – we give as much access as possible in our networks”
  • “Ownership & governance of KM should always stay with Operational Management” – ensures alignment 
  • Don’t ignore the quiet ones – they may be big users of your knowledge base eg Sharepoint etc etc – they may be quietly beavering away & have lots to share – enthusiasm is important
  • “I like Sharepoint I loathe Sharepoint" - it's a great tool for many things but not everything
  • Use Sharepoint as an index and hyperlinks to document management system
  •  “Maintaining an enthusiasm for KM is only possible when you give content ownership back to front end users”


My notes wouldn't do justice to Damien's presentation which I found very powerful for its reality check - of living in a GFC world where knowledge capture & retention were still desired - but with the changing staff demographics posing a quantum change in difficulty.


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May 19, 2010

Can there be Quality in an ICT World - ICT Illawarra answers that question

Great night at ICT Illawarra tonight featuring Ted Smillie MD Montrose Computer Services.-          

My notes from Ted's presentation - apologies for their rough state

-          ISO 9001 – 20000 - 27001- experience with AS 3563 in 1980’s (defunct was extremely good – was a guidance document – now surpassed by other guidance documents

-          ISO 90003: 2004 – guidance standards

-          Integrated Management Systems – other aligned with ISO 14001 – AS 4801 (US 18001)

-          Emergence ICT integrated management systems aligning with ISO 20000 (aka ITIL)& 27001

-          Process Models – elements – overlap with ICT – Turtle Diagram PDCA model

-          Information Security Management System : ISO 27001

-          ISO 9001 – why compliance needed to get contracts – efficiency quality customer satisfaction reduced rework – costs – consistent approaches across all business units – comply with internationally accepted practice (good housekeeping – not necessarily best practice vs capability maturity model – ISO only gets you to stage 2-3)

§  QMS - Framework policies processes methods controls documentation records – CAPA (Help Desk)

§  Management responsibility – commitment, resources, training, awareness, competence, mgmt review (differs fr ISO 27001 Mgmt       Review to ISO 9001)

·         Resource Management – says it is HR focus – also tools esp EBMS – EDRMS – also workplace – aligns to a degree with OHS system

·         Mgmt System Improvement – continual improvement – CAPA

·         Customer feedback

§  Product Realization – software development /engineering lifecycle – project management – success rates are low

§  Measurement Analysis Improvement

-          Australian has been in forefront of standards making – made some good standards – does he know what happened to Standards Australia and its new business model

RISK – where does it fit – why doesn’t ISO 9001 not mention risk- APRA PPG 234 Operational – Security – IT Security – IT risks – Technology Risk Management


-          Believes that standards should be free and has contributed to standards development

-          Consultants make a meal of getting certified to these documents

-          Early 1990’s Bob Hawke had TQM epiphany – oversold – but benefit : risk mitigation strategy by taking on certified suppliers


ISO/IEC 20000 elements – how can I use this to cross over to ISO 9001 QMS requirements – integrated focus – get the diagram of Service Delivery Process

Document Records Control & Internal audit – not done as well as QMS

ISO 27001-mostly aligned with ISO 9001 then refer Annexe A Controls – detailed daunting – 133 controls -

-          Security policy – info security org’n – asset mgmt – HR security – physical environmental security – communications / ops mgmt – access control – info systems acquisition-devt – maint / info security incident mgmt – business continuity mgmt (often outsourced) / compliance (legal legislative standards)

Risk Assessment & Treatment – try to focus on top 8 to 10 risks that matter first

 – remember folks are already fully loaded & not given time resources to do this or recognition – believes  Certification needs to be done as a project plan

·         but what happens afterwards

-          Describe

-          Asset Category

-          Level

-          Threat – info availability confidentiality integrity

-          Impacts

-          Likelihood

-          Consequence

-          Risk Level

-          Controls –effectiveness

-          Reason for selection – legal requirements contractual obligations – business requirements

-          Owners – CEO, HR Managers, Quality Manager, IT Manager


Gap Analysis review – identify what’s right

Project Stages

·         Stage 1 – Strategy & Plan – manual procedures

·         Stage 2 – complete QMS ISMS implementation – Pre-assessment audit

·         Stage 3 – Address pre assessment findings – certification audit

You are going to keep getting re-auditing – mostly nice guys not gestapo

Recommends earlyContact with 3 potential Certification Bodies – looking at Chemistry – does auditor understand your business – you are going

Montrose covers Malaysia

Quality Enterprise Software Performance

Doing webinars ?

His Consulting Costs - $20-30K – certification body - $15-20k (small clients down to $10k) – could take a year – best has been done in only 6 months

Combine the processes – risk of systems implemented in silo’s

CMDB in ISO 20000 –

Cloud Computing - ?? – people don’t trust it

Move away from waterfall model – rigid to less rigid model – AGILE methodology for maintenance mostly

Prof Michael Hough – govt imposing requirements – what about not for profit sectors – best practice – mindset – we can’t afford it – MySchool & MyUniversity – opening up

Increased focus on control of outsourced processes & verification – testing tools – of software

Pink product certification approach vs process certification route eg NATA – 9136 14598  conformity assessment morphed ISO 25000 series of standards

How well is our existing tool set serving our the business ?



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May 2, 2010

Italian Oven Baked Chicken - who says Medical Diets have to be boring

I love experimenting with spicy food - have done so for years - and then my significant other felt unwell & found himself on a restricted medical diet for a short period. Hmm steamed chicken could get boring night after night.

Naturally I had been worried that my ongoing experiments with international cuisine might not have helped, but I was assured that some herbs & spices were okay, as long as the oil content was controlled.

So for our regular Sunday Night Dinner with my Mum, I found myself looking at Donna Hay's Baked Italian Chicken from "The Instant Cook" - so simple with only a few modifications to suit the medical diet.

First of all it needed Pesto - instintively I started to write it on the shopping list we keep on the fridge. And then I thought of the Basil plants in the vegie patch - they aren't going to last long as winter approaches - already getting ready to go to seed. Yet, there are still so many large luxuriant Basil leaves on each of the bushes.

So I decided on DIY Pesto & consulted Donna Hay's "Short Order Rough Pesto" in her "Modern Classics - Book 1"

1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves from the vegie patch plus 1/2 tspn crushed Garlic, 2 tbspns fresh grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tbspns Olive Oil & 1 1/2 tbspns toasted Pine Nuts - all blended together with a stick blender - Donna Hay just chops the Basil & Pine Nuts, however I preferred to blend them. Although it did take some detaching of the Pesto from the blender's blades !

I only needed 2 tbspns for the Italian Oven Baked Chicken so the rest of the Pesto went into tiny glass jars topped with Pendleton Estate's Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2008 Picual/Frantoio Blend (from South Australia's Limestone Coast) - the Teenager is already making comments about how good Pesto tastes on those mini European toast breads.

Ps. I should mention that I had decided to try toasting the Pine Nuts in the Microwave on a Browning Dish - note to self - next time do it in 20 second intervals - not 60 seconds in one go - as I plucked out the blackened burnt one's from the not so burnt.

Although the Baked Italian Chicken did not include potato or pumpkin I decided to add these to the dish...

  • Take 2 large Roma Tomatoes & quarter them
  • Lightly spray large baking dish with cooking spray then place large sheet of baking paper into dish - place quartered tomatoes onto baking paper - very lightly sprinkle or spray with olive oil & grind black pepper over top.
  • Chop peeled potatoes into slightly larger than bite size chunks & toss into the baking dish - sprinkle with Italian or Tuscan Herbs
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 230oC - remove from oven
  • Chop peeled butternut pumpkin into slightly larger than bite size chunks & toss into the baking dish - sprinkle with Italian or Tuscan Herbs
  • Bake for another 20-30 minutes until knife can just penetrate potato chunks but not soft
  • In the meantime take 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on appetites) & halve spoon 1 tspn Pesto on each piece. Top with 1 tbspn fresh grated Parmesan - then wrap 2 slices Prosciutto around each - however if you don't like Prosciutto just leave it off
  • (Note - I had bought the Prosciutto from the Leisure Coast Gourmet Deli off Cabbage Tree Lane in Fairy Meadow - north of Wollongong - so popular with The Gong's Italian community - not to mention many others from the 80+nationalities in Wollongong.
  • Note - I usually prepare these a little ahead of time and leave them in the fridge until ready to bake
  • Place these on top of potato & pumpkin chunks in baking dish - bake at 200oC for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked but still tender and not dry.
  • Use large egg slice & spoon to gently lift & serve chicken, potato & pumpkin chunks with quartered tomatoes onto plates. Serve with steamed beans. - Serves 4-6


Too easy - and afterwards ... my home cooked Quince Paste (now that was a learning journey ... ) with a Tawny Port ...



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