Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sharing - Seeking; a necessary dynamic of spread

The concept of large corporate databases capturing and storing "good practice" and "knowledge" was discredited by the late 1980's due to the costs involved and limited impact. It seems a standard approach to problem solving is to "start with what I know" and then if really desperate "find someone who can fix the problem". I frequently find that few managers and teams spend a short time seeking out information from those who have gone before them with regards the same problem.

A corporate database tends to be fairly clinical in approach. Woudl you rather get your ideas from the place where all entries have been approved, or from the hundreds of places on the web where forums are filled with people sharing not only technicalities of solving the problem, but also the emotion. Trust and credibility is importnat. How much do we trust the corporate database and how much do we trust what someone has written on a Forum.

Today I had a nightmare with MS Outlook consuming most of my computing CPU. The compiter temperature was rising along with my frustration and a literal metdown was predicted. A quick internet search revealed this was a common problem. The Microsoft database gace some suggestions but I chose not to follow them. INstead I found suggestions from "real" people, who reported on their tests of change and what worked for them, in their circumstance. Problem was eventually fixed (it was an overlarge normal.dot file if you're interested...)

I am hugely grateful for those who are questioning, providing repsonses and generally sharing their knowledge on internet Fora. Search engines are brilliant at organising this morass of wisdom. I really can't see how closed shop databases can be as effective in helping others solve problems.

The bottom lie though is the use of this wisdomw is dependent on some seeking it. So who will be actively seeking infomration from your database? If they use an internet search engine will they find your knowledge?

No comments: