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Knowledge Study Tool

KST showing overlap

The Knowledge Study Tool (KST) was developed in 2005 from ideas and research that came from the contributions of people representing many companies in the UK. The motivation of this early work, starting in the mid 1990(s), was to try to find a way to help managers to actually manage the knowledge resource element of their business along with the other things that they manage. By knowledge resource, we meant, the knowledge that people held in their heads, not the things written in books, papers, computer documents etc. In very many ways, the knowledge held by people is quite different from what some called the knowledge held in other forms.

Starting in 2005, KST has developed into a special purpose Knowledge Study support tool. It supports the process of knowledge study and analysis all of the way through from the initial interviews that collect information, through analysis and the creation of resources, to the continuous improvement of the knowledge and analysis of progress. The knowledge study tool has a broad range of specific capabilities that have been developed to support actual knowledge study projects. These include (this is not a complete list):

  • The construction of Knowledge Structure Maps
  • Automated layout support for Maps
  • Parameter selection that can closely match business need
  • The assignment of numerical parameters for knowledge elements
  • The assignment of specific documentation for knowledge elements
  • Progress and Validation support for analysts
  • Optional hints for analysts and experts during map construction
  • Data probes to flexibly interrogate the completed knowledge resource
  • Knowledge RISK analysis
  • A Rule Based Options for Action system that offers developmental suggestions for knowledge
  • Results tables and charts to help informed analysis of the knowledge resource
  • Export of data in spread sheet compatible format
  • The option to save and load knowledge sub structures and merge with existing structures
  • A record of the people involved in a study and any additional people with connection to the knowledge
  • Options to add Experts, Capable people and Responsibility to the knowledge resource
  • Options to view and manage very large Knowledge Study projects
  • Views to show how project knowledge needs change over the project timescale.

In addition, KST can export a fully linked HTML based WEB resource in a few seconds following the completion of a study. This resource can be made available to staff but it is also a very useful way to help an analyst to prepare a report on the knowledge study for managers. Part of the web resource can be a linked map to allow viewers to see the full knowledge stature and link to any part of it. The web resource can also show all people that are linked to the resource and can also show these people within the context of a full list of all knowledge elements organised by highest RISK.

KST develops in response to the demands of actual knowledge studies. Its capability has greatly increased since the original ideas in the 1990(s) and its creation in 2005 and it continues to develop in response to new demands.