K.J. Woltjer MSc

(Deze pagina is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels)
If we knew what we knew, then…
"A Knowledge Map for Finding WSM Knowledge"

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (NL MoD) acquires, operates and maintains a diverse set of capital intensive (weapon) systems. Experience has shown that organization that exploit capital assets have problems with doing this in a cost effective manner, due to cost overruns and performance problems. Managing capital assets in a cost effective way is hard, due to:

  1. The technical complexity and size of these assets;

  2. The length of and the uncertainty during the life cycle of these assets;

  3. The length and complexity of the logistic supply chain that support these assets.

To get grip on these problems, the NL MoD has implemented an approach called Weapon-system Management (WSM) also known as Asset Management in the civilian world. WSM is an interdisciplinary and life cycle oriented approach. An approach that aligns disciplines like e.g. engineering, ILS and quality assurance and takes into account the entire life cycle of a capital asset. There are many ways to improve WSM, getting more grip on the cost effectiveness of a (weapon) system over its life cycle. For instance Stavenuiter (2002) created an approach called Asset Management Control (AMC), which combines Lifecycle Management (LCM) with a specialized balanced scorecard called AMICO.

This research looks at improving WSM by looking at how a knowledge portal should look like to increase the findability of knowledge content and knowledge sources. This should contribute to improving the productivity of knowledge, which should lead to improving the way WSM is done which contributes to the cost effectiveness of (weapon) systems.

For this portal to become successful it is important, that it contributes to the findability of WSM knowledge and that it is deemed a viable knowledge management initiative. These two factors have been incorporated in the main research question:

‘What would the information architecture of a knowledge portal based on a knowledge map look like in order to contribute to the findability of WSM knowledge and be a viable knowledge management initiative?’

The problem with the current intranet is findabilty. Due to an overabundance of information and a lack of structure, it is hard to find relevant information (knowledge content). The idea behind the WSM knowledge portal is to create an underlying knowledge map which organizes knowledge content, by identifying its source, classifying the content and associating it to relevant topics. The topics are also associated with each other in a meaningful (semantic) way, creating map of the WSM knowledge landscape.

The WSM knowledge portal being a viable knowledge management initiative is about the fact that just having a knowledge portal doesn’t mean that the problem of improving the productivity of knowledge has been solved. Experience has shown, that a knowledge portal as a single knowledge management initiative, often leads to the silent death of the knowledge portal. So this research also looks at what other knowledge management initiatives should be implemented to make the WSM knowledge portal a viable knowledge management initiative.

The results of the survey revealed that:

  • the proposed architectural design increases the findability of WSM knowledge content and knowledge sources by 46%;

  • within the context of the current organization, the WSM knowledge portal is not deemed a viable knowledge management initiative;

  • the major obstacles for the WSM knowledge portal to be a viable knowledge management initiative are: a missing knowledge management strategy and the current culture of the organization with respect to sharing knowledge.

Based on these results it is recommended to:

  • develop a knowledge management strategy, which incorporates and aligns different types of knowledge management initiatives;

  • institutionalizing knowledge management within the work processes, taking away concerns from co-workers that it is a short term hype;

  • starting up a pilot to experiment with the WSM knowledge portal in conjunction with other knowledge management initiatives;

  • doing more research about changing the culture with respect to sharing knowledge;

  • incorporate the results of this research in the knowledge management strategy.

De Thesis kunt u hier bekijken (EN).

The Thesis presentatie kan hier bekeken worden (EN).

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