Just want to ask if there is anyone who have better ideas on how to effectively capture tacit knowledge, i need to hear people's experiences when undertaking this task.Is it something you can say its easy to do or its hard to a certain extent?

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Comment by Md Santo on October 3, 2012 at 10:00am

Capturing Tacit Knowledge is a matter of learning process. Regarding that, goto http://ht.ly/e7bUx  “Teaching and Learning Process variables within Human System Biology-based Knowledge Management (HSBKM) model framework”  Hope it could answer your inquiries

Comment by Lesley Shneier on September 25, 2012 at 6:31pm

Hello Liah, well one could say both - it's hard and it's easy, though that probably isn't very helpful to you! But I find that if I think that something is easy, I'm more likely to do it, than if I think it's hard. Anyway, there are various structured and unstructured ways of capturing tacit knowledge. One unstructured was is simply to talk to people, and take notes of what they're telling you. You can structure this a bit by having interview questions to guide the conversation. You can look at master classes as another way to capture knowledge - these are usually in the form of an expert or "master" talking about his/her experiences, while the audience (usually small group) sits and listens, and "pulls" the knowledge by asking questions. These also tend to work better when facilitated. You can also do a "knowledge jam", which is more guided, using a template, with a facilitator and scribe, to capture group experiences - works really well with a diverse set of people in the room all coming at the problem from somewhat different perspectives, such as finance, economics, sector specialist, anthropologist all talking about a health problem they worked on in one or more countries. At the World Bank, we also did simple versions of these, using either audio or video recording. These also had an interview guide, and often used a "novice" (though with some understanding of the topic) to help formulate questions that would pull broader knowledge, especially the type of questions that more experienced people wouldn't ask becuase they "are expected to know what that means".  The audio and video recordings were than transcribed and given back to the interviewee who invariably added back things he/she had forgotten (which surprised us as we thought they would remove stuff). Then, every time a project was mentioned, all the relevant project documents were linked to the transcript. For video recordings, we also provided a table of contents and created links to just the relevant place in the video so that people could either watch the whole thing or just the pieces they were looking for. All of these were then placed on the website. We also wrote "knowledge notes" under various titles - these would be short, say 3-4 pages about topics. The real benefits in each case, regardless of methodology, was the learning, understanding and insight that the interviewees gained - particularly where the whole team was interviewed together (as we did in some videos, and in the knowledge jams), as they began to understand the whole picture of what was going on in their project, and not just their piece of it :) 

Once you've captured the tacit knowledge, and made it available on the website, you then need to encourage people to seek it out and to reuse it - and to capture the adaptations they made while they were applying the knowledge. This is how the pool of knowledge will grow.

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