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Agile Knowledge Management

Agile Knowledge Management
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Author(s): Meira Levy (Haifa University, Israel) and Orit Hazzan (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch020

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Abstract

This article is based on the assumption that Knowledge Management (KM) is a vital part of any project. Based on this working assumption, the purpose of this article is to introduce the term Agile Knowledge Management (AKM) by illustrating how the Agile Software Development (ASD) approach is suitable for the introduction of KM processes. The ASD approach emerged over the past decade in response to the unique problems that characterize software development processes (Highsmith, 2002). In general, ASD emphasizes customer needs, communication among team members, short releases and heavy testing throughout the entire development process. These ideas are implemented quite variedly by the different ASD development methods. Knowledge Management (KM) and Agile Software Development (ASD) are two organizational processes that face common barriers when introduced and applied. This article suggests that because the field of KM presents a less disciplined approach compared with ASD, it is logical that KM practitioners should learn how ASD has coped with very similar barriers. We further illustrate how it is but natural to emphasize the concept of Agile Knowledge Management (AKM) in order to improve KM processes, because ASD already encompasses the organizational and cultural infrastructure needed for KM. The pairing of KM and ASD is not new; a connection between the two concepts has been acknowledged by various researchers. For related discussions, see, for example, Dove (1999) and Holz, Melnik and Schaaf (2003). This connection, however, is not surprising because both disciplines deal with organizational culture and change management. In what follows, we further highlight the connection between the two fields. First, we show that the two processes, KM and ASD, face the same barriers when introduced into an organization. We also include some suggestions for coping with such barriers. Second, we highlight the way in which KM is already embedded into ASD processes. Thus, in order to improve KM in such processes, it should be made more explicit. Accordingly, we introduce an agile KM manifesto.

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