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Usable software systems for knowledge management PDF Print E-mail

4th March 2007



I-Network Uganda held their first 2007 regular seminar on 28th February 2007 at Grand Imperial Hotel. Mr. Richard Sennoga, a Knowledge Management Expert form GTZ (African Ministries Council on Water) was the main presenter of the day. The main aim of the regular seminar was to make the participants appreciate the value of knowledge and also learn how they can use ICT tools to make knowledge more valuable.  He emphasized that the efficient use of the knowledge management tools was crucial. View Presentation

 ‘’Knowledge is what remains with us after we have forgotten what we learnt…”


Everybody does not have to know it all the time, as long as they know where to instantly get the knowledge. Mr. Sennoga described the different levels of ‘’information’’ to include Data, Information and Knowledge. He added that each of the levels undergoes transformation to yield resources that stimulate meaningful action. Despite the very high value of knowledge, many institutions spend too much time on managing data, i.e. collecting, formatting, reformatting, receiving and distributing it. But very little time is spent in adding value to the knowledge.


Mr Sennoga mentioned that any knowledge management tool should effectively assist the user in managing knowledge. He sited the benchmarks for the useable knowledge tools as learnability, system efficiency, retention, usage error rate and subjective satisfaction.  While selecting an effective knowledge management tool one needs to consider the speed, flexibility and ease in use, accuracy and internet adoptive. These tools should also be fun to use for this encourages the user to continue exploring them.


In order to pre-empt a discussion amongst the members he posed some questions that were looking into the future of knowledge management. Below are some of the questions:-


          How many problems did we not see, because we were too busy handling data and information?

          How many opportunities did we miss because we did not have tools that supported us to be proactive?

          How could we accept doing things using such boring and frustrating approaches

          How much/ how little did the people and organisations really know about their work and organisations given the state of knowledge management then?


Participant’s reactions


·          One of the participants was wondering how the knowledge management tools could be adapted for the rural areas.  Mr Sennoga also realised the need to localise software and design it to suit the rural setting. But more importantly he advised that the software should be designed to suit the needs of a rural project.

·          Most of the software that has been designed has been addressing a single stakeholder environment. Therefore one of the participants requested Mr. Sennoga to advise about the types of knowledge management tools that could address a multistakeholder environment. Mr Sennoga stated that the most these tools wouldn’t be difficult to design if the knowledge was well documented, organised and stored. What would be required then is to design a tool that would incorporate all the different stakeholders. It is also important to design what you want the tool to do for you.

·          Participants noticed the knowledge and information keeps changing with time. Would the knowledge management tools need to be updated every time and wouldn’t this be a tedious and expensive exercise? To this, the presenter said that there is a need to get software that can accommodate change. It is also important to train the people using it appropriately and make them sensitive to any changes that may occur.

·          Where would a company get the best expertise advise about the best knowledge management tools? Mr Sennoga stressed that it is most important to have the content in place before you seek for expertise advise. The expert advise could be done by anyone.

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