Knowledge management is the way that organizations create, capture, and reuse knowledge to achieve organizational objectives. It is the practice of researching, collecting, and organizing an enterprise’s employees’ knowledge, such as best practices, lessons learned, and know-how.
However, knowledge is not a pure collection (without order) of data and information. Knowledge is part of the hierarchy made up of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom as shown in the figure.
- Data are raw facts (what, who, when, and where).
- Information is facts with context and perspective.
- Knowledge is information with guidance for action (how), such as strategy, practice, method, or approach.
- Wisdom is understanding which knowledge to use for what purpose (why), such as principle, insight, moral, or archetype.
Thus, knowledge is not equal to raw data; instead, it is the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association and to be recorded in an individual’s brain or stored in organizational processes, products, facilities, systems, and documents.
“Knowledge is sticky as oil.” Knowledge does not flow without motivation. “Without a systematic process and enablers, it won’t flow.” Oil flows as a result of a pressure difference and permeable channels. Knowledge management provides positive motivation, tools, and an environment to apply knowledge effectively.
In our industry, one of the hot spots of knowledge management is the Internet- and intranet-based application of knowledge management for knowledge sharing and project management, which is growing explosively. These Web-based applications create a very permeable channel for knowledge to flow through, which is similar to creating a highly conductive fracture in the reservoir to speed up and enhance oil recovery. Web-based applications for knowledge management are excellent tools to break barriers between different departments, divisions, and geological regions.
We, as individuals, subconsciously apply our knowledge and wisdom in both professional and personal life. Thus, to an individual, knowledge is an asset, and knowledge is power. However, to an organization, without applications that result from knowledge management, knowledge is neither asset nor power.
So, share your knowledge with others.
Knowledge Management additional reading available from the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 96645 - “Real-Time Information to the Engineer’s Desktop—How Murphy E&P Improved Production Management,” by Oberwinker, C., Real Time Solutions, et al.
SPE 93668 - “En Route to the E-Field: Effective Decision Making Assisted by E&P Web Portal Solutions,” by Giménez, L., Schlumberger
SPE 93279 - “Creative Utilization for Oracle Database To Meet Petroleum Engineering’s Needs,” by Shideed, M.A., SPE, Saudi Aramco
Available at the OTC Library: www.otcnet.org
OTC 17725 - “Digital Energy: The Convergence of E&P, IT, and Communication Systems,” by Schroeder, A.J. Jr., Energy Valley Inc., et al.