Starmind - Knowledge Exchange in Practice
Today and in future, company's success is increasingly based on the way how organizational knowledge is handled and supported. This trend has resulted in many variations of Knowledge Management Systems, which have been around for a long time but not become accepted widely in everyday work. Many of these systems are too complicated or not transparent and therefore lead to extra workload and usage barriers. Exploratory investigations have shown that expertise sharing as a new knowledge management concept can help to overcome these issues. Expertise Sharing provides employees with access to knowledgeable experts in the company.
Up to now, little is known about design principles of such expertise sharing systems, especially how to manage load and motivate for participation.
In collaboration with the local start-up company Starmind, which is offering an expertise sharing solution software, we are in a unique position to study and test various operational scenarios. We started with interviews of intended end-users before the actual software roll-out at a global bank concerning user acceptance and requirements. Thereby we identified several IT-based phenomena of interests like:
- Handling of anonymity effects
- Individual load management
- Improving response time
- Community effects
Our current research focuses on these phenomena by accompanying a roll-out in an international engineering environment. Using the Starmind system in multiple suitable variations we observe real end-users and are able to derive design principles for expertise sharing systems.
While it is clear that the concept of expertise sharing, in general, can support knowledge exchange better than traditional knowledge management solutions, it is less clear how exactly this can be achieved by a real system design. Therefore our research objectives can be considered as
- Development of design principles for expertise sharing systems
- Obtaining of more and deeper insights into user- and usage behavior
- Establishing and support of knowledge exchange processes
We envision that Expertise Sharing Systems shall help to optimize the knowledge exchange among employees and therefore require more detailed observation.