The Human Touch
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
—Plutarch, AD 46-120, Greek essayist
Sydney, Australia: Brian, a young programmer who recently started with the company, opens up the contribution form for ToolPool, a global system for sharing technical knowledge. He enters some text describing a program he recently wrote based on his knowledge of a programming language he had learned at the university. His program extends one of the core company products in a smart and unusual way.
Madrid, Spain: Isabel, an experienced consultant, is working on a project at a Spanish bank, where she faces an interesting requirement. She visits ToolPool and after a quick search finds and downloads Brian’s program, as it will help fulfill the requirement quickly and elegantly. After using it, she goes back to ToolPool and rates Brian’s entry with five stars and adds a comment about how much it helped her.
Cary, North Carolina, United States: Mary, the development manager for the product that Brian extended, scans the Monday morning e-mail from ToolPool, finds Brian’s program, and adds a link to the wiki page used for planning the next release of the product.
These are examples of what has been known as knowledge management. Unfortunately, very often the analysis of this situation would now go on to talk about what ToolPool is, what technology it was built on, how much it cost to implement it, and how many information technology (IT) people are currently ...