OHS In Context
The whole point of this effort is give organisations the best
chance of making informed decisions as to where to go. We are
talking about facilitated evolution, as opposed to the more common
random evolution which is evolution primarily in response to
environmental conditions (market conditions, hype and marketing
by vendors, guidance by consultants AND prevailing paradigms
etc.) at the time.
To understand Doug's perspective, we will look at how organisations
carry out their work today (their Capability Infrastructures),
how they improve (ABC levels of activity) in support of boosting
Collective IQ and then we will look at the CODIAK process which
is supported by DKRs created by the OHS tool system.
But remember, the main point is simply: We need to facilitate
evolution so that we can gain some control and we need to work
together on this.
Any high-level capability needed by an organization rests atop
a broad and deep capability infrastructure, comprised of many
layers of composite capabilities, each depending upon the integration
of lower-level capabilities.
The whole capability infrastructure rests on the two main
systems: the Human System (language, paradigms, procedures etc.)
and the Tool System (comprising media as well - in other words,
Underpinning the Human System & the Tool System are the
individual basic human capabilities (sensory, perceptual, mental
& motor) which are affected by skills, knowledge and training
as well as attitudes, spirit beliefs etc.
In pursuit of higher organizational performance this infrastructure
is the obvious focus of attention. It is a matter of establishing
system and goal perspectives to determine how much of this infrastructure
to include as serious candidates for change, and how radical
a change to contemplate. In other words, this is the map where
we can look to see where we need to improve and what improvements
can provide the best payoff. As evolution proceeds, there will
necessarily be changes all through this system, including regions
not contemplated today.
ABC levels of activity
For our purposes here it is useful to view organizations as having
three levels of activity: A, B & C.
A level activity is the primary business activity, such as sending
emails, holding meetings and using the phone.
B level is improving the A level, through getting a better email
system or implementing more efficient business practices.
C level is improving B. In other words, improving how we improve.
This is what already happens when professionals get together
in professional organizations and organize conferences and so
on together in what may be termed Improvement Communities, or
IC's. Networked Improvement Communities are referred to as NIC's
and when the Networked Improvement Communities get together we
The Collective IQ of an organization is a term used to see how
well an organization is perceptive to its environment, to see
new threats and opportunities and how well it reacts to them
as they arise and hopefully pre-empts the threats and prepares
for the opportunity. It's about how quickly and effectively they
can make a plan, marshal resources, change direction and how
sensitive they are to the needs for change.
The capabilities we are focusing on are those which are in
aid of boosting the Collective IQ of organizations. These capabilities
include accessing information, communicating and so forth, areas
which today are considered to be in the domain of knowledge management.
CODIAK (The COncurrent Development, Integration
and Application of Knowledge)
A continuous knowledge process dynamically evolving a knowledge
DKR (Dynamic Knowledge Repository)
DKR captures the development, integration and application of
knowledge. DKR is a combination librarian, encyclopedia, dictionary
and handbooks etc. It's assumed to be an online repository of
dialogue, external intelligence and knowledge product in support
of the CODIAK process.
The DKRs will be consisting of three primary knowledge domains;
intelligence, dialogue records, and knowledge products:
Intelligence Collection: An alert project group, always
keeps a watchful eye on its external environment, actively surveying,
ingesting, and interacting with it. The resulting intelligence
is integrated with other project knowledge on an ongoing basis
to identify problems, needs, and opportunities which might require
attention or action.
Dialogue Records: Responding effectively to needs and
opportunities involves a high degree of co-ordination and dialogue
within and across project groups. This dialogue , along with
resulting decisions, is integrated with other project knowledge
on a continuing basis.
Knowledge Product: The resulting plans provide a comprehensive
picture of the project at hand, including proposals, specifications,
descriptions, work breakdown structures, milestones, time lines,
staffing, facility requirements, budgets, and so on. These documents,
which are iteratively and collaboratively developed, represent
the knowledge products of the project team, and constitute both
the current project status and a roadmap for implementation and
deployment. The CODIAK process is not a one-shot effort, lessons
learned, as well as intelligence and dialogue, must be constantly
analyzed, digested, and integrated into the knowledge products
throughout the life cycle of the project.
OHS (Open Hyperdocument System)
OHS is essentially the tool system by which you build the
DKR. More precisely, OHS is a standards-based, open source framework
for developing collaborative, knowledge management applications.
Its primary objective is to support the creation, organization,
and maintenance of DKRs.
The HyperScope is an enhanced Web browser and the first
part of the OHS which is likely to be realized. It will
will exist initially purely as a server based intermediary and
as it develops it will likely include browser plug-ins and ultimately
be completely free-standing. Enhancements the HyperScope will
provide will include paragraph level addressability (allowing
users to refer to specific paragraphs, not just whole pages in
their links) and ViewSpecs which will let the user dictate how
the document is to be displayed; in outline form etc.
OHS will be introduced gradually, an organization will not have
to stop using it's current systems to take advantage of the benefits
of OHS. OHS will initially be accessed by the end user through
a regular Web based interface with further functionality being
delivered by plug-ins as they are developed and ultimately, by
new front end software. At no point will legacy data become inaccessible.