Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tuesday afternoon - first session

I spent this session going back and forth between rooms, so I could catch the security paper for Guy.

First up -- the evolution of KM in a large organization. The area studied was technical engagement help for novel business services. There were two types of design employed: reflective design and local adaptation. The upshot: design for adaptability, because things change.

The security paper was very interesting. Nine interviews with nine ID experts recruited thru a local Snort user group. The group had many different job titles and came from organizations of various sizes. IDS requires a lot of different skills which are hard to obtain. Most got those skills by "playing around," typically on their home LAN. All described this as fun. Situated knowledge: the most important thing is knowing your own network. Transferring expertise to different networks environments is problematic. What is normal varies greatly from network to network.There was evidence of both organizational collaboration and community collaboration. Organizational collaboration typically happened within the network security team and coordinating efforts across the business. Community collaboration occurred via mailing lists and informal lines of communication. There is interdepence between analysts ant the larger community for new signatures and support. IDS is about people and expertise, not tools. This is a ripe domain for expertise development and collaborative tools.

I ended up staying in the room for Focus on the Agenda. You get a better meeting if everyone contributes to the agenda. Since so many meetings are boring and annoying, what goes on in a meeting that makes it boring or annoying? The authors developed the DEEPAND framework: Describe, Explain Evaluate, Predict, Alternatives, Negotiate, Decide. The study found that a lot of time is spent on description and others just don't care. The problem is that people want to be heard whether or not they have a willing audience. There are two possible errors: excluding important items and including unimportant items. Their prescription: Solicit agenda items, vote, follow voted agenda (must have plurality to make it). This process cut meeting duration in half while increasing the perceived quality.

I returned to other room during Return on Investment and Organizational Adoption by Jon Grudin of MS Research. In a nutsell, ROI is a bad measure because it solely looks at performance, failing to catch the real value. He had a larger model in which performance was just one aspect. Organizations that scream about needing ROI before making an investment decision do nothing about measuring it after a decision has been made.

Leveraging Social Networks for Information Sharing by Jeremy Goecks of Georgia Tech was next. His interest is in using social networks to mediate and direct sharing -- items are shared selectively via social networks.

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