About Dynamic Knowledge Repositories 0

Overview 1

Collective IQ diagram
Collective IQ diagram
Collective IQ diagram
Click to enlarge
Source: Engelbart's Bootstrap "Paradigm Map"

Most people think of a repository as being a static archive of published documents. A dynamic knowledge repository is a living, breathing, rapidly evolving repository of all the stuff accumulating moment to moment throughout the life of a project or pursuit. This would include successive drafts and commentary leading up to more polished versions of a given document, brainstorming and conceptual design notes, design rationale, work lists, contact info, all the email and meeting notes, research intelligence collected and commented on, emerging issues, timelines, etc. In a software project, the DKR would also include all the successive versions of source code, bug reports, change requests, fixes, version release notes, documentation, etc. Aerospace friends tell us that the documentation it takes to design, build, fly and maintain a plane will more than fill the plane. 1a

CoDIAK and DKRs: The key determining factor of any group's Collective IQ is how effectively it can develop, integrate, and apply all this iterating knowledge from the swirl of disparate concurrent contributions. Doug developed the shorthand CoDIAK for the concurrent development, integration, and application of knowledge to characterize the basic knowledge processes shown in the purple boxes at right. The DKR is the emerging collective record of all this activity captured on the fly -- the emerging collective vision, know-how, the group brain, memory, where the dots are connected and the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. 1b

A truly exemplary DKR as defined by Doug Engelbart emerges and evolves as a result of best practices and conventions for working collectively, supported by enabling tools designed to facilitiate the collective work in a way that optimizes the capture, organization, and enhanced utility of the DKR. Best practices would include special roles such as collaboration facilitators, as well as high performance knowledge specialists, who are continuously moderating the connectivity, capture, tagging, tracking, and portals into the emerging repository -- tools, practices, and people connecting in a way that renders the DKR optimally navigable, searchable, and useful. A sort of litmus test for an exemplary DKR is one in which a project team hits a brick wall due to an earlier design flaw, and can instantly get their hands on the design documents several versions back where the problem started, with instant aceess to the corresponding dialog, commentary, and design rationale, revisit the alternatives discussed, and make a course correction -- all pieces of the puzzle instantly accessible as such, no digging through everyone's emails to piece together what all was transpiring at the time. 1c

A DKR can also refer to a comprehensive knowledge base on a particular topic or domain, such as the archives of the Human Genome Project, the Library of Congress, Wikipedia, and the Internet Archive. 1d

The quality, breadth and depth of a DKR contributes significantly to increasing or lowering our Collective IQ. 1e

Further Inquiry2