Razieh Dehghani

Thesis Title: A Methodology for Developing Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)                  


Dealing with complicated organizational situations in the current competitive and uncertain market requires making the best management decisions at the earliest time possible. As making the best decisions requires the possession of adequate and accurate knowledge, knowledge has become the most valuable asset of organizations. Knowledge Management (KM) spans managing the identification, capture, storage, sharing, usage and creation of knowledge. Using an appropriate Knowledge Management System (KMS) can ensure the provision of essential knowledge for decision making, and can manage the complexity of the competitive market by maintaining and managing the relevant organizational knowledge. Knowledge management systems are commonly considered as information systems which support the different phases of the knowledge management process. The major factor distinguishing a KMS from a technology-driven system (such as an information system) is the pivotal role of individuals in a KMS.
A KMS development methodology is defined as a framework for applying KMS development practices and, like all methodologies, consists of two parts: Process, and Modeling Language. The Process part defines the phases of system development along with the proper sequence for applying them, the roles who are responsible for performing the phases, the products of each phase, and guidelines and metrics for progress monitoring and quality assurance. The Modeling Language part of the methodology defines notational and semantic rules for expressing the products which are produced during the enactment of the process.
The main objective of this project is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing KMS development methodologies and to propose a new methodology which builds upon the strengths of the investigated methodologies while alleviating their weaknesses. To this aim, this research project has been planned in four major stages: 1) Criteria-based evaluation of existing KMS development methodologies to identify their strengths and weaknesses, 2) proposing a generic high-level KMS development methodology based on the results of the evaluation, 3) development of the target methodology by instantiating the proposed generic methodology based on techniques and practices which have been proven successful in developing KM systems, and 4) evaluating the final methodology. The first stage itself will consist of the following steps: Identifying general evaluation criteria for methodologies, elicitation of special criteria for evaluating KMS development methodologies, evaluation of the extracted criteria using meta-criteria (criteria for evaluating the criteria themselves), categorizing the extracted criteria, specifying the features/phases/tasks needed for developing a successful KMS, and criteria-based evaluation of the selected methodologies in order to reveal their strengths and weaknesses. In the second stage, a KMS development framework will first be proposed by abstracting out from the investigated methodologies; a generic KMS development methodology will then be developed by instantiating the proposed framework and adding the necessary detail based on the strengths and weaknesses of the methodologies investigated. In the third stage, successful practices and techniques for KMS development will be identified, and the target methodology will be developed by instantiating the generic KMS development methodology (proposed in the previous step) and configuring it with the necessary detail. In the final stage, the target methodology will be evaluated based on the extracted criteria and also through a case study.

(Progress Chart)

Contact Information

   Email: rdehghani[at]ce[dot]sharif[dot]edu