Mapping our way to knowledge management

Part of successful knowledge management in organizations will revolve around how good a job we do at drawing “maps” that help explain and represent this new territory. Dane Carlson offers pointers to some resources we can adapt to that task.

You Are Here: Maps 101. How to create a good map. I’ll remember this for the next Talk Like a Pirate Day. via The Map Room: A weblog about maps, a good read itself…. [Dane Carlson’s Weblog]

In the wonderful serendipity that using a news aggregator offers, Frank Patrick’s Focused Performance weblog (a great resource on project management brings the following tidbit:

A Clarification on Maps and Plans. A Clarification on Maps and Plans — I recently quoted Alford Korzybski, using his often cited statement,

“A map is not the territory.”

Upon researching it, I didn’t go far enough. The complete statement from is actually…

“A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.”

Puts a whole ‘nother spin on it, doesn’t it?

Project plans and schedules can be made to model a “similar structure” to the project itself, sufficiently reflecting reasonable expectations of the future as well as uncertainty to be useful. (I think someone — who was it? — once said that “all models are wrong, but some models are useful.” If that’s so, then I’m comfortable with the idea that some models are more useful than others.) [Frank Patrick’s Focused Performance Blog]

If those of us talking about knowledge management are exploring new territory, one of our responsibilities is to draw the maps that will encourage those who stayed behind to follow us and show them paths that are safe and interesting to travel.