Zack Knowledge Management Model in Software Development
To make a decision, all you need is authority. To make a good
decision, you also need knowledge, experience and insight. “– Denise
Moreland. Knowledge management model explains the process of
transforming information into knowledge within an enterprise. It dictates how
knowledge is captured, processed and distributed in an enterprise.
In software development, Zack Model of Knowledge Management is
based on the design and development of information products. It consists of
five stages: acquisition, refinement, torage/retrieval, distribution and presentation.
In this approach network between each stage is designed to be logical and
standardized. This cycle is also known as refinery.
First stage is Acquisition of Data or information. Here we deal
with issues which are related to origin of raw material like scope, depth,
breath, accuracy, timeliness, relevance, control, cost and exclusivity. It work
on the basic principle of “garbage in, garbage out.” i.e. highest
quality source data is required, else the intellectual products
produced downstream will be lower
After this, next stage is Refinement. Refinement can be analyzed
through physical aspects like migration from one medium to another, or it may
be analyzed as a logical aspects like restructuring, indexing, relabeling and
integration. It also determine the cleaning up process like sanitizing content
so as to ensure complete anonymity of source and key players involved, or
standardizing approaches. It also
add up to the value by creating more readily usable knowledge
objects and by preserving the content more efficiently for future use.
Next stage after refinement is Storage/ Retrieval. It forms a bridge between the upstream
addition and refinement stages that feed the repository and downstream stages
of product generation. Storage can be physical like file
folders, printed information as well as digital like database, knowledge
At distribution we define how the product is to be delivered to
the end-user (like fax, print, email) and encloses not only the medium of
delivery but also its timing, language, form, frequency etc. and so on.
The final stage is presentation or use stage. Most important
element here is context. The performance of all preceding value-added steps are
evaluated here. The repository and
refinery together enable the management of valuable knowledge of a
company. In this stage, there is also an impression of
having to continually renew the repository and the refinery in order to avoid
elimination. Although, the notion of refinement is crucial stage but
this is the one that is usually neglected.