Estelle Dodson, of NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Astrobiology Institute

NAI has 16 teams spread across NASA, researchers and academia. Started out with PolyCom multipoint video in 1998, It bombed. The technology was not ready. That story has changed now.

Yet another KM definition: Knowledge management is about knowing expertise, who to talk to, what to ask.

Communities of Practice (COP)
It's about the people; technology should enable the people, not the other way around.

New Approached and ideas

Project-based collaboration
Needs assessments
Virtual Office Hours (Connect all tools for an hour each week and allow people to come and explore - a safe sandbox to play in.)
One-on-one and group training
Cheat sheets - a great tool, along with IM to connect people and answers
Adoption planning
Virtual seminars and meetings - expected that most folks would watch archived meetings; found that many came for the live experience.

Take away: I like the virtual office hours idea; I could do that with a number of technologies. [next action: decide how I will deploy this at DavidCo]

Key point; You have a small window of opportunity for demonstration and visible results.

Don't show the technology as the solution, ask questions and listen for the need. E.g. the end-goal is not to "video conference" it is "to meet with my teams around the worked to decide on..."

[Sounds like a common problem that when technology is your hammer, everything looks like a nail...]

Be prepared to address resistance to technology, even from technophiles:

Three-step Virtual Collaboration

Two-way interactive meetings...  (they use PolyCom IP- based; some ISDN via bridge; ViaVideo for desktop users)
Consisting of real-time meeting software and videoconferences
Followed up with shared on-line systems and communities

Discussion on security implications on using WebEx for defense applications. Bottom line, DOD cannot use WebEx for any of fits programs: general, classified, or sensitive. What can corps learn from this? Need for secure meeting tools is high.

Seeing growth in use of desktop video conferencing (Via Video) - people like to be able to see one another. Facial clues communicate a lot.
[Next action: revisit ViaVideo with Michael Sampson; we looked at this once in its early days.]

Discussion of success stories - many focused on time savings, cost savings or improved results from virtual collaboration.

[I should revisit SameTime as a tool for knowledge transfer in SMBs]

Presenter offered a strategy for selecting the best medium for virtual collaboration. (Review flowchart handout.)
Highly recommended the Rand Report: Challenges in Virtual Collaborations Survey of the past 30 years of research. Excellent. Does not cover latest developments in SN. [Michael, if you are not already familiar with this, you may want to get this for your PhD research. May be free as a PDF.]

Moving on...

On video conferencing: leaders of a video conference talk 3x as much as in a face to face meeting. Think about that. That means that you are potentially missing a great deal in interaction. We need to learn new method of working virtually.

Video conferencing - not as effective for brainstorming. On-line computer mediated communications work much better for this as they level the playing field.

Be aware of fundamental attribution errors - e.g. someone who comes across as short, stupid, grumpy - need to cut them some slack to fill in the gaps in missing information [compared to face-to-face.

Power of photodirectories - not a directory, a  photo directory. People like connect visually.

The future/Future interests and ideas:

Blogging has a place in KM (yes!) Value of blogging, and even micro-blogging, as a knowledge transfer tool for process, relationships, and problem solving. Discussion of using headset to capture dictation by the expert in-process to capture his knowledge to a microblog without breaking the train of thought. Think voice recognition and twitter and semantic technology.

3D Immersive environments, eventually requiring identify verification.
Expert locators, journal publications, shared bookmarks and discussion forums all combined with semantic technologies. A science-based Facebook.
Interoperability and standards are key.

Discussion about the technical expectations of the new workforce and the gap that exists in what science (and businesses) are doing in collaboration.  What happens when you bring an educated 25 year-old engineering graduate into an organization that he sees as behind the times? How do organizations adapt to emergent technologies without disrupting or inhibiting work? Mentoring. How to integrate the cultures, even between the space centers, creates a new set of challenges and opportunities.

Best Practices for Virtual Meeting
presenter ran out of time, see handout.
Overall, an excellent presentation.

Update: Presentations that are not on teh CD will be on NASA KM site next week.

Discussion/Comments (2):

Lessons learned in KM and virtual Collaboration

Thanks Eric, yes the RAND report is available for free here ... { Link }


Posted at 07/18/2007 14:32:19 by Michael Sampson

video conferencing

This is the greatest post I have come across so far.I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog .I love your blog by the way, I am gonna have to add you to my list of watched blogs .Thank you for this very useful information. stored it.Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Posted at 12/08/2008 21:49:19 by video conferencing

Discussion for this entry is now closed.