Visual Tools within MaKE — A Knowledge Management Method


  • Peter Sharp
  • Alan Eardley
  • Hanifa Shah


Knowledge Management method, action research, visual tools


This paper focuses on the practical significance of visual tools in Knowledge Management (KM) and Information Systems (IS) development in the context of the development of MaKE, a KM method. Visual tools are used extensively in KM and IS. However, this paper identifies a dilemma in the use of visual tools and examines how this dilemma was addressed during the development of some visual tools in MaKE. A brief description of MaKE is provided before visual tools are presented and discussed. The visual tools are called the Knowledge Targets Pyramid, Knowledge Tree, Knowledge Block, and the Linking Overview which are used to help present outcomes. They were reviewed and analysed in workshops in a major UK Fast Moving Consumer Goods manufacturer. The authors suggest that the findings of this research are relevant to visual tools used as part of KM methods and frameworks and that if certain guidelines are borne in mind, visual tools are very helpful for understanding and communicating, in a short time frame, relatively complex phenomena. Within the context of MaKE the Knowledge Targets Pyramid, Knowledge Block, and the Linking Overview do this more effectively than the Knowledge Tree.



1 Dec 2003