In this report we have modelled a knowledge management system using CommonKADS methodology and conducted a social analysis of the proposed knowledge management system. We have applied the common KADS methodology to analyze a Virtual Organization established between Small Scale Machinery (SSM) enterprises and Die Cast limited (DCL). We further looked at improving this virtual organization with the help of a Knowledge Management system. We have analyzed Virtual Organization from an Organization Model, Task Model and Agent Model perspective. We have used the various Organizational Model worksheets (OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4), Task Analysis Worksheet TM 1, Knowledge Item Worksheet TM 2, and Agent Worksheet AM 1 to conduct this analysis. In addition we have also conducted social analysis to identify the problems that may arise or opportunities that we can identify in the virtual organization by applying the various social theories related to KM Systems. We also looked at the technical and managerial issues surrounding Virtual Organizations and the strategies and best practices needed to ensure a successful implementation of an automated process within the virtual organization with help of a KM system.
Background on Virtual Organization
Now-a-days, more and more organizations are looking at concept of “Virtual organizations” to address critical resources, personnel and logistical issues. A Virtual organization is a flexible network of independent entities linked by information technology to share skills, knowledge and access to others expertise in non-traditional ways. It’s a form of cooperation involving companies, institutions and/or individuals delivering a product or a service on the basis of a common business understanding. The different entities participate in the collaboration and present themselves as a unified organization. Virtual organizations do not need to have all of the people, or sometimes any of the people, in one place to deliver their service. The organization exists but you cannot see it. It is a network, as in the case of SSM and DCL and one of them act as a supplier of key products and resources to the other.
Some of the attributes of Virtual Organizations (VO) include:
A dispersed network of skills and capabilities -- The structure of a VO is distributed among multiple locations resulting in the capacity of bringing in a wider pool of skills and capabilities. •
The use of telecommunications and computing technologies--These technologies serve as the enabler that makes a VO exist. Technology makes it much easier to support distributed work teams. Barriers of distance and time can be overcome by technology to improve performance and efficiency.
Current Setup between Small Scale Machinery (SSM) enterprises and Die Cast limited (DCL)
In the current set up, SSM expects DCL to produce finished or near-finished parts for its small machinery business. It is anticipated that a closer partnership be developed through the virtual organization concepts which will enable improved information and knowledge transfer to better coordinate the manufacture of die caste products by DCL for SSM.
For issue resolution, they use two paper-based systems: Process Concern Reports (PCR) and Eight Discipline (8D) reports. These systems are used for reporting foundry problems to a DCL liaison officer whose primary task is to negotiate changes to product design by alerting SSM to the problem and faxing proposed changes to the final component design. When a problem with a part is reported either by SSM or from within DCL, a new PCR is raised. The form records all the information concerning the problem, customer details, the actions to be taken to resolve the problem, and a list of personnel carrying out the recommended actions. The form is then circulated to the concerned personnel in DCL whose name is on the form, the actions are carried out, and the PCR is closed once the problem is...
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