440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 00:11:51 -0700

03 00050 61 00062201

Mr. Cliff Joslyn
Computer Research Group (CIC-3)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Distributed Knowledge Research Team; MS B265
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Subject:   Com Metrics, SDS, POIMS Meeting

Dear Cliff,

Glad to hear in your letter on May 20, 2000 that you and yours were fortunate getting through the firestorm at Los Alamos with minimal impact. John Hogden related similar good news.

Now, however, just as the ashes of one disaster are cooling, it looks like political thunder is causing another "firestorm" that must be be consuming everyone's bandwidth at Los Alamos, pushing our goal to visit about KM off the calendar.

Incidentally, your name seems to pop up quite a bit in KM circles. Everyone in Doug Engelbart's SRI seed team for a DKR mentions your work from time to time.

I am sad to say though that for the moment, a lot of people are giving up on Knowledge Management as a way to develop effective tools. There have been some glimpses of awareness, as you noted examining SDS records on the web; but the underlying structure, or design, of KM is essentially a "secret" of SDS, or what some call a dilemma. The issue is carefully spelled out in POIMS, but it turns out that people need experience doing KM to really "get it." Without experience, it is just a bunch of words.

One quick idea that might help. SDS is inherently a management tool that uses KM as the engine to improve the work. See for example the report by the US Army Corps of Engineers on March 28, 1997, and later on October 7, 1997 on cost savings derived from using this capability.

If you and/or your team need interim management support dealing with disaster recovery issues, this would provide a good chance to gain experience on how KM works in action. Sometimes an exigent contract can be arranged to deal with emergencies. That is how USACE got a chance to try SDS.

Anyway, hang in there. Let me know when things begin to look like we can get back to our agenda to evaluate Com Metrics and SDS.



Rod Welch