Tatra is the world's third oldest car company, and produced a number of rather advanced streamlined cars during the course of its production run. Because spare parts and manuals are hard to find for these cars, a group of owner/enthusiasts has pooled their resources and hired a shed to hold them all, charging a joiner's fee for new members to defray costs. Members can get photocopies of technical documents, or buy spare parts such as bearings and seals from the Spares Pool when they are needed. A serious problem they face is that the organisers of the Spares Pool are getting older, and want to take a less active role in running the Spares Pool, while the newer members (despite their enthusiasm) are not as knowledgeable about what model of what car needed what part. In addition, the mechanics who have worked on the cars are all retiring, so the Spares Pool organisers are very keen on making videos of them doing standard overhauls of the motors, gearbox, steering, brakes and suspension with a view to making the knowledge more widely available. They have a large number of photographs, and they also have schematics that have come from the manufacturer. All of this information is being kept on a spreadsheet, which is maintained by the founders in rotation on their different computers. They have often had a problem working out which one is the latest version, and this has caused problems with lost parts etc in the past.
They want to make an inventory system that ties together the cars, the parts, the documentation and the videos (which are not yet made). They also want to make the entire resulting system searchable from the Internet, and link up with other groups who are interested in the Tatra marque around the world.
1. Carry out the preliminary investigation of the organisation and yourself in relation to it, as follows:
a) Give an initial appraisal of the organisation's aims and preparedness for a knowledge audit. In your assessment, consider specifically whether it is:
as discussed in Topic 6. Note that while you should consider the items in the checklist in carrying out your appraisal, you do not need to address each of the items in detail here.
b) Give an assessment of your own preparedness in undertaking the knowledge audit for the organisation. In carrying out your assessment, make use of the issues of expertise, ontological structure, background knowledge, opinions and prejudices, and tacit components of knowledge, as discussed in Topic 6. What areas of knowledge do you need to research to bring yourself up to speed?
c) Give your assessment of whether it is worthwhile proceeding with the knowledge audit, based on your findings above.
Assuming it is worthwhile proceeding with the knowledge audit (hint: it is worthwhile for each of the organisations!) continue to the next part of the assignment.