A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures   © SCUP 2003
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Terms & Concepts



Chapter 5

Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures

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Terms & Concepts

Process Reinvention: Using technology to reinvent business processes. Process reinvention is the heart of e-business—using technology to change the way organizations conduct their business. It changes the dynamics of organizations and their relationships with customers and stakeholders.

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): Integration of disparate systems, typically using a “bus” architecture, where every system plugs into a common infrastructure and the bus handles the transactions for the systems. Today’s EAI solutions are typically proprietary and are characterized by a high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and long timeframes.

Enterprise Applications Infrastructures and Solutions (EAIS): Tomorrow’s technology-based “applications array” will consist of fully integrated combinations of Web site and portal, legacy systems, next generation ERP, CRM, Web services, learning management systems, content management systems and other specialty applications.

Return on Investment (ROI): ROI is the measure of the hard tangible benefits from technology initiatives, compared to the investment needed to produce them.

Value on Investment (VOI): VOI is the measure of the value of “soft” or “intangible” benefits derived from technology initiatives, compared to the investment needed to produce them. ROI is a subset of VOI.

WINWINI: The new metaphor for the user’s experience — “What I Need, When I Need It.” The EAIS will provide the next killer app — a ubiquitous system for students, faculty and support staff to carry out learning, instruction, and research.


Communities of Practice: Formal or informal groups linked by a common domain of practice and sometimes shared interests, which interact to advance and share explicit and tacit knowledge. When self-organized they can also be described as networks.

Knowledge Ecology: The combination of processes, culture, and capabilities, both internal and external, through which enterprises handle knowledge.
Also knowledge ecosystem.

Changing Enterprise Dynamics: Organizational dynamics are changed by productivity enhancements, increased collaboration, and innovation. Changing what is done and how it is done by enterprises of all kinds is the key to changing the knowledge ecology.

Domain of Issues: The topical scope of a community of practice.

Shared Practice: The knowledge developed, shared and stewarded by a community of practice.

Double-Knit Structure: The weaving together of communities of practice and process teams.

Operational/Process Teams: A group with membership assigned by management, each member having clear boundaries of responsibility. The group is driven by project goals and milestones.


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  A culture truly changes only when a new way of operating has been shown to succeed over some minimum period of time. Trying to shift the norms and values before you have created the new way of operating does not work. The vision can talk of a new culture. You can create new behaviors that reflect a desired culture. But these new behaviors will not become norms, will not take hold, until the very end of the process.

John P. Kotter and
Dan S. Cohen