Knowledge Capture

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Brief Description (including a definition if possible)

Before it can be organized and stored, knowledge needs to be captured: put in writing, recorded, transcribed, translated, collected, and so on.

To capture knowledge as insights occur, first make sure you have the tools you will need in your situation. These tools can vary from paper-based (pens, stickies, flipcharts etc.) to digital ones (webcams, cell phones etc.). The picture here shows some of the most common knowledge capture tools.
Once your "raw" knowledge is captured in one format or another, it can then be edited, summarized, translated, combined with other material, or reformatted.

History (if applicable)

When to use

How to use

For example, capturing the highlights of a group's face-to-face discussion on flip chart pages is good meeting practice. To share that material more widely, you might photograph each page after the meeting and post the images on your intranet, your project's website, or even on a public digital photo-sharing site like Flickr. Or the flip chart pages can be typed up, perhaps with annotations, and posted online or saved on hard disk. Audio and video files can be shared and posted online. If those files are big, a written transcript or summary may be important as well.
Once the knowledge object is in digital form, it can be manipulated in a variety of ways to make it useful for particular purposes.
If you save the original flip chart sheets, be sure to write the name of the meeting, date, and page number on the back of each page, too.

Tips and Lessons Learnt

Make sure your tools work: Check beforehand that your knowledge capturing tools work and you have all the necessary parts.
Be prepared for something to fail: Have backup options, batteries, extra cables and connectors, marking pens, tape, etc.
Know how to use them: Practice until it becomes second nature.
Ask others: Ask others to share their knowledge about how to select the tools and which ones they find most helpful. They probably have favorites to recommend. Work with a few people on small trial experiments.
Consider online technologies: Consider online technologies for collecting and capturing knowledge.

Examples & Stories

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Related Methods / Tools / Practices

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Source: IMARK module "Knowledge Sharing for Development"

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