The Idea Is the Unit of Knowledge: Why Sharply ...

Single Focused Idea

How big should a Knowledge Gap or Key Decision be?

In the early stages of product development, Knowledge Gaps are big and fuzzy, but we expect them to come into focus as the team learns more. It's easier to close these Knowledge Gaps if we break them down into smaller ones. That makes the knowledge we build more useful in the present and more reusable and extensible for future teams.

But how far do we break them down? In our experience, the idea is the unit of knowledge.

I wrote the first version of this Knowledge Brief all the way back in 2011, when we were first starting to grapple with the problem of how to manage Knowledge Gaps that were big and fuzzy, if part of the goal was to create reusable and extensible knowledge.

After a discussion I had at our workshop last week in Boston, I decided it was time to give this Knowledge Brief a fresh look.


Key Takeaways

  • The single, focused idea is the unit of knowledge.
  • It’s much easier to capture knowledge, reuse it and extend it if it is maintained in small pieces that are easier to write about, read about and experiment with.
  • Big, fuzzy Knowledge Gaps can be difficult to break down but it helps to start with some learning to establish some scope boundaries and understand the current state of the knowledge.


The Idea Is the Unit of Knowledge: Why Sharply Focused Key Decisions and Knowledge Gaps Build Extensible Knowledge




This Knowledge Brief may be freely distributed without modifications in its original PDF form, including all authorship, copyright and contact information. Other uses require our explicit permission.


posted Jul 5, 1:45 am (959 days ago)