A Guide to PC Memory

When it comes to improving the performance of your PC, purchasing additional RAM is despite the least expensive yet most effective route a person can take. While the solution appears simple, the dizzying array of memory available for purchase today can make the actual decision process problematic for all but the tech-savvy individuals. A very wide selection of differenting RAM types are available for purchase today, SDRAM, EDO, RDRAM, and DRAM to name a few. Knowing how to determine what RAM types are compatible with your current PC setup and what RAM choice will give you the greatest performance are key to making the correct decision.

The purpose of this guide is to give the reader a general understanding of what RAM is, what types of RAM exist, and how to decide what RAM would make the best purchase choice.

What is RAM?

The acronym RAM stands for Random Access Memory. RAM is where data is stored within your PC so that said data can be accessed by your PC's processor, or CPU. RAM should be considered as temporary memory within your PC, in order for RAM to maintain its data storage it must receive a continuous pulse of electricity. Any data that exists solely within a PC's RAM will be deleted when the PC is shut off or loses power.

PC's utilize several common technologies to store data internally on a more permanent level than RAM. These storage mediums include ROM – Read Only Memory, Hard Drives – which store data magnetically in a permanent – or depending on your usage – semi-permanent fashion, CDRWs, DVDRWs, Floppy Disks and Tapes. All of these data storage methods can be considered more reliable than RAM data storage, although none of them offer the speed of data access that RAM does.

RAM stores data that is essential for a PCs immediate operation and does so in an extremely fast and reliable way. RAM allows for a PC to operate at speeds that would be unachievable if it were replaced by more permanent data storage mediums. Think of RAM as a "fast lane" on an expressway. RAM allows for a function or application's most important data to have the fastest possible access to the processor. RAM exists as a "fast lane" for data that needs immediate attention by your PCs CPU. As such, the more RAM your PC has accesses to, the more "fast lanes" that are available for your PC's functions and applications to access your PC's CPU, the faster your PC will perform.

Types of RAM

SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM and RAMBUS are the three major types of RAM, or PC memory, in use today.

Modern RAM

Before the introduction of SDRAM, PC memory is operated asynchronously from a PC's Clock Speed. This asynchronous operation would create data bottlenecks within a PC itself and slow overall performance. Clock speed is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions; Every computer contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which data is processed and synchronizes a PC's individual components. As it stands to reason, the faster a PC's clock speed, the faster a PC's CPU can process data. Before RAM was synchronized to operate at the same speed as the rest of a PC's components, a PC's CPU would be would be forced into the occasional delay while waiting for the RAM to be available to accept data. In theory, as long as SDRAM operated at the same speed as the system clock, it would be available to the system on a regular and consistent basis – thus eliminating data bottlenecks. By regulating RAM and tying its performance to the system clock, memory manufacturers have been forced to increase memory performance to match PC clock speeds.

SDRAM:

SDRAM – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory – was the natural result of the PC industries search for better RAM and PC performance.

SDRAM is available 66, 100 and 133MHz speeds, known as PC66, PC100 and PC133 respectively. 66MHz RAM, in theory, would perform 66.6 million cycles per second and would be compatible with a 66MHz clock speed. Generally memory is considered to be backward compatible, so a pc with a clock speed of 100MHz could accept a memory module with a clock speed of 100MHz. The drawback being that the memory will only operate at the 100MHz speed.

SDRAM is no longer the memory of choice for modern PC's, however, due to the many PCs still on the market that utilize SDRAM, it is certain that memory manufacturers will continue to produce this memory for some time. SDRAM has been in the marketplace for some time and as such is widely available for purchase as a used yet guaranteed product. This used availability offers the buyer the opportunity to save a great deal of money on its purchase, yet sacrifice a bare minimum with regard to reliability as RAM has no moving parts and is generally very durable and long lasting.

DDR-SDRAM:

DDR and DDR2 – Double Data Rate SDRAM – was again a natural result of the PC Industries search for better RAM and PC Performance. DDR memory has been available since the late 1990's and is a great leap forward in RAM performance. Essentially, DDR RAM achieves its improved performance by transferring data to the processor twice, instead of once in the case of SDRAM, per clock cycle. Theoretically, a RAM module that refreshes the processor twice per clock cycle should equate to twice the performance offered by SDRAM. In reality DDR does not really offer twice the performance of SDRAM, however it is a signaling improvement over the older standard.

Types of DDR and DDR2 memory that are available include PC1600 – 200MHz, PC2200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC3500 – 400MHz, PC3500 – The first number represents the maximum memory bandwidth, in megabytes, that a RAM module can provide per second. The second number, MHz, is the clock speed that the module is compatible with. As with SDRAM, the memory is backward compatible, a PC2100 chip with a 266MHz clock speed with work with a PC with a clock speed of both 266MHz and 200MHz.

DDR and DDR2 memory are the current standard in the PC industry and will continue to be manufactured for some time. As with SDRAM, DDR and DDR2 types have been in the market for some time and are available as used or refurbished. Both used and refurbished DDR memory can offer substantial savings when purchased while giving the user similar reliability to new product.

RAMBUS:

RAMBUS – RDRAM – was developed by the RAMBUS Corporation and can be considered to be a proprietary version of RAM as only the RAMBUS company manufacturers it. RAMBUS is a high-performance version of RAM generally found in high-end business class PCs. Today very few manufacturers use the RAMBUS standard as DDR and DDR2 memory offers similar, and in some cases better performance. RAMBUS memory can be found in speeds of PC800, PC1066 and PC1200. Usually you can purchase RAMBUS PC800- () the () will contain a number that references the chips speed in nano-seconds, ie PC800-45.

Memory and Performance:

While adding more memory does not ensure faster performance, not enough memory will guarantee slow downs. Having plenty of memory installed on your PC helps to ensure that your PC operates at its peak speeds and efficiency. Adding memory almost always results in a performance boost, especially if you run larger applications or multiple applications simultaniously. It is important to note that if you triple your current installed memory you will not see a three-fold boost in performance. You will almost always see some gain in performance, but you will go a long way in eliminating slow downs.

It will always be my contention and a good rule of thumb that you can never have too much memory. Maxing out you configuration with memory will help to guarantee the peak performance of your PC.

How to Choose Memory:

Choosing memory is dependent on several factors. First is the consideration of compatibility. Whether you are building a new PC or simply adding memory to an existing system, it is of key importance that the memory you purchase is compatible with your motherboard. Most motherboards accept a specific standard of memory, SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 or RAMBUS. To determine what type of memory that your PC will accept, you can either consult your motherboards owners' manual, or, if this is not available, inspecting the motherboard for brand and model number will allow you to go online and determine the compatible memory type .

Generally a motherboard that accepts SDRAM will accept memory modules that have a higher rated speed in MHz than what is specified by the board's manufacturer. For example, if your current motherboard has a clock speed of 66MHz and accepts PC66 SDRAM, you can install either PC100 or PC133 RAM chips. The board will only utilize the memory at its maximum speed however, so a PC133 SDRAM module will only operate at 66MHz speed. It is important to determine what RAM speeds – MHz – that your board is compatible with before making a purchase.

You should also consult either you owners manual or online documentation to determine the maximum memory that your board will support and physically inspect the board to determine how many available memory slots there are. Usually you will want to use the largest and fastest RAM chips that your board will support and fill all available slots with matching memory speeds. For example, your board has three available slots and currently one is in use by a DDR PC2100 266MHz RAM module. You discover that your board will accept DDR RAM up to PC2700 333MHz speeds. If you were to fill the remaining to slots with PC2700 memory, your memory would only function at the speed of the slowest RAM module, in this case 266 MHz.

New vs. Used:

Due to the sheer amount of memory manufactured within the last years, you will find an abundance of used memory for sale. When it comes to getting the most for your money, it should be noted that purchasing used memory is a great way to save money while getting similar reliability and performance as compared to new. RAM has no moving parts to speak of and as such is highly durable and reliable.

Spend some time researching prices between new and used memory modules. If you can purchase used or refurbished modules from sellers who will offer warranties, you may be making a major mistake spending that extra money on new RAM.

A little research on your part can help you to not only ensure that you see the maximum performance out of your PC set up, but also go a long way toward saving you money both in the short and long term.

Copyright 2006 www.hcditrading.com , Brad Calli

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Business Analyst Finance Domain Sample Resume

This is just a sample Business Analyst resume for freshers as well as for experienced job seekers in Finance domain of business analyst or system analyst. While this is only a sample resume, please use this only for reference purpose, do not copy the same client names or job duties for your own purpose. Always make your own resume with genuine experience.

Name: Justin Megha

Ph no: XXXXXXX

your email here.

Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst

SUMMARY

  • Accomplished in Business Analysis, System Analysis, Quality Analysis and Project Management with extensive experience in business products, operations and Information Technology on the capital markets space specializing in Finance such as Trading, Fixed Income, Equities, Bonds, Derivatives(Swaps, Options, etc) and Mortgage with sound knowledge of broad range of financial instruments.
  • Over 11+ Years of proven track record as value-adding, delivery-loaded project hardened professional with hands-on expertise spanning in System Analysis, Architecting Financial applications, Data warehousing, Data Migrations, Data Processing, ERP applications, SOX Implementation and Process Compliance Projects.
  • Accomplishments in analysis of large-scale business systems, Project Charters, Business Requirement Documents, Business Overview Documents, Authoring Narrative Use Cases, Functional Specifications, and Technical Specifications, data warehousing, reporting and testing plans.
  • Expertise in creating UML based Modelling views like Activity/ Use Case/Data Flow/Business Flow /Navigational Flow/Wire Frame diagrams using Rational Products & MS Visio.
  • Proficient as long time liaison between business and technology with competence in Full Life Cycle of System (SLC) development with Waterfall, Agile, RUP methodology, IT Auditing and SOX Concepts as well as broad cross-functional experiences leveraging multiple frameworks.
  • Extensively worked with the On-site and Off-shore Quality Assurance Groups by assisting the QA team to perform Black Box /GUI testing/ Functionality /Regression /System /Unit/Stress /Performance/ UAT’s.
  • Facilitated change management across entire process from project conceptualization to testing through project delivery, Software Development & Implementation Management in diverse business & technical environments, with demonstrated leadership abilities.

EDUCATION

  • Post Graduate Diploma (in Business Administration), USA
  • Master’s Degree (in Computer Applications),
  • Bachelor’s Degree (in Commerce),

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Documentation Tools UML, MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Project), MS Visio, Erwin

SDLC Methodologies Waterfall, Iterative, Rational Unified Process (RUP), Spiral, Agile

Modeling Tools UML, MS Visio, Erwin, Power Designer, Metastrom Provision

Reporting Tools Business Objects X IR2, Crystal Reports, MS Office Suite

QA Tools Quality Center, Test Director, Win Runner, Load Runner, QTP, Rational Requisite Pro, Bugzilla, Clear Quest

Languages Java, VB, SQL, HTML, XML, UML, ASP, JSP

Databases & OS MS SQL Server, Oracle 10g, DB2, MS Access on Windows XP / 2000, Unix

Version Control Rational Clear Case, Visual Source Safe

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

SERVICE MASTER, Memphis, TN June 08 – Till Date

Senior Business Analyst

Terminix has approximately 800 customer service agents that reside in our branches in addition to approximately 150 agents in a centralized call center in Memphis, TN. Terminix customer service agents receive approximately 25 million calls from customers each year. Many of these customer’s questions are not answered or their problems are not resolved on the first call. Currently these agents use an AS/400 based custom developed system called Mission to answer customer inquiries into branches and the Customer Communication Center. Mission – Terminix’s operation system – provides functionality for sales, field service (routing & scheduling, work order management), accounts receivable, and payroll. This system is designed modularly and is difficult to navigate for customer service agents needing to assist the customer quickly and knowledgeably. The amount of effort and time needed to train a customer service representative using the Mission system is high. This combined with low agent and customer retention is costly.

Customer Service Console enables Customer Service Associates to provide consistent, enhanced service experience, support to the Customers across the Organization. CSC is aimed at providing easy navigation, easy learning process, reduced call time and first call resolution.

Responsibilities

  • Assisted in creating Project Plan, Road Map. Designed Requirements Planning and Management document.
  • Performed Enterprise Analysis and actively participated in buying Tool Licenses.
  • Identified subject-matter experts and drove the requirements gathering process through approval of the documents that convey their needs to management, developers, and quality assurance team.
  • Performed technical project consultation, initiation, collection and documentation of client business and functional requirements, solution alternatives, functional design, testing and implementation support.
  • Requirements Elicitation, Analysis, Communication, and Validation according to Six Sigma Standards.
  • Captured Business Process Flows and Reengineered Process to achieve maximum outputs.
  • Captured As-Is Process, designed TO-BE Process and performed Gap Analysis
  • Developed and updated functional use cases and conducted business process modeling (PROVISION) to explain business requirements to development and QA teams.
  • Created Business Requirements Documents, Functional and Software Requirements Specification Documents.
  • Performed Requirements Elicitation through Use Cases, one to one meetings, Affinity Exercises, SIPOC’s.
  • Gathered and documented Use Cases, Business Rules, created and maintained Requirements/Test Traceability Matrices.

Client: The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, Parsippany, NJ May’ 2007 – Oct’ 2007

Profile: Sr. Financial Business Analyst/ Systems Analyst.

Project Profile (1): D&B is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. The Point of Arrival Project and the Data Maintenance (DM) Project are the future applications of the company that the company would transit into, providing an effective method & efficient report generation system for D&B’s clients to be able purchase reports about companies they are trying to do business.

Project Profile (2): The overall purpose of this project was building a Self Awareness System(SAS) for the business community for buying SAS products and a Payment system was built for SAS. The system would provide certain combination of products (reports) for Self Monitoring report as a foundation for managing a company’s credit.

Responsibilities:

  • Conducted GAP Analysis and documented the current state and future state, after understanding the Vision from the Business Group and the Technology Group.
  • Conducted interviews with Process Owners, Administrators and Functional Heads to gather audit-related information and facilitated meetings to explain the impacts and effects of SOX compliance.
  • Played an active and lead role in gathering, analyzing and documenting the Business Requirements, the business rules and Technical Requirements from the Business Group and the Technological Group.
  • Co – Authored and prepared Graphical depictions of Narrative Use Cases, created UML Models such as Use Case Diagrams, Activity Diagrams and Flow Diagrams using MS Visio throughout the Agile methodology
  • Documented the Business Requirement Document to get a better understanding of client’s business processes of both the projects using the Agile methodology.
  • Facilitating JRP and JAD sessions, brain storming sessions with the Business Group and the Technology Group.
  • Documented the Requirement traceability matrix (RTM) and conducted UML Modelling such as creating Activity Diagrams, Flow Diagrams using MS Visio. Analysed test data to detect significant findings and recommended corrective measures
  • Co-Managed the Change Control process for the entire project as a whole by facilitating group meetings, one-on-one interview sessions and email correspondence with work stream owners to discuss the impact of Change Request on the project.
  • Worked with the Project Lead in setting realistic project expectations and in evaluating the impact of changes on the organization and plans accordingly and conducted project related presentations.
  • Co-oordinated with the off shore QA Team members to explain and develop the Test Plans, Test cases, Test and Evaluation strategy and methods for unit testing, functional testing and usability testing

Environment: Windows XP/2000, SOX, Sharepoint, SQL, MS Visio, Oracle, MS Office Suite, Mercury ITG, Mercury Quality Center, XML, XHTML, Java, J2EE.

GATEWAY COMPUTERS, Irvine, CA, Jan 06 – Mar 07

Business Analyst

At Gateway, a Leading Computer, Laptop and Accessory Manufacturer, was involved in two projects,

Order Capture Application: Objective of this Project is to Develop Various Mediums of Sales with a Centralized Catalog. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Mentored and trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards; Gateway reporting system: was developed with Business Objects running against Oracle data warehouse with Sales, Inventory, and HR Data Marts. This DW serves the different needs of Sales Personnel and Management. Involved in the development of it utilized Full Client reports and Web Intelligence to deliver analytics to the Contract Administration group and Pricing groups. Reporting data mart included Wholesaler Sales, Contract Sales and Rebates data.

Responsibilities:

  • Product Manager for Enterprise Level Order Entry Systems – Phone, B2B, Gateway.com and Cataloging System.
  • Modeled the Sales Order Entry process to eliminate bottleneck process steps using ERWIN.
  • Adhered and practiced RUP for implementing software development life cycle.
  • Gathered Requirements from different sources like Stakeholders, Documentation, Corporate Goals, Existing Systems, and Subject Matter Experts by conducting Workshops, Interviews, Use Cases, Prototypes, Reading Documents, Market Analysis, Observations
  • Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – which include UMLUse case diagrams, Scenarios, activity, work Flow diagrams and data mapping. Process and Data modeling with MS VISIO.
  • Worked with Technical Team to create Business Services (Web Services) that Application could leverage using SOA, to create System Architecture and CDM for common order platform.
  • Designed Payment Authorization (Credit Card, Net Terms, and Pay Pal) for the transaction/order entry systems.
  • Implemented A/B Testing, Customer Feedback Functionality to Gateway.com
  • Worked with the DW, ETL teams to create Order entry systems Business Objects reports. (Full Client, Web I)
  • Worked in a cross functional team of Business, Architects and Developers to implement new features.
  • Program Managed Enterprise Order Entry Systems – Development and Deployment Schedule.
  • Developed and maintained User Manuals, Application Documentation Manual, on Share Point tool.
  • Created Test Plansand Test Strategies to define the Objective and Approach of testing.
  • Used Quality Center to track and report system defects and bug fixes. Written modification requests for the bugs in the application and helped developers to track and resolve the problems.
  • Developed and Executed Manual, Automated Functional, GUI, Regression, UAT Test cases using QTP.
  • Gathered, documented and executed Requirements-based, Business process (workflow/user scenario), Data driven test cases for User Acceptance Testing.
  • Created Test Matrix, Used Quality Center for Test Management, track & report system defects and bug fixes.
  • Performed Load, stress Testing’s & Analyzed Performance, Response Times. Designed approach, developed visual scripts in order to test client & server side performance under various conditions to identify bottlenecks.
  • Created / developed SQL Queries (TOAD) with several parameters for Backend/DB testing
  • Conducted meetings for project status, issue identification, and parent task review, Progress Reporting.

AMC MORTGAGE SERVICES, CA, USA Oct 04 – Dec 05

Business Analyst

The primary objective of this project is to replace the existing Internal Facing Client / Server Applications with a Web enabled Application System, which can be used across all the Business Channels. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Demands understanding and testing of Data Warehouse and Data Marts, thorough knowledge of ETL and Reporting, Enhancement of the Legacy System covered all of the business requirements related to Valuations from maintaining the panel of appraisers to ordering, receiving, and reviewing the valuations.

Responsibilities:

  • Gathered Analyzed, Validated, and Managed and documented the stated Requirements. Interacted with users for verifying requirements, managing change control process, updating existing documentation.
  • Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – that include UML Use case diagrams, scenarios, activity diagrams and data mapping. Provided End User Consulting on Functionality and Business Process.
  • Acted as a client liaison to review priorities and manage the overall client queue. Provided consultation services to clients, technicians and internal departments on basic to intricate functions of the applications.
  • Identified business directions & objectives that may influence the required data and application architectures.
  • Defined, prioritized business requirements, Determine which business subject areas provide the most needed information; prioritize and sequence implementation projects accordingly.
  • Provide relevant test scenarios for the testing team. Work with test team to develop system integration test scripts and ensure the testing results correspond to the business expectations.
  • Used Test Director, QTP, Load Runner for Test management, Functional, GUI, Performance, Stress Testing
  • Perform Data Validation, Data Integration and Backend/DB testing using SQL Queries manually.
  • Created Test input requirements and prepared the test data for data driven testing.
  • Mentored, trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards. Set-up and Coordinate Onsite offshore teams, Conduct Knowledge Transfer sessions to the offshore team.

Lloyds Bank, UK Aug 03 – Sept 04

Business Analyst

Lloyds TSB is leader in Business, Personal and Corporate Banking. Noted financial provider for millions of customers with the financial resources to meet and manage their credit needs and to achieve their financial goals. The Project involves an applicant Information System, Loan Appraisal and Loan Sanction, Legal, Disbursements, Accounts, MIS and Report Modules of a Housing Finance System and Enhancements for their Internet Banking.

Responsibilities:

  • Translated stakeholder requirements into various documentation deliverables such as functional specifications, use cases, workflow / process diagrams, data flow / data model diagrams.
  • Produced functional specifications and led weekly meetings with developers and business units to discuss outstanding technical issues and deadlines that had to be met.
  • Coordinated project activities between clients and internal groups and information technology, including project portfolio management and project pipeline planning.
  • Provided functional expertise to developers during the technical design and construction phases of the project.
    • Documented and analyzed business workflows and processes. Present the studies to the client for approval
    • Participated in Universe development – planning, designing, Building, distribution, and maintenance phases.
    • Designed and developed Universes by defining Joins, Cardinalities between the tables.
      • Created UML use case, activity diagrams for the interaction between report analyst and the reporting systems.
      • Successfully implemented BPR and achieved improved Performance, Reduced Time and Cost.
      • Developed test plans and scripts; performed client testing for routine to complex processes to ensure proper system functioning.
      • Worked closely with UAT Testers and End Users during system validation, User Acceptance Testing to expose functionality/business logic problems that unit testing and system testing have missed out.
        • Participated in Integration, System, Regression, Performance, and UAT – Using TD, WR, Load Runner
        • Participated in defect review meetings with the team members. Worked closely with the project manager to record, track, prioritize and close bugs. Used CVS to maintain versions between various stages of SDLC.

Client: A.G. Edwards, St. Louis, MO May’ 2005 – Feb’ 2006

Profile: Sr. Business Analyst/System Analyst

Project Profile: A.G. Edwards is a full service Trading based brokerage firm in Internet-based futures, options and forex brokerage. This site allows Users (Financial Representative) to trade online. The main features of this site were: Users can open new account online to trade equitiies, bonds, derivatives and forex with the Trading system using DTCC’s applications as a Clearing House agent. The user will get real-time streaming quotes for the currency pairs they selected, their current position in the forex market, summary of work orders, payments and current money balances, P & L Accounts and available trading power, all continuously updating in real time via live quotes. The site also facilitates users to Place, Change and Cancel an Entry Order, Placing a Market Order, Place/Modify/Delete/Close a Stop Loss Limit on an Open Position.

Responsibilities:

  • Gathered Business requirements pertaining to Trading, equities and Fixed Incomes like bonds, converted the same into functional requirements by implementing the RUP methodology and authored the same in Business Requirement Document (BRD).
  • Designed and developed all Narrative Use Cases and conducted UML modeling like created Use Case Diagrams, Process Flow Diagrams and Activity Diagrams using MS Visio.
  • Implemented the entire Rational Unified Process (RUP) methodology of application development with its various workflows, artifacts and activities. Developed business process models in RUP to document existing and future business processes. Established a business Analysis methodology around the Rational Unified Process.
  • Analyzed user requirements, attended Change Request meetings to document changes and implemented procedures to test changes.
  • Assisted in developing project timelines/deliverables/strategies for effective project management.
  • Evaluated existing practices of storing and handling important financial data for compliance.
  • Involved in developing the test strategy and assisted in developed Test scenarios, test conditions and test cases
  • Partnered with the technical areas in the research, resolution of system and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

Environment: Windows XP/2000/NT, SOX, MS Office Suite, SQL, MS SQL Server, XML, HTML, Java, J2EE, JSP, Oracle, WinRunner, Test Director

Training For a Marathon – A Primer

Do you have aspirations for running a marathon? Even an Olympian runner would agree that training is the most crucial part of the game. While training for a marathon, it is important that you prepare properly. If you do not pay attention to proper training, you are doomed to fail. If you have already tried it and found it too challenging then sure you need to get with the program.

As is generally the rule, to get better at something, you need lots of practice and commitment. Brilliant people from all walks of life have just this one secret – practice. Training basically is a mixture of practice, expertise on part of the instructor and commitment on part of the trainee, all brought together to form a winning combination. In addition, trainees in many fields, especially sports, benefit from their natural skill and talent. The good news about running is that it does not require any special skills. One just needs to be able bodied and in good health and the rest can be left to the training regimen.

Training for a marathon requires you to constantly push your body to gain more in terms of stamina and endurance. This requires you to proceed in a consistent manner. Haphazard training will not only fail to give the desired results but will also be a source of discouragement because your body will deteriorate rather than improve. Let us discuss a few guidelines that can be helpful when training for a marathon:

Firstly, you must develop training routines that place minimal stress on your body. Running puts pressure on your joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nervous system. Some degree of slow steady running is necessary to develop the stamina required for marathons but it is imperative to not overdo it.

Secondly, you need to develop other areas of your body that will support your long distance runs. These organs are the heart, the lungs and the muscles. Healthy heart and lungs ensure adequate oxygen supply is maintained to your tissues, and developed red muscles (through aerobic exercise) Ensure that you do not tire easily.

Lastly, you need to read the signs of your body during training for a marathon. Do not torture your body. Gradually make your training harder and harder and take a day of rest and / or lighter training every now and then to allow your body to recover fully.

Knowledge Mapping

This module focuses on the basics of Knowledge Mapping, its importance, principles, and methodologies.

Key Questions

  • What is K-map?
  • What does the K-map show, and what do we map?
  • Why is K-mapping so important?
  • What are some of the key principles, methods, and questions for K-mapping?
  • How do we create K-map?

Background

Each of the past centuries has been dominated by single technology. The eighth century was the time of the great mechanical systems involving the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was the age of steam engine. After these, the key technology has been information gathering, processing and distribution. Among other developments, the installation of world wide telephone networks, the invention of radio and television, the birth and unpresented growth of the computer industry and the launching of communication satellites are significant. Now people started to think that only information is not enough, what matters is Knowledge. So there has been seen a shift from Information to Knowledge.

A bit of information without context and interpretation is data such as numbers, symbols.

Information is a set of data with context and interpretation. Information is the basis for knowledge.

Knowledge is a set of data and information, which which is added expert opinion and experience, to result in a valuable asset which can be used or applied to aid decision making. Knowledge may be explicit and / or tacit, individual and / or collective.

The term-Knowledge Mapping- seems to be relatively new, but it is not. We have been practicing this in our everyday life, just what we are not doing is – we are not documenting it, and we are not doing it in a systematic way. Knowledge Mapping is all about keeping a record of information and knowledge you need such as where you can get it from, who holds it, who expertise is it, and so on. Say, you need to find something at your home or in your room, you can find it in no time because you have almost all the information / knowledge about -what is where- and -who knows what- at your home. It is a sort of map set in your mind about your home. But, to set such a map about your organization and organizational knowledge in your mind is almost impossible. This is where K-map becomes handy and shows details of every bit of knowledge that exists within the organization including location, quality, and accessibility; And knowledge required to run the organization smoothly – since making you able to find out your required knowledge easily and efficiently.

Below are some of the definitions:

It's an ongoing quest within an organization (including its supply and customer chain) to help discover the location, ownership, value and use of knowledge artifacts, to learn the roles and expertise of people, to identify constants to the flow of knowledge, and to Highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.

Knowledge mapping is an important practice consulting of survey, audit, and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores personal and group competencies and proficiencies. It illustrates or "maps" how knowledge flows through an organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to appreciate how the loss of staff influences intellectual capital, to assist with the selection of teams, and to match technology to knowledge needs and processes.

– Denham Gray

Knowledge mapping is about making knowledge that is available within an organization transparent, and is about providing the insights into its quality.

– Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuel J. Driessen, Jan WM Jacobs

Knowledge mapping is a process by which organizations can identify and categorize knowledge assets within their organization – people, processes, content, and technology. It allows an organization to fully leverage the existing expert residency in the organization, as well as identify barriers and constraints to fulfilling strategic goals and objectives. It is constructing a roadmap to locate the information needed to make the best use of resourses, independent of source or form.

-W. Vestal, APQC, 2002

(American Productivity & Quality Center)

Knowledge Map describes what knowledge is used in a process, and how it flows around the process. It is the basis for determining knowledge commonality, or areas where similar knowledge is used across multiple process. Fundamentally, a process knowledge map cntains information about the organization? S knowledge. It describes who has what knowledge (tacit), where the knowledge resides (infrastructure), and how the knowledge is transferred or disseminated (social).

-IBM Global Services

How are the Knowledge Maps created?

Knowledge maps are created by transferring tacit and explicit knowledge into graphical formats that are easy to understand and interpret by the end users, who may be managers, experts, system developers, or anyone.

Basic steps in creating K-maps:

Basic steps – creating K-maps for specific task

  • The outcomes of the entire process, and their contributions to the key organizational activities
  • Logical sequences of all the activities needed to achieve the goal
  • Knowledge required for each activity {gives the knowledge gap}
  • Human resource required to undertake each activity {shows if recruitment is needed}

What do we map?

The followings are the objects we map:

  • Explicit knowledge
    • Subject
    • Purpose
    • Location
    • Format
    • Ownership
    • Users
    • Access right
  • Tacit knowledge
    • Expertise
    • Skill
    • Experience
    • Location
    • Accessibility
    • Contact address
    • Relationships / networks
  • Tacit organic process knowledge
    • The people with the internal processing knowledge
  • Explicit organizational process knowledge
    • Codified organizational process knowledge

What do the knowledge maps show?

Knowledge map shows the sources, flows, constitutions, and sinks of knowledge within an organization. It is a navigational aid to both explicit information and tacit knowledge, showing the importance and the relationships between knowledge stores and the dynamics. The following list will be more illustrative in this regard:

  • Available knowledge resources
  • Knowledge clusters and communities
  • Who uses what knowledge resources
  • The paths of knowledge exchange
  • The knowledge lifecycle
  • What we know we don? T know (knowledge gap)

Activity: 1

>> Can you create your personal knowledge map which shows the types and location of knowledge resources you use, the channels you use to access knowledge?

Where does knowledge tear?

Knowledge can be found in

  • Correspondents, internal documents
  • Library
  • Archives (past project documents, proposals)
  • Meetings
  • Best practices
  • Experience
  • Corporate memory

Activity: 2

>> What are the other places where you can find knowledge?

What are the other things to be mapped?

Benefits of K-mapping

In many organizations there is a lack of transparency of organization wide knowledge. Valuable knowledge is often not used because people do not know it exists, even if they know the knowledge exists, they may not know where. These issues lead to the knowledge mapping. Followings are some of the key reasons for doing the knowledge mapping:

  • To find key sources of knowledge creation
  • To encourage reuse and prevent reinvention
  • To find critical information quickly
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual and intangible assets
  • To improve decision making and problem solving by providing applicable information
  • To provide insights into corporate knowledge

The map also serves as the continuing evolving organizational memory, capturing and integrating the key knowledge of an organization. It enables employees learning through intuitive navigation and interpretation of the information in the map, and through the creation of new knowledge through the discovery of new relationships. Simply speaking, K-map gives employees not only -know what-, but also -know how-.

Key principles of Knowledge Mapping

  • Because of their power, scope, and impact, the creation of organizational-level knowledge map requires senior management support as well as careful planning
  • Share your knowledge about identifying, finding, and tracking knowledge in all forms
  • Recognize and locate knowledge in a wide variety of forms: tacit, explicit, formal, informal, codified, personalized, internal, external, and permanent
  • Knowledge is found in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context, and even with partners
  • It should be up-to-date and accurate

K-mapping – key questions

Knowledge map provides an assessment of existing and required knowledge and information in the following categories:

  • What knowledge is needed for work?
  • Who needs what?
  • Who has it?
  • Where does it benefit?
  • Is the knowledge tacit or explicit?
  • What issues does it address?
  • How to make sure that the K-mapping will be used in an organization?

Note:

  • K-maps should be easily accessible to all in the organization
  • It should be easy to understand, update and evolve
  • It should be regularly updated
  • It should be an ongoing process since knowledge landscapes are continuously shifting and evolving

Offline Readings:

  • K-mapping tools
  • K-mapping tool selection
  • Creating knowledge maps by exploiting dependent relationships
  • Creating knowledge structure map?
  • White pages
  • KM jargon and glossary

Online Resource: http: //www..voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki? KnowledgeMapping

K-mapping Tools:

  • MindMapping
  • Inspiration
  • IHMC (cmap.ihmc.us/) (need to have.NET Framework and JavaRunTime installed in your computer)

(Learn more about KM tool selection at http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmToolSelection )
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Categorised K-mapping

Social Network Mapping:

This shows networks of knowledge and patterns of interaction among members, groups, organizations, and other social entities who knows who, who goes to what for help and advice, where the information enters and leaves the groups or organization, which forums and communities of practice Are operational and generating new knowledge.

Competency Mapping:

With this kind of mapping, one can create a competency profile with skill, positions, and even career path of an individual. And, this can also be converted into the? Organizational yellow pages? Which enables employees to find needed expertise in people within the organization.

Process-based Knowledge Mapping:

This shows knowledge and sources of knowledge for internal as well as external organizational processes and procedures. This includes tacit knowledge (knowledge in people such as know-how, and experience) and explicit knowledge (codified knowledge such as that in document).

Conceptual Knowledge Mapping:

Also sometimes called -taxonomy-, it is a method of hierarchically organizing and classifying content. This involves in labeling pieces of knowledge and relationships between them. A concept can be defined as any unit of thought, any idea that forms in our mind [Gertner, 1978]. Often, nouns are used to refer to concepts [Roche, 2002]. Relations form a special class of concepts [Sowa, 1984]: they describe connections between other concepts. One of the most important relationships between concepts is the hierarchical relation (subsumption), in which one concept (superconcept) is more general than another concept (subconcept) like Natural Resource Management and Watershed Management. This mapping should be able to relate similar kind of projects and workshops conducting / connected by two different departments, making them more integrated.

Knowledge is power, broadly accessible, understandable, and shared knowledge is even more powerful!