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Knowledge management and decision support for electric power utilities

Booth, Campbell (2009) Knowledge management and decision support for electric power utilities. In: Intelligent Information Systems and Knowledge Management for Energy. IGI Global, Hershey, pp. 97-122. ISBN 978-1-60566-737-9

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Abstract

This chapter will present an overview of the challenges presented to modern power utility companies and how many organizations are facing particularly pressing problems with regards to an ageing workforce and a general shortage of skills; a situation that is anticipated to worsen in the future. It is proposed that knowledge management (KM) and decision support (DS) may contribute to a solution to these challenges. The chapter describes the end-to-end processes associated with KM and DS in a power utility context and attempts to provide guidance on effective practices for each stage of the described processes. An overview of one particular power utility company that has embraced KM is presented, and it is proposed that the function of asset management within power utilities in particular may benefit from KM. The chapter focuses not only on KM techniques and implementation, but, equally, if not more importantly, on the various cultural and behavioural aspects that are critical to the success of any KM/DS initiative.