Jul 012012

Knowledge Management in the Military Knowledge Management (KM) in the United States (US) Military has been implemented using a top down approach that is resonated through each branch, command, directorate, division, group, battalion, etc.

The US Military has established a culture of KM that leverages its personnel, processes, and systems to facilitate a consistent flow of knowledge and the mechanisms to execute and make decisions from this knowledge.

The current Military KM strategy

It is widely acknowledged that knowledge management (KM) strategy is a desired precursor to developing specific KM initiatives. KM Strategies are established from the top down in every branch of the US Military. As this strategy is propagated and aligned through the organization, it is often a difficult process due a variety of influences and constraints. These KM influences and constraints include understanding, conflicts with IT organizations, funding, technology usage and configuration, and outsourcing.

Each branch of the US Military works to overcome barriers to KM adoption. To this effort an establishment of processes and tools, which involves providing approaches and solutions for knowledge sharing has influenced a change in people’s habits. This change will drive values to move US Military organization culture father to overall KM adoption. In support of the US Military in its knowledge sharing efforts, Communities of Practice (CoP) have become an integral method of sharing and distributing knowledge across all branches of the military. In addition enterprise web search capabilities have been implemented to increase “findability” of key content, which is leverage for decision making at all levels of command.

Continuing KM Challenge of BRAC

The Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) specifically represents the challenge of capturing knowledge both tacit and explicit before it leaves a command from personnel shifts and loss due to a BRAC move. The US Military has already experienced this knowledge loss and unless steps are taken at least a year in advance of a BRAC move, this loss will continue.

The loss of knowledge has the potential to compromise mission activities and the soldier in theater. Leveraging the US Military’s ability to share knowledge through its established process and tools will help lessen the adverse impact of this knowledge loss. However, without process and tools to capture, catalog, and reuse knowledge, the US Military will be challenged to keep the various commands fully operational and effective long term for the solider in theater.

I am interested to hear from our men and women across the military, this includes active, inactive, reservists, as well as civilian personnel who have worked or are currently working with KM. I would like you to share your thoughts about how you are utilizing KM and/or if you feel KM is/will be a benefit for you!

May 012010

To continue the dialog about capturing tacit knowledge and managing human capital, Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) represents a significant challenge for the United States military to continue operations without compromising mission activities and the soldier in theater. Due to a BRAC move many Commands will be transferring to other locations, while some bases will be closing. Many military personnel will not transition as these bases close and commands move to the new locations. This will undoubtedly cause a loss of personnel resulting in a loss of tacit and explicit knowledge. Leveraging knowledge management (KM) to address this challenge is essential to keep the various commands  fully operational and effective for the solider in theater. The following table represents some contributing factors of a BRAC and it’s effect on the Command:

This challenge has to be addressed and I welcome your comments on this important subject.

Jul 312009

transitional workforceIn the U.S. we are faced with potentially devastating transitional workforce issues.

This situation is affecting organizations, both commercial and government, large and small. So what is the basis of the transitional workforce issues? We are speaking of the retiring and rotational personnel and the tacit and explicit knowledge that many organizations will lose when this personnel is no longer available.

In Knowledge Management (KM) one of the major challenges is finding methods to capture (and perhaps codify) this knowledge before it leaves the organization and make it available for others to access, leverage, and maintain.

Across the military BRAC (Base Closure and Realignment Commission) movements are fueling the transitional workforce issues within the Department of Defense (DoD). To capture this valuable knowledge from personnel not willing to move as their jobs transition I have utilized the Eclipse Process Framework Composer  to build a knowledge base centered around the role/position, task/activity being performed, and the work products being produced. Along with specific guidance (lessons learned, tips and techniques, guidelines, templates, workflows, etc.), this creates a repository that can be accessed and leveraged across the enterprise.

Although I have used the Eclipse Process Framework for military personnel transitions, it can be utilized anytime there is a potential loss of personnel knowledge within your organization. If transitional workforce issues are a concern for your organization I invite you to contact me for additional information about leveraging the Eclipse Process Framework Composer and other tools/methods for tacit and explicit knowledge capture.