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!

Dec 192011

Drinking the KM-Kool_AidMany organizations have begun to understand the value and promise Knowledge Management (KM) can bring to their workforce.

Delivering innovation through collaboration and sharing remains the cornerstones of KM; however, once your organization has established its KM strategy, and/or rolled out it’s initial KM offering (i.e., KM system, KM process, tools, etc.) what happens next?

What happens next is the adoption process.

Whether its a new process, procedure, or system; getting your workforce to leverage and use it in the course of executing activities and delivering on their task will be essential to your KM program’s success. In order to achieve this there must be processes and vehicles in place to allow, encourage, and reward staff members as they work within this new paradigm.

It will not be easy.

As with anything new, it will take some time for adoption to occur. To move this along there must be KM supporters, mentors, and/or evangelist at all levels of the corporate infrastructure to encourage the workforce to “drink the KM Kool-Aid”. In other words buy in and practice KM in all aspects of performing tasks and activities.

Developing an organizational culture of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and lifelong learning should be the goals of any KM program. Organizations such as Fluor Corporation have been successful in infusing KM within their culture. From human resource activities, to leveraging knowledge for strategic purposes to engaging with clients, Fluor remains an example of how KM can be leveraged effectively at an organization.

Drinking the “KM Kool-Aid” is a slow and deliberate activity grounded in a basic KM process of Connect–>Collect–>Catalog–>Reuse–>Learn and Innovate. When practiced effectively this process will be a cornerstone to enabling the adoption of KM throughout your organization.

I am very interested in hearing comments on this subject as well as examples of how your organization has or suggestions or will adopt KM.

Feb 012011

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about concerning knowledge management (KM)? What is knowledge management anyway?

At its core KM is about sharing and collaborating about what you know, capturing what you know, and reusing that knowledge so as to not reinvent the wheel and/or to combine with other ideas to foster innovation.

Recently I had the privilege to attend a KM meeting conducted by the APQC (APQC’s January 2011 KM Community Call), which had representatives from Conoco Phillips, Fluor, IBM, GE, and Schlumberger. What I came away from this meeting with is the need to have KM become part of an organization’s culture. I believe that this is important because we do not want KM to be “another task to complete on the checklist”, but the way we conduct business. This includes the business between the various individuals and entities within our corporations as well as with our customers. Talking, listening, capturing, and applying what we learn from each other is a constant never-ending and always evolving process.

I challenge all of us to take this attitude into our workplace and remember that when you share what you know you don’t lose that knowledge, but rather you enhance that knowledge with the other individuals you share it with. Take a minute to review the slides from the APQC Jan 2011 KM Community Call as well as this video from YouTube Discover What You Know.

Feel free to comment and share your knowledge!

Sep 282010
the need for diversityThe power that Knowledge Management (KM) brings to an organization is its ability to leverage the power of diversity. I am not speaking of just diversity of race, gender and/or religion, but diversity of thought.

Through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and knowledge reuse it is important to leverage different points of view, different experiences and different cultural backgrounds to stimulate diversity of thought. This diversity of thought leads to innovation. This innovation will enable organizations to deliver unique and or improved products and services to its customers as well as improve the way the organization does business.

Diversity of thought is encouraged and utilized today in the push by corporations to support Board Diversity in expanding the makeup of their corporate boards, through Affirmative Action programs to promote a diverse workforce and through a myriad of organizations that understand that diversity of thought will improve everything from our educational system, healthcare system, create new jobs, and improve how our politicians work together!

Communities of Practice (CoP) is a tool utilized within KM which provide environments where people can collaborate, catalog, and reuse knowledge centered around a certain topic, practice area, or profession, to name a few. This community will bring “like minded” people together regardless of their race, gender and/or religion to stimulate thought, exchange ideas and learn for each other. All focused on innovation, and improving performance. The need for diversity of thought will continue to be a catalyst for our culture to improve the way we live, work and play. I welcome everyone to share their stories where this diversity is happening, where it should be happening and where it has been successful or not!

Feb 262009

This will be my final entry (for now) concerning President Obama’s use of Knowledge Management. This post will focus on the Obama campaign and administration’s continued use of Knowledge Management in particular Knowledge Management (KM) Systems. KM Systems can come in various forms. Its use however is very specific. The KM System is put in place to facilitate knowledge sharing (tacit and explicit), collaboration, creating new knowledge through eLearning as well as Knowledge transfer activities that can be distributed across the organization. Barack’s team instituted a series of technologies under the web 2.0 umbrella. These technologies include: blogging, Ajax and other new technologies, Google Based and other free Web Services, social networking, mash-ups, wikis and other collaborative applications, dynamic as opposed to static site content, as well as interactive encyclopedias and dictionaries.

These technologies leveraged the Internet as its community or organization in which to distribute its message and create an environment of knowledge sharing (tacit and explicit), and collaboration. Obama’s KM strategy served as the catalyst for the new generation of Knowledge Management. Incorporating the use of blogs, YouTube, and other social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin) the Obama team was able to push out the latest news, information and knowledge about every aspect of the campaign and now many aspects of his administrations’ policies and initiatives.

In understanding the general view of the composition of a KM System you must consider that a Knowledge Management System (KMS) addresses the needs of an organization (in this case the Obama Team) that desires not to re-invent knowledge, spend excess time locating difficult to find knowledge, unsuccessfully absorbing and using the growing volumes of new knowledge, while seeking to collaborate and bring in new knowledge. However, one point must be stressed here is that knowledge management also combines cultural and process changes along with enabling technology to achieve bottom line results. It seems that President Obama will continue to leverage Knowledge Management and KM Systems through out his tenure as president.

I look forward to everyone’s response and comments!

Jan 012009

An important aspect of any knowledge management strategy is to establish an environment of continuous sharing, collaboration and knowledge reuse. During the democratic primary and the presidential campaign the Obama team leveraged email list gathered partly through their internet site and their push for campaign donations through the mail, including list harvested during Obama’s run for the United States Senate. The emails were leveraged (and are still being leveraged) to push out information and knowledge to supporters, solicit donations and to solicit additional email list of people that want to get involved, partly enticed by the possiblility of winning certain promotional items identified by the Obama email (see example – http://www.pic2009.org/page/invite/tickettohistory).

The Obama team would utilized these email list, determine where in the country these supporters live and dispatch teams to these locations to mobilize these and other supporters to get out the vote for Barack. This process was repeated (reused) all over the country. This created a “grass roots” effort to gain support and votes for Barack Obama. The emails served as a vehicle to build organic Communities of Practice (CoP) for Obama, to disseminate knowledge and build support for the Obama campaign and subsequent presidency. This strategy empowered supporters to hold their own functions (lunches, dinner parties, other special events) to showcase Barack Obama’s message and to talk about the issues.

Through targeted email marketing, development of communities as vehicles to share knowledge, and creating and executing a repeatable process, established a foundation to a knowledge management strategy that was able to expand. I will post more about this iterative expansion of the Obama Knowledge Management Strategy as we continue this dialog. I look forward to all thoughts and comments.

Happy New Year!

Dec 212008

Happy Holidays to All!

During the next several post I would like to examine the affect the Obama presidential campaign, cabinet selections and governing strategy is being shaped by the principles, practices, and technology of Knowledge Management (KM). I am referring to this as “The Obama Affect”. This is the first time in the history of American politics that someone has leverage KM in a political campaign and has ultimately changed how politicians will be elected. KM has many facets. Among its many facets KM includes knowledge acquisition, collaboration, knowledge transfer/sharing, and the technology and strategy to effectively leverage knowledge to shape decisions.

The Obama Team has instituted a push strategy executing a knowledge sharing policy that includes disseminating information about the the campaign, transition team, cabinet selections and future policies via , email, mobile devises, and Internet. As the Obama Team continues to add cabinet positions and shape their policy decisions the following links provide some insight into their strategy:




A good KM strategy Includes:

KM Vision
Valuation of Knowledge Assets (People, Process and Technology)
Conducting Knowledge Audit
KM Strategy Details
· Knowledge Acquisition Planning
· Knowledge Transfer Planning
· Knowledge Sharing/Collaboration Planning
· Knowledge Management System Planning

We will examine each aspect of the Obama KM Strategy and I welcome your comments and suggestions.