April 11, 2008

Knowledge management

¡°Knowledge management is about asking yourself: Who has done this before? Who can I collaborate with? Who needs to know this? Where can I post this so that someone can use it when they need it?¡± (David Wennergren DOD Dep CIO) Wikipedia defines Knowledge Management as: comprises a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning.

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Seems to me there is some value to ensuring we have a good knowledge management system in place. Where else can a better example be thought of where knowledge is key to success than right here in the IT world? We use internal and external knowledge to solve complex problems on a daily basis¡­that knowledge is typically organized and presented in a way that it can be found and utilized. Why should our entire Organization think of it any differently? Knowledge exists in every single corner of this organization and just imagine how valuable some of that information is¡­..

There have been lifetimes spent within this organization finding answers/solutions to resource management issues¡­..shouldn¡¯t this information be available for the new kid fresh out of College beginning his work for us? Imagine how much further ahead of the game he will be armed with the knowledge that took someone else 20 years to figure out. That, my friends, is of value!

Playing off of a current playing commercial ¡­..Information is critical¡­..having ready access to it in a format easily understood is¡­.Priceless! Information drives our world and some current, but certainly most future, employees will expect the tools to be in place to help them retrieve that information. Well, this is where I see IT fitting in once again¡­.we should be providing the tools for that information retrieval¡­or at least putting the requests in for those tools.


I believe we are making inroads into that arena. We currently have some of the tools in place to assist with a reasonable Knowledge Management system¡­.we have Sharepoint, we have the Intranet, and other tools. I believe there is a growing interest amongst current employees to use those tools to store some of the knowledge. We must continue to grow the technology to facilitate that maturing process. Some keys to that success include: IDF; a document management system (complete lifecycle management); I believe improved collaboration software will help (Exchange, Office `07, Sharepoint `07, IM, etc); and certainly an educated technical staff on the tools will only help improve the odds of success.

While we may still be in the infancy in fully understanding and implementing this concept, we are heading in the right direction. Keep thinking about ways we can present information that is of value to those we work with and those we serve (Conservation Supporters). We owe that to those who put in the effort to create the information as well as to those that will follow that will benefit from having it readily available.


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