Knowledge Management in Public Administration: Strategies and Tools

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1 Knowledge Management in Public Administration: Strategies and Tools Niall Sinclair Director, KM Initiatives, Institute for Knowledge and Innovation, Bangkok, Thailand March 26 th 2010

2 Knowledge Matters The rise of the knowledge economy means. New organizational priorities are being established New organizational skills are being called for New organizational ways of working are being looked at There is a transition to E-Government going on Knowledge Management (KM) has a key role to play: A recent study by the Institute for Intellectual Capital Research found that effective management of intellectual capital (i.e. KM) yields higher business performance >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 2

3 Knowledge Matters However, the Polish Government has three key strategic resources it can leverage to help manage this new reality: TECHNOLOGY the foundation upon which good business practices can be built INFORMATION the element which enables individuals and organizations to address their day-to-day business challenges KNOWLEDGE the key asset which grows in value as it is used and shared, and which enables individuals, communities and organizations to make better decisions together Organizations now understand that knowledge is the pay-off for the investment in the first two elements >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 3

4 Knowledge Matters So, what is the difference between information management and knowledge management? IM deals with the storage, organization and availability (access to) of information i.e. its management KM deals with the transformation of information into useful knowledge which can be used and shared to improve individual and organizational effectiveness Both IM and KM are part of a business continuum: DATA INFORMATION KNOWLEDGE DECISIONS >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 4

5 Knowledge Matters Lesson Learned Don t get hung-up over definitions of what IM and KM are, but rather see information and knowledge as separate but equally important corporate assets which need to be managed Additionally, IM and KM share common attributes, including that they deal with assets which have a similar life-cycle (find-collect manage sharedispose), and which can be understood and managed in a similar way at the strategic level >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 5

6 Knowledge Matters Implementing KM in the Polish Government There are two separate dimensions to consider: 1. The government level challenge Government KM 2. The departmental level challenge Corporate KM Community KM Personal KM >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 6

7 Knowledge Matters Government KM focus is on: Improving services (usually on-line) i.e. improving processes which will help to improve a service Meeting citizen expectation levels for the sharing of government knowledge Helping to maintain/improve citizen satisfaction Risk aversion avoiding legal (and financial) ramifications from poor performance 1) The initial goal is to improve service excellence 2) The ultimate goal is to transition the business of government online >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 7

8 Knowledge Matters Departmental KM focus is on The managing of knowledge as a business resource The sharing and re-use of corporate knowledge to improve effectiveness and decision-making The building of knowledge components into the planning and development of services The capturing and building of organizational memory 1) The initial goal is to leverage investment 2) The ultimate goal is to transition the business >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 8

9 Knowledge Matters What needs to be in place to implement KM? Governance Accountability A communications strategy A support infrastructure Readiness to transition A large dose of realism >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 9

10 Knowledge Matters Given that context for KM initiatives in government, let us now have a look at some public sector KM implementations from around the world >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 10

11 Case Study #1 Government of Canada 1. Information and Knowledge Sharing Technology RDIMS (Records and Document IM System) Government endorsed technology platform (TIMS) Supported by GoC s central IT department (PWGSC) Implemented <100 users, by ,000 PWGSC paid for GoC wide licence upfront, departmental licence cost based on take-up number Acts as an information and knowledge repository Some Issues: Technology compatibility - Change fatigue - Training and maintenance overheads >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 11

12 Case Study #1 Government of Canada 1. Information and Knowledge Sharing Technology RDIMS (Records and Document IM System) Real issue is enforcing the discipline of recording information into a repository i.e. its really about a change in business practices, not in use of a new technology automation can help with this Benefits Improved Access to information (ATI requests etc.) becomes a departmental information and knowledge directory (who does what, who knows what, search and retrieve capability enabled for everyone) >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 12

13 Case Study #1 Government of Canada 2. All-of-government directory technology GEDS (Government Expertise Directory System) Centrally maintained (PWGSC) Every public servant s information (title, work unit, departmental reporting structure, contact details etc.) is entered when they join the government Benefits Everyone (internally and externally) can find anyone by name search, as well as see their organizational reporting structure >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 13

14 Case Study #1 Government of Canada 3. IM and KM community Forums The IM Forum, 60+ Departments/Agencies attend Director-level - acts as oversight committee for GoC IM development as well as recommendation body for senior management committees (for approval and implementation), plus working groups looking at real-world issues and solutions Benefits Everyone in the loop sharing of best practices, lessons learned and what works, community decisions can be made on behalf of the GoC e.g. New IM policy (MGIH), 2 GoC IM standards >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 14

15 Case Study #1 Government of Canada 3. IM and KM community Forums The KM Forum Departments and Agencies attend Practitioner-level therefore acts as community of interest, but doesn t make high-level decisions or report to senior management Benefits KM practitioners have a forum where they can share knowledge, and discuss best practices, lessons learned and what works >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 15

16 Case Study #2 Government Level KM The U.K s KM National Project. Was established by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in partnership with the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and launched in 2004 as a local E-Gov national project The IDeA was created by and for local government in England and Wales, and is independent of central government and regulatory bodies The project s vision to achieve a consistent KM system in place across all local authorities IDeA s KM website: >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 16

17 Case Study #2 Government Level KM The U.K s KM National Project. Focused on 7 work streams, each one developed with a local authority partner: 1. A KM Roadmap Organizational readiness for KM 2. Information asset register and single information database information repositories to support KM 3. CPA (Comprehensive Performance Assessment) improvement 4. Customer facing programme 5. Capturing tacit knowledge 6. Strengthening communities in rural areas 7. Community engagement with policy development Each stream produced a toolkit (templates, best practices etc.) >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 17

18 Case Study #2 Government Level KM The U.K s KM National Project. Stream #7 - Community engagement with policy development (Newcastle and Leeds City Councils) Aim to carry out an exploration of the role of KM in the development of public policy Focus on (1) finding ways in which stakeholders can be more involved in developing policy (2) developing methods of accessing the knowledge that exists within the community to improve the relevance of policies (3) sustaining community engagement through proactive methods Outputs a generic model (including technology recommendations) for knowledge based policy development >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 18

19 Case Study #2 Government Level KM KEY PROJECT ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER A MANDATE FROM THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT A FOCUS ON PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL, WHERE THERE IS LESS DIVERSITY OF PORTFOLIO A LEVERAGING OF AN E-GOVERNMENT OPPORTUNITY FOR KM PURPOSES A DECENTRALIZED APPROACH TO DEPLOYMENT THROUGH THE PROVISION OF TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO USE IN THEIR OWN WAY >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 19

20 Case Study #3 Departmental Level KM The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). ABS goal was to create on-going excellence in the management of the Bureau s knowledge assets ABS focused on 2 complementary organizational elements -Technology and Culture Technology the common use of desktop tools which encourage the collection, sharing and on-going management of knowledge objects All work (and work outcomes) is categorized as either Corporate, Workgroup or Personal, and employees are encouraged to work in the first two areas >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 20

21 Case Study #3 Departmental Level KM The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Culture - ABS promotes a collaborative and noncompetitive approach to work, and makes extensive use of multi-disciplined teams, with the emphasis on adopting corporate approaches ABS has developed a set of specific organizational information behaviours aimed at fostering a sharing mindset. These behaviours are introduced at initial orientation and include: reusing and building on existing knowledge increasing information location skills facilitating access to workgroup knowledge - promoting the benefits of information sharing >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 21

22 Case Study #3 Departmental Level KM KEY PROJECT ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER PREPARING THE CULTURE OF THE WORKFORCE FIRST BEFORE EXPECTING THEM TO USE A TECHNOLOGY A FOCUS ON ESTABLISHING A SHARED VISION AND UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THE ORGANIZATION SHOULD/WILL OPERATE A FOCUS ON EARLY ADOPTION i.e. PREPARE PEOPLE FROM DAY ONE A PLAN FOR THE LONG-TERM, RATHER THAN A QUICK FIX SOLUTION >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 22

23 Case Study #4 Community Level KM The Federal Aviation Administration, Washington FAAS challenge was how to make their business processes more efficient FAA s first focus was on a technology solution the IT group installed collaborative software - No-one used it! Next the FAA consulted some business owners and selected a new technology and installed it still the take-up was limited! Finally, two employees decided that technology without a business framework for it to be applied to wouldn t work - so they built their own solution! >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 23

24 Case Study #4 Community Level KM The Federal Aviation Administration, Washington The Solution Is called the KSN (Knowledge Sharing Network) and is a collaborative platform based around a technology which is deployed and administered at the group level KSN Administration A core group of KM specialists train each new group and act as facilitators to help that group implement the technology, as well as a number of corporate guidelines (roles, responsibilities etc,) and practices which they commit to work by KSN usage it started as a single work group, now there are over 20,000 users (including senior managers) >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 24

25 Case Study #4 Community Level KM KEY PROJECT ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER BUILD IT AND THEY MIGHT NOT/WON T COME DE-CENTRALIZED SOLUTIONS ARE SOMETIMES THE BEST ONES, BUT ONLY THE STAKEHOLDERS CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO PREDICT WHAT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL OR NOT, SO KEEP AN OPEN MIND DON T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE, ITS OFTEN THE QUICKEST WAY TO FIND SUCCESS >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 25

26 Knowledge Matters Finally, the challenge for Polish Government managers In the last Century "The most important, and indeed the truly unique, contribution of management in the 20th century was the fifty fold increase in the productivity of the manual worker in manufacturing In this century The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21 st century is similarly to increase the productivity of knowledge work and the knowledge worker. Peter Drucker >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 26

27 Knowledge Matters THANK YOU >> NTERPRISE CONSULTING KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION 27

28 For More Information. Niall Sinclair, Managing Partner Nterprise Consulting Inc. TITLE - Stealth KM: Winning KM Strategies for the Public Sector AUTHOR Niall Sinclair PUBLISHERS Elsevier (Butterworth-Heinemann) 2006 ISBN x Available at books.elsevier.com amazon.com barnesandnoble.com etc.

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