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30 CHAPTER SEVEN SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS REGARDING SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: QUESTIONS 2032 WHAT METHODS ARE USED TO tools from the questionnaire that are specifically designed to CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE? facilitate the documentation process. For example, a limited number of STAs selected web-building tools; templates, Question 20 asked what methods are used to capture knowl- outlines, or content guidelines; or content management edge. It probed into the techniques used to make individ- applications. This suggests a somewhat weak intentional- ual knowledge available to the organization, whether in ity or purposefulness in the capturing process concerning explicit or tacit form. Table G1 in Appendix G gives spe- documentation. cific detail for each of the 20 STAs that responded, and Table G2 documents the comments. Results are summa- Note that in the comments given by responders, in rized by frequency of type of practice in Table 2. The most response to the choice of "Other" on the questionnaire, there frequently used practices tend to cluster around documen- were a few more tools cited, including: tation practices. Practices more closely aligned with HR approaches or ways to share tacit knowledge are not as · Video conferencing common, with the exception of "enhanced communication · Intranet portals practices," which really are an assortment of long-used · Electronic records management system approaches. Approaches involving HR or sophisticated · Electronic document management system database or Internet information technologies, many of · Web-based software for writing/developing manuals which are documented in our literature survey, are less · Microsoft Word software templates for manual writing commonly used. · Internet conferencing/meeting software. STAs added a few methods of their own in their comments: ARE PRACTICES FOR STORING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT RESOURCES IN PLACE? · Training and orientation programs · Electronic document management system When knowledge goes through the cycle from the "in peo- · Internal quarterly publication distributed to all employees ple's heads" stage to explicit forms that can be reused and · Internal conferences on specific topics held yearly applied to new work, the explicit resources must be stored. around the state Question 23 attempted to discover whether there are clear · Extensive training catalog strategies for that part of the KM process and whether rank- · Incorporating "war stories" into instruction materials. and-file employees understand them. There was special inter- est in whether processes prevail across a range of media WHAT TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE FOR types and formats. Table G5 in Appendix G documents spe- KNOWLEDGE CAPTURING? cific responses by individual STAs and Table G6 contains a few comments. Question 21 asked what tools were available for knowledge capturing. This question was a somewhat redundant follow- As summarized in Figure 9, it would appear that processes up to Question 20. Using the two closely related questions, are well-defined for critical resources such as legal and finan- the attempt was made to harvest as many details about spe- cial documents. That corresponds with the overall finding cific tools, techniques, and methods as possible. Table G3 in that STAs have active records management programs. Most Appendix G lists the responses for each STA and Table G4 of these types of documents have well-defined legal require- gives a few comments. Table 3 summarizes the responses ments to retention and are retained in hardcopy, often off- sorted by frequency of selection. Results show that office site. For explicit resources in the general sense, the data do technologies and specialized work process types of software not show a clear strategy except in a few cases. Also, as one are relatively common. can see from the data in Table G5 (see Appendix G), most STAs selected more than one option. That would indicate Note that although Table 2 shows documentation practices that for some types of documents, or for some departments, as the most frequently used method, a few STAs selected or perhaps for conscientious work units, there is a process
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TABLE 2 WHAT METHODS ARE USED TO CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE? No. of STAs Specific Practices Utilizing Capturing is essentially achieved as a work by-product, part of the normal routine of project and 18 program work such as project plans, program proposals, write-ups of roundtable sessions, project reports, etc. Close-out reports or final project reports 16 Management expects staff to document experiences and lessons learned and make these accessible 14 to the rest of the organization More experienced staff members are given knowledge-capturing assignments, such as 14 documenting important procedures or writing standards and specifications Enhanced communication practices (e.g., up-to-date e-mail system, internal listservs or electronic 14 bulletin boards, effective meeting management, ad hoc discussions, team rooms, or verbal sharing of expertise among employees is encouraged, etc.) Post-project reviews (also known as after-action reviews or post-mortems) 12 Staff specially trained as meeting facilitators 9 Communities of practice and expertise groups 8 Oral interviews 8 We have explicit strategies for knowledge development and capture 7 Employees spend time and effort to contribute to the organizations í store of knowled ge in an 6 ongoing and structured manner Best practices database 5 Staff expertise database 5 Lessons learned database 4 Knowledge development teams (specifically formed to develop new knowledge assets for the 4 organization) Oral histories (more formal than "interview," perhaps facilitated by trained historian) 3 Other 3 Knowledge fairs 2 Formal storytelling 0 TABLE 3 WHAT TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE FOR CAPTURING INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY RESOURCES? No. of DOTs Knowledge Management Tools Utilizing Reasonably up-to-date personal computer systems and business/office software 20 Meeting rooms well equipped for group interactions (low-tech whiteboards, markers, 19 tablets, etc., or high-tech web access, computer projection, video communication center, etc.) Specialized software tools such as geo-mapping, computer-aided design, statistical analysis, 19 flowcharting, resource utilization, process control and analysis, business process analysis, voice-to-text software, etc. Intranet portals that provide an interface to the organization's knowledge resources 17 Phone systems equipped for conference calling 17 Project management software with capability to capture important project documents 15 Databases that are reasonably easy to maintain and search 13 Web building tools for shared or team websites (such as may be used by communities of 13 practice, cross-functional teams, internalexternal teams, etc.) Templates, outlines, or other specific content/format guidelines to provide guidance on 12 what to include and how to go about writing Content-management or text-base-type software specifically targeted to document/text 8 management applications Other 6 Meeting management software 5 Wiki or blog software 0