Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 39

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 38
39 the same directorate, and are on the same level, which gives organizations, including FHWA, VDOT, the World Bank, her a good partnership. The VDOT KM program has in its APQC, and others. They also studied their own organization staff a variety of professional skills, all of which are utilized and found pockets of KM activity; therefore, it was not new, to pull the program together. She believes that she is at a suf- but the class perceived the need for KM to be more formal- ficient organizational level to gain entry to decision makers ized and focused. and implement her programs. The class developed a strategic plan and a phased imple- Although the CEO who initiated the KM Office has left, mentation guide, both of which have also been approved. the program has been sustained under a new administration. After 2.5 years of operation (as of May 2006), it enjoys the Phase 1 includes a KM pilot project lead by the class to support of senior leadership. As yet, KM practices are not support and enhance KM efforts already underway, part of the formal VDOT employee performance evaluation; measure the results, and apply best practices and however, she reported that there is not a problem with hoard- lessons learned to the roadmap. ing or a lack of cooperation. They do have recognition awards, Phase 2 sees the agency starting to build a KM infra- and outstanding performance does win praise from the structure, incorporating KM into its business plan, and commissioners. initiating additional pilots. Phase 3 includes conducting audits, incorporating KM In the near-term, she hopes to focus more on the promis- needs into the IT strategic plan, continuing to build the ing practice of social network analysis. It offers a snapshot in KM structure, and deciding whether to commit to a time and she hopes to get it firmly established. She wants to comprehensive KM implementation and knowledge know: Who is isolated? Who needs help getting integrated? sharing culture. She wants more COPs to spin off and function well on their own, with help from her office. She herself is very aware of The strategic planning document discussed the signifi- what is going on in the organization--she remarked that the cance of KM on work force planning. KM efforts will need office functions as "KM Hub Central." At present, they are to complement performance excellence initiatives, summa- revamping the new-hire orientation process to incorporate rized as having a culture of knowledge sharing to achieve KM processes. She remarked that Virginia is the third largest performance excellence. One of the goals is to retain knowl- DOT, in terms of miles of roads, surpassed only by Texas and edge when people leave and provide a continuity that facili- California. If Virginia can use KM effectively, she believes tates transfer of knowledge to replacement employees. that smaller states can as well. She reported that the existing networks among employees broke down in the 1990s, owing Currently, the class is working on a pilot project with a to budget cuts reducing travel, and communication technolo- particular group that has been meeting for a while to convert gies were implemented. Therefore, employees did not know it into a formal COP. The goal is to maximize the transfer and their counterparts. Now the value of face-to-face contact is retention of information. The class is also working with IT to develop a common support platform for KM efforts. Fund- recognized, and more travel money is available as the COPs ing is not assured at this time. The issue is scalability; the become more effective. They had to demonstrate real value. class would like a framework that will work as KM efforts The challenges include not enough staff to support all the are expanded. needs and the need to get the COPs to be self-sufficient. They are training participants in the various techniques and The class is also involved with discussions of staffing and technologies and spinning them off as they become strong where the KM effort should be housed, department-wise, on enough to function on their own. a permanent basis. What skills are needed? Are these skills currently available within the agency? Mr. Withee reported MARYLAND STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION that some senior managers want to jump-start the process, because of the high number of retirements within their Jeffrey N. Withee, Soils Aggregate Technology Chief, Office departments. There is pressure for rapid implementation; of Materials and Technology, was interviewed on May 16, receptiveness is high. The class will start with the quick wins 2006. The Maryland State Highway Administration was and easy successes to achieve buy in. Mr. Withee speculated selected because its KM program is in the start-up phase. that there might be a challenge for front-line supervisors to Mr. Withee reported that he is a participant in a two-year mid-level managers, because people may be taken out of pro- class sponsored by the Maryland State Highway Adminis- duction to focus on KM tasks. Because these departments are tration in advanced leadership planning and development. now losing staff, they are at a "pinch-point," and already The class of seven was required to do a project together that have to outsource. It is difficult to endure short-term pain for would benefit the entire agency. They decided to investigate long-term gain. KM as a potential business process for the agency. With retirements looming the need was perceived by the adminis- The class is currently assembling the overall framework. It tration, which approved the project. The class surveyed other is considering job descriptions and assignments. The class