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Developing Knowledge Management Systems 111 Exhibit 15-2 (Continued) Industry Strategies: Developing Knowledge Management Systems Strategy Strategy Description facilitated. This is different from a department meeting where attendees perform different tasks but work in the same geographic location. 15.3 Workforce Practices. Four workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Developing Knowledge Management Systems" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified one workforce practice that was the most noteworthy within this context: Virginia DOT Knowledge Management Program For this practice, we conducted a case study. A summary of the case study is presented below. The full case study can be found on the TRB website at http://trb.org/Main/Blurbs/164747.aspx as part of Volume II: Supplemental Materials. The full case study description details each practice's background, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and transferability.
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112 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Virginia DOT Knowledge Management (KM) Program. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has a workforce of roughly 7,600 full-time employees with an average age of 48 years. VDOT established a Knowledge Management (KM) program in 2003. This KM program was in response Virginia DOT Knowledge Management (KM) to significant losses in critical, institutional Program knowledge during downsizing that occurred at the Job Type: All agency in the early 1990s, and concerns the Commissioner had regarding the larger percentage ROI: Mid- to Long-term of the workforce (nearly 30%) that were eligible for Generation: All retirement within the next 5 years. Key Program Highlights: o The most long-standing and well- The KM program comprises the library and the KM regarded knowledge management Office. The KM Office is responsible for the tacit program among DOTs knowledge and the library is responsible for explicit knowledge, which includes anything that has been o Costs approximately $700,000 a year to codified. The four primary areas within VDOT's run the program KM program are: o Helps agency better manage the sharing and documentation of institutional and Process mapping job knowledge within their organization Organizational network analysis and prevents the loss of key data as Lessons learned individuals leave the agency Communities of Practice Process mapping is used within the Communities of Practice. VDOT's KM program has developed a standard way of doing process mapping to assess the interactions between the different functional areas. The KM program started the process mapping by working with the maintenance, operations, and environmental areas and developing a standard process map that would result in process and procedure manuals and the knowledge mapping that is behind the processes. Organizational network analysis is one part of knowledge mapping. VDOT uses UCINet with an interface developed by the University of Virginia. This interface provides a 10- to 15-minute online survey using targeted questions (dependent on what is being examined). The survey gives management a visual map snapshot of what is happening in the organization so that management can identify where the jams are, who is isolated, what are some overloads, what people are linking other networks or are just a single go-to person, and critical knowledge risk areas. To reduce duplication of effort across the agency, the KM program began working with Communities of Practice to develop one- to two-page-long "lessons learned" documents. Each document succinctly states what the lesson is, gives the context for it, what the resources are that can be used, and the solution. Some of the lessons learned are positive and others refer to actions that did not go well. The "lessons learned" documents are dispersed across the agency via the Intranet and they help to identify new organization- wide processes. The Communities of Practice are ongoing small groups that work on building those knowledge networks, capturing tacit knowledge, and developing better processes. On a regular basis, the community of practice goes through and discovers if there are trends in processes or procedures that lend themselves to the development of a best practice to be mandated across the organization. Most of the implementation costs were associated with staff and travel. On the KM side, there are four full-time staff and one part-time employee, and on the library side, there are two full-time employees and one part-time employee. VDOT estimates it costs approximately $700,000 a year to run the program.
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Developing Knowledge Management Systems 113 While the KM program encourages each division or operating unit to take credit for all KM accomplishments, the KM program does collect return-on-investment (ROI) data that includes the conduct of a baseline assessment that determines how much time processes are currently taking and the cost of those processes and compares that to the costs avoided or minimized due to the KM actions. Several instances of cost savings, noted in the 2008 agency assessment, suggest the KM program has been overwhelmingly successful. Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Developing Knowledge Management Systems," we have included a list of other practices that transportation agencies have implemented for this purpose. Additional information on each of the following practices can be found in one- to two-page summaries within the supplemental materials. Environmental Competency Building Tapping Retirees to Bridge Skills Gap International Visitors Program The practice summaries include information, such as the lead organization, practice description, practice purpose, targeted participants, ROI timeline, influence of the economy, innovativeness, and resources to find out more information on the individual practices.