The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot

The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot: June 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Knowledge Management in the Military

Knowledge Management (KM) in the United States (US) Military has been implemented using a top down approach that is resonated through each branch, command, directorate, division, group, battalion, etc. The US Military has established a culture of KM that leverages its personnel, processes and systems to facilitate a consistent flow of knowledge and the mechanisms to execute and make decisions from this knowledge.
It is widely acknowledged that knowledge management (KM) strategy is a desired precursor to developing specific KM initiatives. The US Military has established KM Strategies from the top down in every branch. As this strategy is propagated and aligned through the organization it is often a difficult process due a variety of influences and constraints. These KM influences and constraints include understanding, conflicts with IT organizations, funding, technology usage and configuration, and outsourcing.

Each US Military branch works to overcome barriers to KM adoption. To this effort an establishment of processes and tools, which involves providing approaches and solutions for knowledge sharing has influenced a change in people’s habits. This change will drive values to move US Military organization culture father to overall KM adoption. In support of the US Military in its knowledge sharing efforts, Communities of Practice (CoP) have become an integral method of sharing and distributing knowledge across all branches of the military. In addition enterprise web search capabilities have been implemented to increase “findability” of key content, which is leverage for decision making at all levels of command.

Continuing KM Challenge of BRAC
The US Military has a KM challenge involving Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC). The BRAC specifically represents the challenge of capturing knowledge both tacit and explicit before it leaves a command from personnel shifts and loss due to a BRAC move. The US Military has already experienced this knowledge loss and unless steps are taken at least a year in advance of a BRAC move, this loss will continue to happen. The loss of knowledge has the potential to compromise mission activities and the soldier in theater. Leveraging the US Military’s ability to share knowledge through its established process and tools will help lessen the adverse impact of this knowledge loss. However, without process and tools to capture, catalog, and reuse knowledge, the US Military will be challenged to keep the various commands fully operational and effective long term for the solider in theater.
I am interested to hear from our men and women across the military, this includes active, inactive, reservist as well as civilian personnel who have worked or are currently working with KM. I would like you to share your thoughts about how you are utilizing KM and/or if you feel KM is/will be a benefit for you!

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Friday, June 1, 2012

The Case for Developing an Enterprise Information Architecture

If your organiation has the need to find pertinent content quickly, not return 1000's or 100's of rows of information during a search, leverage content to assist in making decisions and/or use content to guide customers, then your organization has a need for an Enterprise information Architecture!

Below is a brief description of the Enterprise Information Architecture document that is the primary mechanism to communicate the purpose, scope and organization of information within the enterprise:

Brief Description
The Enterprise Information Architecture is a business driven process that details the enterprise's information strategies, its extended information value chain, and the impact on technical architecture.


The purpose of the Information Architecture document is to clearly capture the decisions concerning the data and their relationships that support the information infrastructure knowledge and content within the enterprise.


The information architecture represents the organization of information/content which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Images, etc., to maximize the information’s usability, manageability and improve search capabilities. This document is a living document that will be modified to detail the decisions made during the content delivery process (audit, migration, creation, metadata tagging). This document presents a detailed Enterprise Information Model that describes the relationships of information, information sources, and is a key to metadata identification and repository site structure creation and taxonomy. This document will also include details concerning information business rules, records management, controlled vocabulary (glossary), information security and information governance.

The information model will:
  • Support the metadata that will be used to characterize the content
  • Support organization/taxonomy of content in knowledge repositories and document libraries
  • Support templates to use for creating content
  • Serves as the information structure enabling search and “findability”
  • Support how tools such as SharePoint, eGain, and is organized into a hierarchy of landing pages, site collections and sub-sites
  • Support how the hierarchy is exposed in the site’s navigation features
  • Contributes to enterprise search engine optimization (SEO)
If your organization is considering implementing or has implemented an enterprise information architecture and/or enterprise information model I would like for you to share your experiences. Also, join me at the KM World Taxonomy Boot Camp in October in Washington DC later this year!

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