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Managing the Risk of Knowledge Loss
                Due to Workforce Att iti
                D t W kf          Attrition
                Retaining and Leveraging the Critical and Relevant
                    Knowledge of the Government Workforce


                                    SIKM
                                16 June 2009




Bill Kaplan
Chief Knowledge Officer
Acquisition Solutions
Creating a Common Understanding About
                Knowledge




Data                             Information                           Knowledge

                                 “United flight 0010                   “That flight is always
                                  leaves LaGuardia at 1345
                                  l      L G     di t                  delayed and often
                                                                       d l    d d ft
“1345UA0010 32A”                  from gate 32A                        cancelled”


            Relationships and trust are required for knowledge transfer and re-use
One View of Knowledge in an Organization




2009© Acquisition Solutions
Value Of Transferring “Knowledge” And
          Effective Practices



                       Quickly access and build on experience &
          New
                       ideas to fuel innovation
       Missions &
        Services
                             Learn, decide & adapt faster than
                             L      d id      d t f t th
     Speed & Agility        the “speed of change”


                                    Accelerate the transfer and use
 Step-Change in Performance         of existing know-how
Knowledge Enabled, High Performing
                                    Organization




2009© Acquisition Solutions
Two Basic Principles for KM Success



  • Technology and information management alone cannot be relied
    upon for success
           – Knowledge sharing is more about people and what they know than
             technology
           – Technology and tools cannot in and of themselves provide effective
             “context of use” and add this value


  • Knowledge capture and knowledge reuse must work within:
           – the context of workflow—“part of the way people do business”
           – the context of organizational culture
                                           culture.




2009© Acquisition Solutions
Definitions

  • Attrition: Change in the numbers, skills, ands
    competencies in the workforce due to retirement,
    promotion, transfer,
    promotion transfer career change of leadership and
    workforce

  • Critical Knowledge: Knowledge that is fundamental to
    the business or operational processes of the
    organization that supports mission delivery and mission
    success




2009© Acquisition Solutions
Why Is Knowledge Loss A Key Workforce
                    Challenge We Are Facing?
                    Ch ll     W A F i ?
  • Loss of knowledge -- and people with the knowledge -- between
    agencies and those leaving government is increasing

  • L
    Leveraging accumulated organizational k
           i         l t d      i ti    l knowledge d i
                                              l d drives i tit ti
                                                         institutional
                                                                     l
    memory (experience, judgment, and “know-how”)

  • Impacts government's ability to deliver value to the people (mission)
           – Productivity, reduced cycle time, and errors that could be avoided with effective
             capture and retention policies and practices


  • Knowledge loss impacts organizational continuity and agility.
           – C ti it --operate effectively in the face of employee turnover, other work
             Continuity          t ff ti l i th f            f     l    t           th       k
             disruptions, and emergencies
           – Agility -- organization’s ability to address the future and to adapt effectively to
             change.
             change

2009© Acquisition Solutions
Why Is Knowledge Loss A Key Workforce
                     Challenge We Are Facing?

    •       Approaches to retaining critical knowledge
            and the timing of these retention activities
            across the government have been addressed
                       g
            in many ways, some more-or-less effective
            than others.


    •       No integrated process or framework to capture and reuse the workforce’s
            relevant information, experience, and insight on a consistent and
            disciplined basis

    •       Complicating factors:
                     (1) increasing size and complexity of acquisition workload
                     (2) decline in number of professionals in acquisition workforce

    •       Challenge at the leadership level and at the workforce level – it’s multi-
            generational and still not priority for most organizations
2009© Acquisition Solutions
        9
People Have Always Retired Or
                                Left With Their Knowledge
                        What’s different about this now and why should we care?
     • We have a “workforce gap” – knowledge of the workforce is
       inversely proportional to the age of the workforce

     • There is a real issue when there is not a ready and continuous
       stream of knowledgeable replacements with the critical skills to
       fill the gaps
     • Can't just hire more people and then send them to training

     • Example                  Acquisition Workforce:
              – The average age of the acquisition profession according to a recent
                NCMA survey is 45 years old
              – There is competition for the remaining scarce resources among all
                             p                        g                       g
                agencies and the private sector
              – We need a deliberate means for learning, capture and transfer of
                the “experience” of acquisition – the “know how” and “know why” of
                acquisition
2009© Acquisition Solutions
    10
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1=Poor to 10=Excellent),
          how would you rate your organization’s performance to
                  reduce the loss of critical knowledge?




2009© Acquisition Solutions
    11
What are your organizations doing to address
                      these workforce challenges?



2009© Acquisition Solutions
    12
Some Basics to Set the Stage
           for Success In Addressing This Challenge


• Understand there is long term value in capturing and
  reusing k
        i knowledge and h
                l d     d how and where it can b applied
                                 d h            be     li d
  – it’s about performance!

• Must be a desire to make this part of the way you operate -- need a
  place to start where it will have a significant impact on performance

• Focus must be on the people and the processes necessary to move
  knowledge across the workforce -- it’s about changing behavior not the
  technology!!



2009© Acquisition Solutions
    13
Some Basics to Set the Stage
           for Success In Addressing This Challenge



    • Recognize that it is a long term commitment to
      maintain and sustain a knowledge enabled organization

    • Understand the multi-generational nature of the federal workforce

    • Must create awareness by articulating and communicating the
          knowledge loss problem as a “burning platform”




2009© Acquisition Solutions
    14
Setting Up for Success In
                              Reducing Knowledge Loss
    • Know you can’t capture everything that everyone
                can t
      knows, nor would you want to do this


    • Decide what knowledge is critical to the
      organization or is necessary to improve all aspects
      of your organization’s performance
              organization s


    • Start small and engineer for success so p p can see it’s
                        g                     people
      doable


    • T h l
      Technology cannot do thi alone because it can’t get what’s i
                        t d this l   b             ’t t h t’ in
      your head into someone else’s


2009© Acquisition Solutions
    15
Setting Up for Success
                              In Reducing Knowledge Loss


     • Understand that beginning is the easy part
       – maintaining and sustaining the effort over time
                   g              g
       and continuously demonstrating value is the really
       hard part

     • Support and encourage a culture that values
       knowledge sharing through collaboration

     • Reflect on the alternative of not doing anything

     • Get some professional help when you need it to help tackle this
       challenge
              g
2009© Acquisition Solutions
    16
• What are some of the tools and
                techniques your organizations are using
                for capturing and reusing knowledge?

              • How well are they working?

2009© Acquisition Solutions
    17
What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In
                    Reducing Knowledge Loss



  • Recognize that it’s never too late to start addressing
    this challenge and its associated risks
         (risks might be acceptance, not having a sharing culture,
          view that it’s extra work)


  • Recognize that the concept of knowledge capture
    begins at the beginning of one’s entry into the workforce, not when
    they are leaving the workforce!!


  • Evaluate how you currently capture what you know and how you
    reuse it and leverage what good things you already are doing



2009© Acquisition Solutions
    18
What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In
                    Reducing Knowledge Loss



• Pick a place to start – at the leadership level or at the
  workforce level – and look for the “early adapters” in
                                           y    p
  your organization to begin to move your efforts forward

• Then pick a pilot project to demonstrate the value of
  Then,
  these efforts and the investment in time and resources

• Think about how you will (1) measure or value the outcome of
  your efforts to demonstrate success and (2) convince anyone
  that not doing this is a risky alternative




2009© Acquisition Solutions
    19
What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In
                     Reducing Knowledge Loss



       • Find ways to maintain a dialogue with those who
         “know” who have left the workforce
          know

       • Create a common approach for knowledge capture
         and reuse focused on collaborative behavior—it does
                                               behavior it
         at its core require cultural change – it is not easy

       • Create intern and mentorship programs for the next generation
         workforce and leadership to ensure relevant knowledge gets
         transferred

       • Recognize that this a long term effort that is not just an initiative
         for this Fiscal Year –it is a fundamental change in how you work


2009© Acquisition Solutions
    20
Some Proven KM Tools And Techniques You Can Use
       Without An Established Knowledge Framework

    •     Mentoring and internships

    •     “Communities of Practice” can create an
          ability for the workforce to share what they
          know across boundaries enabled by
          existing technology

    •     Learning Before, Learning During, Learning After

    •     Knowledge Repositories (Knowledge Assets) to store the “know how and
          know why” of processes or methods
          k     h ” f                 th d

    •     Leadership transition workshops


 Long Term Success depends on creating a common approach for knowledge capture and reuse
 focused on collaborative behavior —it does at its core require cultural change – and it is not easy


2009© Acquisition Solutions
    21
Government Agency Example




2009© Acquisition Solutions
What questions should we be asking?




2009© Acquisition Solutions
    23

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Managing Knowledge Loss and Retention

  • 1. Managing the Risk of Knowledge Loss Due to Workforce Att iti D t W kf Attrition Retaining and Leveraging the Critical and Relevant Knowledge of the Government Workforce SIKM 16 June 2009 Bill Kaplan Chief Knowledge Officer Acquisition Solutions
  • 2. Creating a Common Understanding About Knowledge Data Information Knowledge “United flight 0010 “That flight is always leaves LaGuardia at 1345 l L G di t delayed and often d l d d ft “1345UA0010 32A” from gate 32A cancelled” Relationships and trust are required for knowledge transfer and re-use
  • 3. One View of Knowledge in an Organization 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 4. Value Of Transferring “Knowledge” And Effective Practices Quickly access and build on experience & New ideas to fuel innovation Missions & Services Learn, decide & adapt faster than L d id d t f t th Speed & Agility the “speed of change” Accelerate the transfer and use Step-Change in Performance of existing know-how
  • 5. Knowledge Enabled, High Performing Organization 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 6. Two Basic Principles for KM Success • Technology and information management alone cannot be relied upon for success – Knowledge sharing is more about people and what they know than technology – Technology and tools cannot in and of themselves provide effective “context of use” and add this value • Knowledge capture and knowledge reuse must work within: – the context of workflow—“part of the way people do business” – the context of organizational culture culture. 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 7. Definitions • Attrition: Change in the numbers, skills, ands competencies in the workforce due to retirement, promotion, transfer, promotion transfer career change of leadership and workforce • Critical Knowledge: Knowledge that is fundamental to the business or operational processes of the organization that supports mission delivery and mission success 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 8. Why Is Knowledge Loss A Key Workforce Challenge We Are Facing? Ch ll W A F i ? • Loss of knowledge -- and people with the knowledge -- between agencies and those leaving government is increasing • L Leveraging accumulated organizational k i l t d i ti l knowledge d i l d drives i tit ti institutional l memory (experience, judgment, and “know-how”) • Impacts government's ability to deliver value to the people (mission) – Productivity, reduced cycle time, and errors that could be avoided with effective capture and retention policies and practices • Knowledge loss impacts organizational continuity and agility. – C ti it --operate effectively in the face of employee turnover, other work Continuity t ff ti l i th f f l t th k disruptions, and emergencies – Agility -- organization’s ability to address the future and to adapt effectively to change. change 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 9. Why Is Knowledge Loss A Key Workforce Challenge We Are Facing? • Approaches to retaining critical knowledge and the timing of these retention activities across the government have been addressed g in many ways, some more-or-less effective than others. • No integrated process or framework to capture and reuse the workforce’s relevant information, experience, and insight on a consistent and disciplined basis • Complicating factors: (1) increasing size and complexity of acquisition workload (2) decline in number of professionals in acquisition workforce • Challenge at the leadership level and at the workforce level – it’s multi- generational and still not priority for most organizations 2009© Acquisition Solutions 9
  • 10. People Have Always Retired Or Left With Their Knowledge What’s different about this now and why should we care? • We have a “workforce gap” – knowledge of the workforce is inversely proportional to the age of the workforce • There is a real issue when there is not a ready and continuous stream of knowledgeable replacements with the critical skills to fill the gaps • Can't just hire more people and then send them to training • Example Acquisition Workforce: – The average age of the acquisition profession according to a recent NCMA survey is 45 years old – There is competition for the remaining scarce resources among all p g g agencies and the private sector – We need a deliberate means for learning, capture and transfer of the “experience” of acquisition – the “know how” and “know why” of acquisition 2009© Acquisition Solutions 10
  • 11. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1=Poor to 10=Excellent), how would you rate your organization’s performance to reduce the loss of critical knowledge? 2009© Acquisition Solutions 11
  • 12. What are your organizations doing to address these workforce challenges? 2009© Acquisition Solutions 12
  • 13. Some Basics to Set the Stage for Success In Addressing This Challenge • Understand there is long term value in capturing and reusing k i knowledge and h l d d how and where it can b applied d h be li d – it’s about performance! • Must be a desire to make this part of the way you operate -- need a place to start where it will have a significant impact on performance • Focus must be on the people and the processes necessary to move knowledge across the workforce -- it’s about changing behavior not the technology!! 2009© Acquisition Solutions 13
  • 14. Some Basics to Set the Stage for Success In Addressing This Challenge • Recognize that it is a long term commitment to maintain and sustain a knowledge enabled organization • Understand the multi-generational nature of the federal workforce • Must create awareness by articulating and communicating the knowledge loss problem as a “burning platform” 2009© Acquisition Solutions 14
  • 15. Setting Up for Success In Reducing Knowledge Loss • Know you can’t capture everything that everyone can t knows, nor would you want to do this • Decide what knowledge is critical to the organization or is necessary to improve all aspects of your organization’s performance organization s • Start small and engineer for success so p p can see it’s g people doable • T h l Technology cannot do thi alone because it can’t get what’s i t d this l b ’t t h t’ in your head into someone else’s 2009© Acquisition Solutions 15
  • 16. Setting Up for Success In Reducing Knowledge Loss • Understand that beginning is the easy part – maintaining and sustaining the effort over time g g and continuously demonstrating value is the really hard part • Support and encourage a culture that values knowledge sharing through collaboration • Reflect on the alternative of not doing anything • Get some professional help when you need it to help tackle this challenge g 2009© Acquisition Solutions 16
  • 17. • What are some of the tools and techniques your organizations are using for capturing and reusing knowledge? • How well are they working? 2009© Acquisition Solutions 17
  • 18. What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In Reducing Knowledge Loss • Recognize that it’s never too late to start addressing this challenge and its associated risks (risks might be acceptance, not having a sharing culture, view that it’s extra work) • Recognize that the concept of knowledge capture begins at the beginning of one’s entry into the workforce, not when they are leaving the workforce!! • Evaluate how you currently capture what you know and how you reuse it and leverage what good things you already are doing 2009© Acquisition Solutions 18
  • 19. What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In Reducing Knowledge Loss • Pick a place to start – at the leadership level or at the workforce level – and look for the “early adapters” in y p your organization to begin to move your efforts forward • Then pick a pilot project to demonstrate the value of Then, these efforts and the investment in time and resources • Think about how you will (1) measure or value the outcome of your efforts to demonstrate success and (2) convince anyone that not doing this is a risky alternative 2009© Acquisition Solutions 19
  • 20. What You Can Do Right Now To Be Successful In Reducing Knowledge Loss • Find ways to maintain a dialogue with those who “know” who have left the workforce know • Create a common approach for knowledge capture and reuse focused on collaborative behavior—it does behavior it at its core require cultural change – it is not easy • Create intern and mentorship programs for the next generation workforce and leadership to ensure relevant knowledge gets transferred • Recognize that this a long term effort that is not just an initiative for this Fiscal Year –it is a fundamental change in how you work 2009© Acquisition Solutions 20
  • 21. Some Proven KM Tools And Techniques You Can Use Without An Established Knowledge Framework • Mentoring and internships • “Communities of Practice” can create an ability for the workforce to share what they know across boundaries enabled by existing technology • Learning Before, Learning During, Learning After • Knowledge Repositories (Knowledge Assets) to store the “know how and know why” of processes or methods k h ” f th d • Leadership transition workshops Long Term Success depends on creating a common approach for knowledge capture and reuse focused on collaborative behavior —it does at its core require cultural change – and it is not easy 2009© Acquisition Solutions 21
  • 22. Government Agency Example 2009© Acquisition Solutions
  • 23. What questions should we be asking? 2009© Acquisition Solutions 23