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Knowledge Preservation in the Public Service

What goes around, comes around. This is the presentation from a Knowledge Preservation panel I hosted at GTEC in Ottawa in 2006.

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Knowledge Preservation in the Public Service

  1. 1. Knowledge Preservation in the Public Service: Why is it important and what can we do about it?
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What we mean by knowledge and preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why, How, What, Where, When? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Panel <ul><li>Thom Kearney </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator: Managing Partner, Rowanwood Consulting </li></ul><ul><li>Catherine Waters </li></ul><ul><li>Human Resources, Governance and Public Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Gollner </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President Enterprise Solutions, Stilo Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Rita Moritz </li></ul><ul><li>CIO Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Wendy Stark </li></ul><ul><li>Information Management and Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Albert Simard (Al) Director, Knowledge Strategies, NRCan </li></ul>
  4. 4. What do we mean by knowledge? <ul><ul><ul><li>To do your job </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To make decisions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To understand systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To interpret data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To make a change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To succeed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To make things better… </li></ul></ul></ul> “ Stuff you need to know.” The file’s in Bob’s cubicle! Do you know her number? How hard can it be to fix? OK it’s on the intranet! Where on the intranet? What did we do last time? There must be a record of that! Why does the system work that way? Password?
  5. 5. What do we mean by Knowledge Preservation? Capture Maintain Organize Retrieve Store Anything that makes knowledge an enduring corporate asset — two types of activities: No act is too small Sharing & Collaboration Knowledge Resources Direct knowledge transfer Creating new knowledge
  6. 6. The Questions <ul><ul><li>Why do we need to preserve knowledge, what’s all the rush about? (Rita) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we preserve knowledge? (Joe) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the impacts of knowledge preservation on service delivery (Wendy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are the connections with service transformation and global leadership (Thom for Al) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When do we need it — under what conditions is knowledge preservation essential? (Catherine) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 1. Why preserve knowledge ? <ul><li>1. Public Service fuelled on timely , accurate , complete information for policy development, program design and delivery, research & management. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Focus on accountability, even over time </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on demonstrated benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Speed with which technologies introduced, changed and varieties of media </li></ul><ul><li>5. Changing workplace </li></ul><ul><li>6. Changing workforce… </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s the rush about? <ul><li>… 6. Changing workforce: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle career </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New recruits </li></ul></ul> Need to find a way to blend richness of  perspectives, experience, energy, skills… this is a unique time in history
  9. 9. Why Preserve Knowledge… We built that power plant… but we don’t remember how …
  10. 10. 2. How do we preserve knowledge? Sharing & Collaboration Knowledge Resources Focus Personal <ul><li>Job shadowing </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring programs </li></ul><ul><li>On-the-job Training </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-over procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Organize working materials </li></ul><ul><li>Document key lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Document key procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Record opinions and concerns </li></ul>Team <ul><li>Mix new and retiring staff </li></ul><ul><li>Cycle roles to speed learning </li></ul><ul><li>Retiring staff giving guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Use collaboration tools </li></ul><ul><li>Document team practices </li></ul><ul><li>Establish team repository </li></ul>Directorate <ul><li>Provide orientation for new staff </li></ul><ul><li>Retiring staff give training </li></ul><ul><li>Launch innovation programs that engage new & retiring staff </li></ul><ul><li>Document legacy practices </li></ul><ul><li>Develop ‘new’ practices </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate access to holdings </li></ul><ul><li>Implement IM procedures </li></ul>Department <ul><li>Facilitate networking venues </li></ul><ul><li>Launch training programs </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to retain key experience </li></ul><ul><li>Document legacy systems </li></ul><ul><li>Establish collaboration platform </li></ul><ul><li>Establish IM infrastructure </li></ul>
  11. 11. Success Stories Challenge Solution Strategy Organization Competition Bureau Industry Canada Serious risks posed by the loss of expert knowledge. <ul><li>hiring and training staff </li></ul><ul><li>process redesign efforts </li></ul><ul><li>introducing collaborative tools for core business </li></ul><ul><li>introducing web learning and support tools </li></ul>Samsung Industries Seoul Korea Competing globally to attract and retain technical knowledge. <ul><li>facilitating knowledge sharing with incentives </li></ul><ul><li>establishing global collaboration forums </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing sophisticated technology </li></ul>
  12. 12. 3. What are the impacts of knowledge preservation on service delivery? <ul><li>Knowledge preservation strategies are designed to leverage existing knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to improve performance, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to create new knowledge (innovation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create the opportunity to build on existing knowledge and avoid re-inventing the wheel (counter knowledge loss); </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge preservation through sharing counteracts departmental /divisional isolationism that inhibits citizen-centric service delivery and prevents efficiencies. </li></ul><ul><li>The structure and tools of IM and IT enable effective organization and access to the knowledge base, and support knowledge transfer – across the enterprise and within various departments or organizations. </li></ul>
  13. 13. 4. Where are the connections? <ul><li>How can preserving knowledge enable and accelerate the transformation of government services and sustain Canada’s position as a global leader in online government? </li></ul><ul><li>In the Beginning, there is Knowledge Preservation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation is the first step to managing content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation links the past, present, and future. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation links what we know to organizational efficiency. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation connects content with external services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation keeps the lights on. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 5. When? <ul><ul><li>WHEN? … Right Now !! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Under what conditions is knowledge preservation essential? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labour shortages (now and anticipated) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>55% of PS Employees are over 45, while more than 60% of EX level PS employees are aged 50-59 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skill shortages – finding new ways of getting key skills and knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Succession planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work design / project-based learning / virtual organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching / mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change management and organizational renewal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating a learning organization </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Next Steps: What do we do now? <ul><li>Discussion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What should the GoC do now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can you do in the next 90 days? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples of knowledge preservation… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is your role in preserving knowledge ? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Summary <ul><ul><li>There is more knowledge than ever </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It needs to be preserved for the sake of innovation, efficiency and service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We all have roles to play (IT and IM particularly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving knowledge means sharing and sharing means a culture shift – from “knowledge is power” to “powerful knowledge” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It does not mater where we start, only that we do </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul> [email_address] 613.292.8183