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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24961.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24961.

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S-1 Summary Knowledge management (KM) is the process an organization uses to collect and manage organizational knowledge and information. This Guidebook was developed to guide transit agencies through KM and its implementation, providing resources and examples relevant to the transit industry to help them understand and implement KM within their own transit agencies. There are many reasons that a transit agency could want to implement KM and many ways in which KM could benefit an agency: KM can be a risk management strategy KM is a strategic enabler for business success KM leads to faster decision making KM results in greater work efficiency Beyond helping to achieve these goals, KM offers further benefits to transit agencies that use it. Understanding these benefits and sharing them with leaders and decision makers can be a key element of building a business case for KM. Some of the benefits of KM are laid out in Table S-1. Table S-1: Benefits of KM Strategies Overall Goal Supported Benefits of KM Effective Risk Management Strategy Prepare for retirements and turnover Take a proactive approach to addressing issues, rather than reacting to problems or emergencies as they occur Keep institutional information and procedures up-to-date and useful Improve long-term organizational and employee performance Increase the ability of a transit agency to function effectively with limited resources and loss of talent Enable Business Success Improve service delivery and reduce mistakes/errors Build employee knowledge and skills Provide development opportunities including upward and lateral advancement Attract new talent (e.g., through culture of knowledge sharing and when potential employees can see career pathways) Increase employee engagement and commitment to the organization Align transit agency goals and objectives with workforce capabilities Assist a transit agency in capturing institutional and individual knowledge Faster Decision Making Engage management with frontline real-world experiences and procedures to better inform leadership’s decision making Give employees at all levels a voice Build a culture of trust Aid a transit agency in managing change and the accompanying rapid transition Greater Work Efficiency Break down silos Deepen the bench of employees with cross-functional knowledge Facilitate knowledge and idea sharing, collaboration, and teamwork Build efficiencies by encouraging personnel to leverage each other’s expertise and approaches

S-2 When looking to bring KM into a transit agency, it is necessary to consider different elements of KM and the different areas on which KM efforts can focus. The elements of effective KM are This Guidebook contains a chapter for each of the elements, with a description of the element and associated challenges that transit agencies may encounter related to these elements. For each of the KM elements, this Guidebook also provides detailed action plans to assist in strategy implementation. A list of the included actions, as well the chapter in which each appears, is provided in Table S-2. Table S-2: Action Plans Included in This Guidebook Topic Action Plan Chapter KM Culture A: Build Top-Level Support for KM by Aligning to Strategic Priorities 2 B: Build Frontline Support to Sustain KM Practices 2 C: Identify Cultural Inhibitors of KM 2 KM Planning D: Inventory Existing Transit Agency Practices That Support KM 3 E: Prepare Knowledge Networks to Identify Knowledge Gaps 3 F: Utilize Process Mapping to Facilitate KM Planning 3 G: Identify Critical Succession Planning Needs 3 Knowledge Capture H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge 4 I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees 4 Knowledge Retention J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge 5 K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge 5 Knowledge Transfer L: Implement Cross-Functional Team Building to Promote Knowledge Sharing 6 M: Implement Knowledge-Sharing Forums and Communities of Practice 6 N: Coordinate Mentoring Opportunities to Support KM 6 While each of the action plans lays out steps to implement, it is important for transit agencies to understand that each of the strategies can be updated or scaled to meet their individual needs and available resources. For example, it may not be possible to bring on a full-time KM manager. Instead, transit agencies may be able to identify a current employee who can take on responsibility for a KM strategy (e.g., human resources [HR] employee, training manager). Alternatively, it could make sense for a transit agency to create a committee responsible for a single KM strategy. This would spread the responsibility across multiple people, making sure the new KM strategy did not create too great of a load on any single employee. This Guidebook also provides steps that transit agencies can follow to stand up a dedicated KM function, to further guide KM strategy implementation efforts. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture

Next: Chapter 1: Introduction to the Knowledge Management Guidebook »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies explores the importance of knowledge management (KM), which is an organization’s process for collecting, storing, and sharing organizational information and knowledge, and provides guidance on implementing KM strategies in transit agencies. In addition, the guidance includes action plans for developing particular aspects of KM, analysis of KM strategies at several transit agencies, and a catalog of KM technology tools and resources.

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