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4-1 Chapter 4: Knowledge Capture Knowledge capture is the act of identifying and gathering employee knowledge to incorporate into shared institutional knowledge. Chapter Overview This chapter presents eï¬ective strategies for capturing critical transit agency knowledge. These strategies have been useful in organizations across a myriad of industries. Based on their speciï¬c needs and the current processes and systems in place, transit agencies should select strategies presented in this chapter that will help improve knowledge capture and then review the associated action plans for implementation guidance. The strategies in this chapter were chosen because of the high positive impact they can have on knowledge capture and the applicability they have within the transit work environment. The action plans in this chapter are Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees Description of Knowledge Capture Knowledge capture can generally be described as the three-stage process of 1. Identifying. The process begins by identifying the procedural and tacit (âknow-howâ) knowledge that is critical to the transit agencyâs success and, as such, should be documented. 2. Locating. Next in the process is gathering that knowledge and ensuring that it is preserved. An eï¬ective knowledge capture strategy can provide the foundation for a successful KM program. 3. Collecting. Finally, the knowledge necessary for continued occupational and organizational eï¬ectiveness is collected. Knowledge capture is an important element of KM because it allows for knowledge transfer and retention to occur. If transit agencies do not collect and record the knowledge of their workforce, it will be diï¬cult to make sure other employees have the necessary information to carry out job assignments. Listening to employees and recording information about their job responsibilities and lessons learned on the job provide transit agencies with the opportunity to archive this knowledge and preserve it for access by others in the transit agency. Even though knowledge capture requires signiï¬cant planning and Knowledge Capture Helps to Make Tacit Knowledge Explicit Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-2 coordination and can be time consuming, the value of this activity for the transit agency in terms of continuity of operations and mission success cannot be overstated. Challenges for Transit Agencies Associated with Knowledge Capture There are several challenges a transit agency may encounter when trying to ensure that knowledge is captured eï¬ectively across the transit agency. Some of these challenges are speciï¬c to the transit industry, while others are more general and could be encountered by any type of organization implementing KM. An awareness of these challenges allows transit agencies to develop strategies that increase agenciesâ ability to overcome the challenges. Lack of Existing Information Sharing Many transit agencies have not placed a great emphasis on information sharing, particularly across functions. This can be due to isolation of the transit agencyâs functions or lack of a mechanism that encourages robust collaboration. Additionally, employees may even be reluctant to share knowledge and skills within their own function because they believe that what they know enhances their job security and status within the transit agency. This reluctance to share knowledge and skills can make it diï¬cult for a transit agency to determine what important employee-held information is not being captured and identify existing knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Employees within particular functions are likely to be unaware of the knowledge and skills that those in other functions possess and perhaps are unaware of the knowledge and skills possessed by others within their own function. This can lead to duplicated eï¬orts, create ineï¬ciencies, undermine consistency, force employees to reinvent the wheel, and negatively impact transit agency mission achievement. Turnover and Younger Workforce Although many transit agencies have a stable workforce with employees who have been in their positions for many years, the transit industry still has turnover challenges. Turnover is a particular concern as it relates to younger employees since millennials tend to leave organizations when they do not see an opportunity to grow within the transit agency. Younger employees often cannot move up until a position above theirs becomes vacant, which can take years; this makes upward mobility diï¬cult in the transit industry. Transit agencies ï¬nd they are losing the knowledge of employees who leave early in their careers because the transit agency did not immediately begin to capture their knowledge. This challenge is compounded when a transit agencyâs top priority is capturing the knowledge of senior employees who are approaching retirement. Although these employees have a wealth of transit experience and important information to share due to their years on the job, the transit agency is losing the opportunity to capture critical knowledge that younger employees have either gained during their limited years of employment or brought with them to the job. Knowledge should be captured from the beginning of an employeeâs career so that the transit agency is not left in a crisis mode when that employee departs. Considerations for Knowledge Capture Strategies When considering knowledge capture as an overall goal in a transit agency, there are considerations that support successful KM implementation and are relevant to both strategies in this chapter. These include the following: Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-3 Identify knowledge holders: Chapter 3 of this report described how to plan for KM implementation by identifying and better understanding the importance and ï¬ow of knowledge within the transit agency. Identifying knowledge holders is vital to knowledge capture so all relevant employees are included in capture eï¬orts. This is especially true for employees who hold critical or unique knowledge. Consider the end audience: Make sure identiï¬cation of the end user of collected knowledge is in the forefront of plans to capture knowledge. This is key to ensuring employees are asked appropriate questions that focus on the level and breadth of their knowledge. Distill gathered knowledge: Knowledge gathered from employees may be extremely detailed or overly technical, so it is helpful to make sure the most relevant information is captured and a useful âstoryâ is created to enable sharing of that knowledge. Create ownership in knowledge capture: Once employees understand the knowledge capture strategies employed by the transit agency and how these strategies work, they will be more willing and likely to contribute to these KM eï¬orts. Showing how knowledge resources can beneï¬t employees is a great way to gain buy-in and solicit participation in knowledge capture activities. Knowledge Transfer Action Plans The remainder of this chapter includes two action plans transit agencies can use to implement knowledge capture and improve the process of collecting knowledge from employees. Detailed information describing the strategy, implementation steps, and associated tips are laid out within each action plan. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-4 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge Summary: When employees leave a transit agency, HR staï¬ or another transit agency representative frequently conducts exit interviews to learn about the employeeâs reasons for departing and capture any information that will be needed by the transit agency. These interviews are also often used to collect the employeeâs knowledge about day-to-day job responsibilities, skills required to carry out those responsibilities, processes and procedures that should be followed, and other colleagues who can provide support related to job tasks. While exit interviews can be a valuable part of a KM practice by eliciting critical knowledge before it walks out the door, knowledge capturing interviews can be even more valuable if they are conducted while an employee is still engaged in his/her job and working within the transit agency. Conducting knowledge interviews captures the employeeâs instinctive, on-the-job responses about their thought processes, their job responsibilities, and the context for day-to-day successes and challenges that they encounter on the job. It is important that a new employee or successor to the job understand what a day looks and feels like in the position they are assuming. This valuable information can be collected through scoping interviews and knowledge conversations and interviews throughout the employeeâs career. The information gathered through these types of interviews and conversations helps ensure that critical knowledge remains with the organization even in the face of retirements and turnover, whether expected or unexpected. Knowledge interviews will be especially useful in positions that require decision making or âthinking on oneâs feetâ in the face of new, changing, or emergency situations or positions for which detailed procedures are not documented. These interviews are also particularly useful for positions that are one-deep (i.e., do not have an immediate processor) or where an employee holds unique knowledge or experience that others in the transit agency do not have. An example of the importance of these interviews can be demonstrated by considering an employee who has overall responsibility for coordinating a transit agencyâs community emergency response eï¬orts. The demands on transit agencies to respond to community emergencies are unique to the speciï¬c emergency at the time it occurs. As challenges arise during an event, this coordinator relies on immediate and instinctive decision making based on insight and experience. If that individual is not available to lead the transit agencyâs eï¬orts during a community emergency, or if the emergency is of a magnitude that no one person can coordinate the eï¬orts without assistance, the only viable tool to help other transit agency employees ensure a successful transit response is the captured knowledge and experiences of the coordinator. The importance of knowledge interviews, conducted while an employee is with the transit agency and again at the time of departure, is illustrated by a scenario describing the impending departure of the individual who is responsible for community relations at a transit agency. A second scenario shows the necessity of capturing knowledge from all functions within a transit agency, including the vehicle maintenance department. Example Scenario 1: Over the course of one employeeâs tenure at the transit agency, she had Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM formally and informally collaborated and communicated with a signiï¬cant number of
4-5 Action Plan Highlights Knowledge interviews provide an opportunity for employees to share speciï¬c on-the-job duties, skills required to carry out those duties, and useful background knowledge on important decisions that they have made throughout their career. Knowledge interviews should allow employees to share information and knowledge that their successor will need to be successful in the position. This may include general information on day-to-day duties, processes and procedures, valuable resources, and colleagues with whom collaboration has proved beneï¬cial. Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge stakeholders that were important to the transit agencyâs community outreach eï¬orts. If the transit agency had not captured this employeeâs knowledge, including her vast network of community stakeholders, her replacement would have found it diï¬cult to step in and continue the transit agencyâs community relations eï¬orts. Example Scenario 2: A transit agencyâs maintenance function was signiï¬cantly expanded in response to a dramatic increase in service delivery requirements. Addressing this situation not only required additional equipment to deliver the service, but also extra mechanics to keep the equipment well maintained to meet the increased service demand. Prior to the expansion, the transit agency captured the lead mechanicâs knowledge and experience on conducting preventative maintenance services. Because this information was documented and accessible to the newly hired mechanics, they were able to consistently and eï¬ectively carry out all scheduled preventative maintenance services. If this transit agency had not had a KM program, the maintenance function could very well have gotten behind on the preventative maintenance schedule, increasing the chances of either not making full pull out in the morning or vehicle breakdowns during service delivery, which in turn would aï¬ect the transit agencyâs ability to meet the increased service delivery demand. Rationale for Implementing Strategy: Periodic knowledge interviews conducted throughout the course of an employeeâs career can capture speciï¬c information about their on-the- job activities, the work context in which those activities occur, and the knowledge and skills required to carry out the activities, including instinctive responses to unique situations. At the end of their career, employees are unlikely to remember all of the speciï¬c details about how they carried out job assignments and what situations led to speciï¬c decisions, illustrating the importance of conducting knowledge interviews while an employee is still working, rather than in an exit interview. Transit agencies will beneï¬t from having a structured knowledge interview plan that guides when and how to conduct these interviews throughout the duration of an employeeâs career. This will give the transit agency conï¬dence that important information is gathered as necessary from employees and that the agency will be able to share this information with other employees who need it to successfully carry out their job duties, in both routine and emergency situations. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-6 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge Implementation Factors and Timeframe Type of Knowledge Addressed Explicit Tacit Embedded Estimated Time to Fully Implement 0â3 months 3â6 months 6 monthsâ1 year More than 1 year Time Required to Realize Results 0â2 years 2â5 years More than 5 years Relevant Positions or Types of Work: All positions and types of work. Knowledge interviews are especially important for positions that have only one incumbent or that conduct work that is not clearly documented (due to lack of SOPs for a particular technical process or due to the non-technical, ad hoc nature of the work activities). Implementation Plan Action Lead(s) Department/functional area leads KM leads/staï¬ Staï¬ to conduct interviews Targeted Audience(s) All employees with job-relevant knowledge Employees in one-deep positions Employees in jobs that require extensive and quick decision making in emergencies Steps to Implement Knowledge Interviews 1. Identify Impactful Knowledge: Start by identifying and focusing knowledge capture on job functions or disciplines/job ï¬elds that impact key performance metrics (e.g., operations, budget) of the transit agency. Within this step, identify employees that are likely to retire in the next few years and technical areas that few employees are knowledgeable about, including technologies that are critical to the transit agency but do not have documented processes or procedures. Further, identify younger employees who bring to the transit agency new and fresh thinking and skills that are not otherwise prevalent within the transit agency. Steps to Implement a Knowledge Interview 1. Identify Impactful Knowledge 2. Rank Knowledge Topics Based on Criticality 3. Identify Knowledge Recipients 4. Conduct Scoping Interviews 5. Develop Protocol for Knowledge Interviews 6. Conduct Knowledge Interviews 7. Conduct Exit Interviews 8. Share Relevant Files Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-7 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge criticality of each knowledge topic of interest. Then, rank the knowledge areas in order of criticality so it is clear which areas are most important to the transit agency. When determining criticality, consider the following: Is the knowledge rare or unique to the person in the job? How useful is this knowledge? How diï¬cult is this knowledge to learn? How diï¬cult is it to apply the knowledge? 3. Identify Knowledge Recipients: Identify employees who would most beneï¬t from another employeeâs knowledge and experience, and determine what is valuable for them to learn from that other person. Take into account the information employees will need about their job when they ï¬rst begin working at the transit agency or take a new position within the transit agency. Understanding who knowledge recipients will be helps to frame knowledge interviews and ensure that the most important, relevant, and needed knowledge is gathered. 4. Conduct Scoping Interviews: The scoping interviews should be with employees that hold critical knowledge in the ï¬elds of interest. The purpose of a scoping interview is to solicit information that is then used to create an outline of components of the ï¬eld of interest in which the employee is knowledgeable. For example, important components might include how to initiate a work process, who to involve in the work process, what materials or documents are needed to perform the work, how to know when a step is needed, and how to evaluate whether the activity is being performed as expected. This outline is shared with the employee and their manager, as appropriate, to obtain feedback on whether the outline is accurate and comprehensive. During scoping interviews, also identify any other employees who may have critical knowledge in the ï¬eld of interest and collect information from them. Ultimately, this outline will be used to structure future knowledge interviews. Scoping interviews can also be conducted with successors who are likely to need the knowledge that is being gathered. These successors can identify the type of knowledge that they will need to know or where they feel their current knowledge is lacking. Similarly, interviews can be conducted with employees who work interdependently with those who hold the critical knowledge. These coworkers can provide context on the type of knowledge and important topics they learn from the target individual. This will ensure that all important knowledge is gathered. 5. Develop Protocol for Knowledge Interviews: With an understanding of the type of knowledge to be gathered, develop a protocol that includes questions to ask interview participants. Questions should focus on the how and why of the work, rather than solely asking about what is done. When developing interview questions, it is important to structure them in a way that promotes free sharing. This is accomplished by asking open-ended questions that encourage 2. Rank Knowledge Topics Based on Criticality: Evaluate the present and predicted future Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-8 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge or âhow,â rather than words that promote one-word responses (e.g., âDo youâ¦â). 6. Conduct Knowledge Interviews: Use the developed protocol to conduct knowledge interviews with the employees who originally participated in the scoping interviews as well as other employees with expertise and experience in the pertinent ï¬elds of interest. The purpose of these interviews is to gather knowledge and information on each component of the outline. Knowledge collected during these interviews should include the ongoing importance of the ï¬eld of interest and its impact, processes and procedures followed, materials/equipment used, colleagues worked with, and potential implications to look out for. Audio recording these interviews can be helpful for understanding tone and context after the interview is completed. 7. Conduct Exit Interviews: When employees depart the transit agency, conduct exit interviews. These exit interviews can focus on gathering knowledge outlined from the scoping interviews, but can also gather more general information about the exiting employeeâs job and the knowledge that they believe needs to be shared for the transit agency to remain successful. Exit interviews can include capturing knowledge on how key tasks are performed, what the processes and procedures are, what skills and tools are required, obstacles encountered, and any other relevant information. During exit interviews, also capture knowledge regarding the internal and external stakeholders typically present while tasks are being completed. This additional information can assist in identifying subject matter experts who will be available for counsel after employees participating in the exit interviews have left the transit agency. 8. Share Relevant Files: Particularly to support the sharing of explicit knowledge, ensure exiting employees move cleaned up and organized ï¬les related to their job responsibilities into shared folders (e.g., online network folders like SharePoint) or document libraries so future employees have access to them. Useful Internal and External Resources Resources for Strategy Implementation Dedicated HR or other transit agency representative responsible for developing, implementing, scheduling, and sustaining the interview processes. Interview protocols. Storage systems. âFrequently Asked Questionsâ documents. Resources for Sustaining Strategy Dedicated HR or other transit agency representative responsible for regularly scheduling knowledge interviews. Dedicated HR or other transit agency representative responsible for ensuring that all exiting employees are interviewed prior to their departure. providing details when responding. Open-ended questions start with words like âwho,â âwhy,â Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-9 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge Examples of Eï¬ective Programs The U.S. State Department conducts knowledge continuity team meetings that bring together the exiting expert and the successor, if they are already on board, to transfer knowledge needed for the job, as well as communicate processes and procedures that need to be followed in the position. The successor has the opportunity to hear ï¬rst-hand how the current employee conducts the job and can ask clarifying questions. This overlap between the departing employee and the successor allows the new employee to solicit the knowledge necessary to step in and eï¬ectively perform the job. Kraft Foods follows the MASK (Method for Analyzing and Structuring Knowledge) method and conducts scoping interviews. The MASK method involves conducting a series of very intense interviews with employees throughout their careers. Scoping interviews involve asking employees what they know in addition to where they feel their expertise lies. From that previously gathered information, departing employees are then interviewed using the job component outline developed during the scoping interviews to capture further details about job responsibilities, thought processes, and other pertinent information that could assist successors in being eï¬ective on the job. Impact and Cautionary Considerations Positive Outcomes of the Strategy Cost-Eï¬ective and Time Eï¬cient: Knowledge interviews that capture important information to support a transit agencyâs mission are easy to conduct, take little time, and are a minimal investment, but they provide high payout in terms of knowledge gathered. Increases Productivity: The knowledge solicited from interviews can increase the productivity of new or promoted employees. When these employees begin a new job, a period of time is spent becoming familiar with the job duties, understanding the processes and procedures, and identifying the colleagues with whom they must partner. When much of this knowledge and information is captured from previous employees in the position and shared with successors, new or promoted employees can get âup to speedâ on their job duties more quickly and productively. Correct Issues Based on Feedback: During exit interviews, transit agencies are more likely to receive feedback on issues or problems that employees have in their positions because these + Keys to Success When possible, bring successors into knowledge interviews with experienced employees so that they can hear information ï¬rst-hand and ask questions. Interview employees periodically throughout their careers rather than depending on them to remember and share all relevant information related to their job when they are getting ready to depart. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-10 Action Plan H: Conduct Knowledge Interviews to Gather Critical Knowledge employees are leaving the organization and do not fear backlash. With this information, the transit agency can implement changes to overcome these issues or problems, thus enhancing the potential for success of future employees in those positions. Cautionary Considerations or Potential Negative Outcomes of the Strategy Employees Resistant to Share Knowledge: Employees can be resistant to sharing their knowledge while still employed at an organization. Some employees see their knowledge as a source of power and believe that if they share their knowledge, they will lose that power. Employees may think that if others know what they know and understand how to successfully do their job, they can be replaced or their status within the transit agency will be reduced. To overcome this challenge, explain the beneï¬ts of sharing information and knowledge for them and their colleagues. Ensure that employees understand that the purpose of capturing this information is to be certain that when employees leave unexpectedly, high-quality work will continue with fewer disruptions. Employees May Feel Uncomfortable: During knowledge interviews, employees may feel uncomfortable being completely honest regarding problems or issues that they encounter in their job. Although this information would be helpful for the transit agency in addressing identiï¬ed problems or issues, employees may ï¬nd it diï¬cult to share this information for fear of some type of retaliation or negative consequence. To overcome this concern, employees within the transit agency need to be informed about the interview process and the beneï¬ts the interviews will deliver, as well as reassured that they will be respected for their honesty and openness. Communication Plan Process for Obtaining Buy-In Gain senior transit agency leadersâ support for the knowledge interview processes and articulate that support throughout the transit agency. Encourage department/functional area leads and/or KM leads serving in the role of coordinator to aggressively pursue buy-in to knowledge capture by employees at all levels of the transit agency. Valuable Communication Resources Communication plan for explaining the beneï¬ts that a knowledge capture initiative can bring to employees. Existing transit agency communication platforms that can be used to educate employees on knowledge capture initiatives and beneï¬ts. â Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-11 Action Plan I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees Summary: Tools such as knowledge repositories, communities of practice (CoPs), and knowledge dissemination forums to support KM initiatives can greatly beneï¬t a transit agency, but only if the knowledge captured by using these tools is codified and accessible to employees. Codiï¬cation is a continuous process of categorizing, organizing, and packaging knowledge that enables employees to easily search for and locate information. Codiï¬cation should take place during knowledge capture because this increases eï¬ciency and makes information available to employees as soon as it is captured. Information that is not organized cannot be easily accessed or transferred. Knowledge can be codiï¬ed in many ways, depending on a transit agencyâs preferences: Using a speciï¬c folder structure and ï¬le naming system on a shared drive Creating customizable views or dashboards of repository content Assigning various labels, categories, and indexes to knowledge contained in a repository Enabling a search feature in knowledge repositories to facilitate ease of access Providing and linking other similar or related resources to speciï¬c information or knowledge already in the repository Employees will need guidance on how to organize and categorize the information they upload to a repository and training on how to eï¬ectively search for information. Many transit employees are familiar with and comfortable using technology to access information, for example: Demand response scheduling staï¬ use technology daily to access information on customers and create manifests for drivers. Financially related activities, such as budgeting, procurement, and grants management, are usually supported by technology. Safety documentation, particularly in larger transit agencies, is often supported by technology that lets employees retrieve the transit agencyâs history of hazard analysis and risk mitigation activities to better inform future activities. Maintenance staï¬ commonly use maintenance software to search the maintenance history of vehicles and access guidance on performing corrective maintenance related to speciï¬c vehicle problems. For employees who have experience with technology, codifying and accessing knowledge within a technological medium should not present an extreme challenge as long as the transit agency provides guidelines on the process. Rationale for Implementing Strategy: If employees ï¬nd that accessing and locating knowledge and information within a repository is too diï¬cult or time consuming, they will not use the KM tool. This is why the information needs to be organized and categorized, especially if the transit agencyâs repository contains a large number of ï¬les. Also, employees may add duplicate information and ï¬les to the repository if they canât determine whether the repository already contains the information, thus diminishing the purpose of the tool. Codifying is necessary to sustain Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM The Training function, particularly in larger transit agencies, is best served by technology that allows storage of and access to employee training records to ensure that all requirements are met. KM strategies, such as knowledge repositories, and to ensure that gathered knowledge is understood.
4-12 Action Plan I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees Action Plan Highlights Codifies knowledge to enhance employee use of KM strategies such as repositories, CoPs, and knowledge sharing forums. Creates eï¬ciency by codifying information, thus facilitating knowledge and information searches and reducing the risk of duplicate information being posted in a repository. Implementation Factors and Timeframe Type of Knowledge Addressed Explicit Tacit Embedded Estimated Time to Fully Implement 0â3 months 3â6 months 6 monthsâ1 year More than 1 year Time Required to Realize Results 0â2 years 2â5 years More than 5 years Relevant Positions or Types of Work: All positions and types of work. Implementation Plan Action Lead(s) Transit agency leadership Targeted Audience(s) All employees Steps to Codify Knowledge 1. Create Guidelines for Codifying: Gain an overall understanding of the transit agencyâs goals to determine the best way to codify knowledge to reach those goals. These guidelines for codifying should not create such a complicated category structure that it impedes employee information searches. When choosing the technology for the repository, keep the transit agencyâs needs and technology capabilities in mind. Once the best way to codify knowledge has been identiï¬ed and the repository platform selected, create a reference document that new hires and existing employees can refer to on how to upload and codify knowledge and eï¬ectively search the repository. 2. Codify Knowledge: When knowledge and information are captured, particularly standardized documented knowledge such as SOPs or process maps, categorical information should also be Steps to Codify Knowledge 1. Create Guidelines for Codifying 2. Codify Knowledge 3. Train Employees 4. Maintain Codiï¬ed Knowledge Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-13 Action Plan I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees captured so that the knowledge and information can be categorized when an employee uploads it to the repository. When identifying categorical data, it is important to consider the criteria that employees might use to conduct information searches. Some examples of criteria that can be used to categorize information include the following: Key words Topic area Department or function (if it pertains to a speciï¬c department/function within the transit agency) Owner(s) of the knowledge (if there are speciï¬c subject matter experts) Information type Other related resources When information or knowledge is uploaded to the transit agencyâs repository platform, it should be organized using categories and folders, labels, indices, or other means. A search feature and/or ï¬ltering method is critical for employees to be able to ï¬nd the speciï¬c information they seek. Categorization is extremely important, particularly when there is a great deal of content in a repository. Employees will not use the tool if searches are either too time consuming or do not yield the information they are looking for. 3. Train Employees: Employees must understand why codifying knowledge is important, what their role is in codifying knowledge, and how they should do it. To communicate this information, the transit agency should provide formal, mandatory training regarding the knowledge codiï¬cation system, along with the reference document of guidelines developed in the ï¬rst step. In-person training can be valuable for this eï¬ort because it will allow two-way communication where employees can practice through example situations and have their questions answered and concerns addressed. However, if training must be conducted virtually or not in real-time, it is important to have a question and answer function so that employees can fully understand all details of the knowledge codiï¬cation process. 4. Maintain Codiï¬ed Knowledge: Since employees will be codifying knowledge, there is a possibility that it will be codiï¬ed incorrectly or in a way that one employee ï¬nds useful, but others might not. The transit agency should have a dedicated staï¬ member in charge of overseeing repository content and making changes, as necessary, to best suit the transit agency and its employees. This person should be designated as the point of contact for employees who have questions about codifying or searching for knowledge and information. Useful Internal and External Resources Resources for Strategy Implementation Dedicated staï¬ member responsible for implementing, sustaining, and evaluating the eï¬ort. Resources for Sustaining Strategy Integration of a knowledge capture program into existing transit Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-14 Action Plan I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees Technology platform for housing and organizing the knowledge content. Categorization guidelines for coding knowledge. Employee training on codifying and searching for knowledge. infrastructure and culture. Reference guide for how to codify knowledge. Reference guide for how to search for knowledge. Examples of Eï¬ective Programs Technical architects shared the struggle that they encountered with ï¬nding information needed to write a proposal while an individual with this knowledge was out on leave. Because there was no central place to store information, the architects did not have a way to access the knowledge that was necessary for the proposal and were forced to resort to searching through emails. After the development of a repository with information organized in a way that made the most sense to their company, they began to witness important improvements in their business processes and even in the corporate culture itself. A key success factor was that their KM system was planned around a speciï¬c, critical issue faced by the company. As knowledge became more organized, people found new uses for it, and even started to build business intelligence applications on top of it, such as reports and executive dashboards, workï¬ows, and web applications that took advantage of the platform they had chosen. Impact and Cautionary Considerations Positive Outcomes of the Strategy Less Time Required for New Staï¬ Orientation: Codiï¬ed knowledge can reduce the time that new transit agency staï¬ spend on required training because some of the information and knowledge that they need to perform their job successfully is in one central, searchable location. Reduced Cost of Training: Having information and knowledge organized eï¬ciently can reduce training costs by making self-training materials readily available and limiting the need for classroom training. If a transit agency provides training on how to conduct a particular procedure, this course could be eliminated or the frequency of it reduced because employees will be able to quickly access a written description of this procedure in the repository. They can use this document to teach themselves how to complete the procedure or use it as a refresher guide. + Keys to Success Have a clear strategy to ensure consistency of codiï¬cation. Use a system to store codiï¬ed knowledge that is not diï¬cult to understand. Provide detailed information on how to codify and use the system. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
4-15 Action Plan I: Codify Knowledge as It Is Gathered to Make It Searchable by Employees need to be productive and successful on the job because knowledge will be stored and codiï¬ed in repositories, allowing them to focus their searches for critical information, quickly ï¬nd the information, and identify other employees within the transit agency that are subject matter experts. Additionally, employees may spend less time developing resources and documents because what they need, or something similar, may have already been created and uploaded to the repository. Less Duplicate Information: A good categorization structure that allows for ï¬ltered searches will help employees determine whether or not the repository already contains the information that they were planning to upload, thus reducing duplicate information and ï¬les in the repository. Cautionary Considerations or Potential Negative Outcomes of the Strategy Internal Classiï¬cation Can Diï¬er from Prescribed Transit Agency Codiï¬cation Plan: Giving employees the ability to codify their knowledge allows them to classify the knowledge placed in the repository in ways they ï¬nd useful. However, this personalized categorization can present challenges when others are searching for knowledge. To overcome this challenge, employees should be provided with very speciï¬c guidelines on how to codify knowledge, and an employee should be designated to oversee and maintain the repository. Communication Plan Process for Obtaining Buy-In Gain senior transit agency leadersâ support for the knowledge capture and codifying processes and articulate that support throughout the transit agency. Conï¬rm that department/functional area leads and/or KM leads support the codiï¬cation guidelines and understand the process and codiï¬cation guidelines. Conï¬rm that the structure is not complicated and employees understand the beneï¬ts of categorizing information. Valuable Communication Resources Reference guides for employees that explain how to codify their knowledge and search for information in the repository. Existing transit agency communication platforms that can be used to educate employees on knowledge capture initiatives and beneï¬ts. â Increased Employee Productivity: It will take employees less time to ï¬nd information that they Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM