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5-1 Chapter 5: Knowledge Retention Knowledge retention encompasses the processes, systems, storage mechanisms, and interactions that are used together to hold on to critical employee knowledge so that it can be readily accessed and used by the transit agency. Chapter Overview This chapter provides an overview of eï¬ective knowledge retention strategies and supporting tools that are relevant to transit agencies. The introductory text below discusses knowledge retention strategy elements, some of the challenges that drive the need for eï¬ective strategies, and the potential impact of strategic knowledge retention initiatives within the transit industry. The action plans included in this chapter are Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge Description of Knowledge Retention Knowledge retention refers to KM strategies designed to minimize knowledge loss within an organization by determining the most eï¬ective way to preserve the knowledge. This phase of KM pertains to the codiï¬cation and storage of knowledge. It also includes making sure there are systems in place to keep knowledge within the organization when employees depart. These KM strategies can involve developing and implementing knowledge databases or repositories. Strategies can also include various methods of employee interpersonal exchange, either between those leaving a transit agency and the employees assuming their responsibilities, or knowledge collectors and those employees identiï¬ed as having critical knowledge. Even with knowledge capture in place, transit agencies cannot guarantee that they will not lose important knowledge unless there is also a knowledge retention plan laid out. An important step in knowledge retention is to make sure that knowledge that is at greatest risk of being lost is documented. For example, if there is only one employee who knows why the transit agency utilizes a certain safety protocol, it is important to make sure that their how-to understanding of the way certain work processes work together is retained to support future performance of those same processes. To help ensure that knowledge retention eï¬orts are successful, transit agencies should create protocols that dictate how knowledge should be retained, making sure that these processes are institutionalized and become part of the Preserving employee knowledge prepares transit agencies for future success Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-2 expected work of employees. It takes eï¬ort from people across a transit agencyâs functions to make sure that all necessary knowledge is well documented and stored in a safe and accessible format for the lifetime of the transit agency. Challenges for Transit Agencies Associated with Knowledge Retention There are several knowledge retention challenges that transit agencies may encounter when trying to ensure that knowledge is stored and maintained appropriately 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 attempting to implement KM. Being aware of these challenges can prepare transit agencies to face them head on, increasing their ability to overcome them. Upcoming Retirements Americaâs transportation workforce continues to age, and many employees are nearing retirement, making KM an increasing need for transit agencies across the country. The knowledge and experience of senior transit employees are invaluable assets that, once lost, cannot be easily regained. A transit agency can replace employees, but it is quite diï¬cult â if not impossible â to regain the loss of transit- related experience and the speciï¬cs of how the transit agency functions or operates. This is especially relevant when transit employees stay in their positions for years, even decades. The average age of key transit employees is increasing, and their impending retirements can create challenges for retaining knowledge within an organization. The knowledge and skills gained by key managerial and technical employees throughout years of transit employment must be retained to ensure that their successors can perform at comparable levels of eï¬ectiveness and build upon the knowledge collected and retained from the previous generation of transit employees. Safety and Security Requirements Safety and security are critical areas of concern for transit agencies. The transit industryâs increasing focus on safety and security may prompt a signiï¬cant culture change within transit agencies. Although many transit agencies may not be aware of the connection, eï¬ective safety management is dependent on KM strategies. KM retention activities provide the instruments to document safety risk management processes, an essential step for a transit agency to achieve its safety mission. A transit agencyâs ability to deliver safe services can be impacted if skilled operations, maintenance, and safety professionals depart the transit agency before their knowledge is captured and recorded. Having an eï¬ective KM retention strategy in place will help alleviate this challenge. Technological Issues Related to Knowledge Retention In interviews with experts, a commonly cited barrier to successful knowledge retention is the implementation of KM technology. While technological systems have the potential to promote widespread knowledge retention across functions of a transit agency, the absence of training on how to use these systems can lead to employee frustration with, and lack of use of, newly implemented knowledge retention systems. Transit agencies usually have some level of historical experience with the challenges of implementing technological systems. This historical perspective should aid transit agencies in meeting the challenge of implementing technology to support knowledge retention. Technological challenges also aï¬ect knowledge transfer, since just as users can have trouble inputting information into the technological Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-3 system, users can have trouble accessing and locating relevant information that will help them carry out their duties. To ensure the eï¬ective use of knowledge retention systems, training on how to upload and access relevant information is critical. In addition, for transit employees to willingly accept the technological system, its design should be intuitive and aesthetically pleasing and create an overall positive experience. Another challenge associated with technology is that some leaders may think that simply implementing technology to store and retain knowledge is the end goal. Technology alone will not achieve knowledge retention goals; people need to be involved and to understand the beneï¬ts of their eï¬orts and there needs to be a comprehensive knowledge retention plan to guide their activities. Knowledge Retention Action Plans The remainder of this chapter provides two action plans that transit agencies can use to support and improve knowledge retention and the associated storage of knowledge and information. Laid out within each action plan are details about the rationale for using the strategies and steps for implementation, including associated tips. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-4 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge Summary: Knowledge repositories are internal databases containing critical knowledge needed to make informed decisions, develop eï¬ective policies and procedures, enhance employee expertise, and carry out the transit agencyâs operational mission. Repositories are used to organize existing information, such as reports, process charts, performance data, SOPs and problem-solving techniques, in a way that is Easily searchable Accessible to those who need the information Flexible enough to adapt to changing organizational environments and KM needs Knowledge repositories can support transit innovation because they allow employees to focus on new ideas and advancements rather than continuously reinventing processes and procedures that already exist in other parts of the organization and have been tested previously. Transit employees often ï¬nd themselves spending a signiï¬cant amount of energy discovering how to carry out processes and procedures that were not previously documented. Further, even when documented, the location of the documented knowledge must be made known across the transit agency so that the knowledge can be eï¬ectively utilized and ineï¬ciencies are avoided. There are a number of knowledge repository platforms, depending on the resources of and technology available to a transit agency, each with its own beneï¬ts. Examples include Microsoft Excel, SharePoint, and Wiki pages. Transit agencies may already be familiar with these platforms and use them to support existing activities. Since transit agencies vary greatly in size and operating characteristics, technologies required to support KM will also vary dramatically from one transit agency to another. A basic approach that works for a smaller transit agency may prove not as satisfactory and eï¬ective for a larger and more complex transit agency. The bottom line is that ï¬exibility is key, and one size does not ï¬t all when it comes to knowledge repositories and technology within the transit industry. Additionally, transit agencies must be mindful of their employeesâ ability to navigate technology and provide ample guidance and training that encourages use and reduces employee frustration. Rationale for Implementing Strategy: Knowledge repositories that centralize knowledge in one place can help transit agencies leverage subject matter expertise by organizing information in a way that makes knowledge accessible to all relevant parties. Repositories can create consistency in transit employee activities based on the commonality of employee access to knowledge, tools, templates, processes, and procedures. This consistency is critical to a transit agency, particularly in areas with high demand characteristics like emergency preparedness and response. A transit agency can also use repositories to store critical documentation related to the outcomes of its activities and to provide an understanding of its decision-making processes. Additionally, repositories can support new employee training. Training staï¬ can use the content in the repository to create a curriculum that familiarizes employees with job duties, why the duties are performed, and processes and procedures curriculum, which, in turn, supports consistent training delivery. that employees must follow. Knowledge repositories support a consistent Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-5 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge Action Plan Highlights Provides a transit agency with a central storage location for critical knowledge that is organized for easy access, allowing employees across the organization to search for information that they need. Supports transit agency innovation by reducing the time employees spend continuously redeveloping job-related processes and procedures, providing employees with the opportunity to think strategically and creatively about future transit agency improvements. 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 Implement a Knowledge Repository 1. Choose Tool: There are a number of knowledge repository platforms that transit agencies can use to support knowledge retention. Transit agencies will need to choose the platform that aligns with their needs and resources and is consistent with their existing technology. When selecting technology tools to house a knowledge repository, keep in mind browser compatibility, complexity of the system, and user friendliness of the tools under review. It is important to remember that The more complex the tool, the more diï¬cult it will be for employees to use it. Increased complexity magniï¬es the burden of training transit employees on how to use the tool and creates a risk of employee frustration and lack of buy-in, ultimately aï¬ecting the success of this KM eï¬ort. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM Sometimes a more complex tool will best meet the needs of a transit agency, especially if there are many diï¬erent breakdowns of information included in the repository, or if a large amount of tacit knowledge is being incorporated into the system.
5-6 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge 2. Create Repository: For employees to ï¬nd needed information through a search of the repository, the content must be organized eï¬ectively and labeled correctly. It is also important to consider how employees will search for information, upload new content, and modify existing content. Once these processes have been identiï¬ed, develop the repository using the chosen technology and strategies, such as tagging and metadata, to organize the content and make it easily searchable. 3. Train Employees: Employees must understand the repositoryâs purpose, why it is important, how it will beneï¬t them, their role in using it, and how to use it. This information can be eï¬ectively communicated by introducing the repository to employees through a formal, comprehensive, and mandatory training session. To increase competency, employees should complete this training program prior to using the repository. This training is best delivered in a classroom format with an instructor demonstrating the repository, providing guidance, and answering employee questions. A classroom setting allows trainees to have hands-on practice with the technology, which is especially important for those who learn better by âdoingâ or may not have extensive experience with technology. 4. Provide Access and Support: Provide employees access to the repository and periodically send emails with refresher information on how they should use it. Encourage employees to populate the repository with processes and procedures related to their job duties. Ensure employees have received the documented procedures and steps for adding information to the repository. When capturing knowledge from employees using the previously described knowledge capture strategies (e.g., knowledge interviews), the interviewers should be responsible for populating the repository with the gathered knowledge and make sure to check its accuracy. Additionally, transit agencies should establish an employee(s) to serve as the point of contact for any questions or issues regarding the repository and make sure all employees know how to get support when they need it. 5. Keep the Repository Updated: Once the repository is in use, it is necessary keep the incorporated knowledge and information updated and relevant. Updates can be the responsibility of the individual who uploaded the content or of an employee(s) appointed to maintain and update the repository. As with all processes and procedures, the steps for updating the repository should be documented and accessible for those who need the information. Examples of Ways to Organize and Label Content include Topic Transit agency function Information type Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-7 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge Useful Internal and External Resources Resources for Strategy Implementation Dedicated transit employee(s) responsible for implementing, sustaining, and evaluating the program. Depending on the technology platform of the repository, IT staï¬ to set up the repository. Resources for Sustaining Strategy Monitor use of the repository. Periodically collect data on the number of documents that have been uploaded to the repository and how many times employees have accessed the repository. This information can then be used to strategize about ways to encourage employee use of the repository. Develop and follow a strict repository maintenance plan. If the repository contains outdated materials, it will lose its usefulness. Examples of Eï¬ective Programs The Chief Knowledge Architect at NASA shared that knowledge repositories can be further enhanced with taxonomy and ontology technologies, such as Smart Logic, Expert Systems, Pool Party, and Luminoso. These technologies help create structure and hierarchy to group documents, videos, and other resources stored in the database. This infrastructure then allows for quick and easy searching by employees. Although these technologies can be expensive to implement, the increase in eï¬ciency leads to greater long-term cost-eï¬ectiveness. A mid-sized transit agency created an online SharePoint repository of tools, knowledge, and information for managers. Prior to implementing the repository, managers could have several diï¬erent versions of ï¬les across the transit agency because everyone had created their own slightly diï¬erent version. The repository provided consistency of information, tools, templates, processes and procedures and reduced the workload of employees who no longer had to âreinvent the wheel,â ultimately improving their eï¬ciency. Although it does not constitute a formal knowledge repository eï¬ort, many transit agencies have formal document control procedures that ensure all employees are accessing the latest and most updated version of a document. Document control procedures promote consistency and eï¬ciency Keys to Success Create structure and implement tagging/metadata to make searching the repository eï¬ective. Develop a maintenance plan to keep the repository up-to-date. When a new SOP or document is added to the repository, send the link or create an alert system for the individuals to whom the update will be pertinent. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-8 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge implementation of the repositories. Impact and Cautionary Considerations Positive Outcomes of the Strategy Promote Access to Knowledge: Transit agencies can store critical information in a repository to assist employees in carrying out their job responsibilities. These repositories can save employees time and improve consistency and quality of work while allowing them to focus energy on future initiatives to improve the transit agencyâs activities and services. Improve Working Relationships: A good knowledge repository can help bridge communication gaps between transit employees and departments or functions, thus improving working relationships. Increased communication helps employees gain a greater understanding of the roles others play within the transit agency and the interdependencies between functions. Stronger working relationships enable better integration across transit functions and support high-quality and eï¬cient employee performance. Support New Employee Training: Training staï¬ can use the content in the repository to create a curriculum that familiarizes transit employees with job duties and processes and procedures that they must follow, while building the skills employees need to be successful on the job. Cautionary Considerations or Potential Negative Outcomes of the Strategy Should Be Paired with Other Strategies: Knowledge repositories should not be the only KM strategy that a transit agency uses. Some assume that a repository will solve more knowledge-related issues than it actually does. For greater success, knowledge repositories should be combined with other KM activities, such as developing and maintaining SOPs, implementing knowledge dissemination forums and CoPs, or conducting knowledge interviews. Technology Needs to Match Transit Agencyâs Culture: A transit agency must ï¬rst assess its culture and KM needs before investing in technology that supports knowledge retention. This assessment will aid the transit agency in choosing a technology that meets the transit agencyâs needs and works eï¬ectively within the transit agencyâs culture, rather than trying to change the organization to ï¬t to the technology. + â Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM across the organization, and are parallel to knowledge repository eï¬orts designed to provide access to the most recent version of tools, templates, processes, and procedures. These procedures could be included in a knowledge repository plan and provide for quicker
5-9 Action Plan J: Utilize Knowledge Repositories That Store and Promote Access to Knowledge their advantage. If comprehensive training is not provided, there is a great likelihood that employees will be unsuccessful in using the repository and the transit agencyâs knowledge retention eï¬orts could potentially fail. Communication Plan Process for Obtaining Buy-In Leadership Buy-In Provide details on expected ROI of knowledge repository initiative, including the beneï¬ts for both individual employees and the transit agency as a whole. Employee Buy-In Ensure that senior transit leaders communicate to employees the program objectives and scope and how it will beneï¬t them in carrying out their job responsibilities eï¬ectively, while serving the transit agencyâs mission. Valuable Communication Resources Information about what the knowledge repository is, how it functions, and what it will contain. Documented procedures for adding to and updating the repository. Training for transit agency employees on their responsibilities in reference to the repository and how to use it. FAQ documents related to KM generally and knowledge retention speciï¬cally. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM User-Friendly Platform: A critical aspect of building and implementing knowledge repositories is that the platform must be user friendly. A custom built platform with a high level of sophistication can result in employees being unable to use it properly, which may make them angry or frustrated, and ultimately demotivate them from buying into the process. Transit employees will need training on the technology to enhance their ability to use the repository to
5-10 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge Summary: SOPs are a set of instructions or guidance to help employees understand how the transit agency carries out processes. SOPs need to be comprehensive and well maintained. This requires fully developing and documenting SOPs initially and then revising them periodically to incorporate any steps that have changed or need to be changed to allow the transit agency to become more eï¬ective or to adopt new and diï¬erent tools necessary to support procedures. Both technical and non-technical knowledge should be captured in SOPs. Neither should be overlooked or disregarded â even if it seems routine. SOPs support knowledge retention and consistent performance. For example, SOPs that provide transit employees with instructions on how to carry out operating and emergency response procedures and protocols are extremely important for a transit agency because they help the transit agency achieve eï¬ciency and uniformity of performance, support safety and quality service to the customer, reduce miscommunication, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. The transit industry, like many others, has a history of failing to fully document operating procedures in all critical areas; this includes standard as well as emergency response procedures. Further, operating procedures are often not updated in a timely fashion, so the SOPs lose relevance in guiding day-to-day service delivery. Since employees perform the procedures and employees know how and under what conditions they work best, it is also crucial to ensure that contextual information and employeesâ tacit knowledge are incorporated into the SOPs. Examples of types of tacit knowledge that can be included are Why the procedure needs to be completed Steps for completing the procedure Results gained after completing the procedure Employees should be notiï¬ed when an SOP is updated and provided access to it to ensure that they are referencing the correct and updated version. Document control procedures should apply to SOPs so that employees know they are working with the most recent version. Rationale for Implementing Strategy: One way for transit agencies to ease into KM is by focusing on things they are already doing such as developing, documenting, and updating SOPs. These documents retain important institutional and procedural knowledge. Maintaining SOPs ensures consistency of information and eï¬ective application of knowledge within the transit agency. Well-maintained SOPs increase transit agency managementâs conï¬dence that the tasks assigned to newly hired employees are comprehensively documented and accessible to help new hires carry out their job responsibilities. If SOPs are not updated, employees might be following processes that are no longer eï¬cient, which may result in, at least, a waste of time and resources or, at worst, operational, maintenance, or safety challenges for the transit agency. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-11 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge If a transit agency does not have a formal process for developing and maintaining SOPs, it will be readily apparent to transit employees and may negatively aï¬ect their perception of the transit agencyâs management, thus diminishing employee support for the critical role SOPs play in guiding transit agency activities. This lack of faith in SOPs can also lead employees to create their own processes and procedures to carry out their job responsibilities, which may or may not be eï¬ective, and can contribute to less consistent job performance across the transit agency. Action Plan Highlights Comprehensive and periodically updated SOPs create consistency and eï¬ciency throughout the transit agency. Well-maintained SOPs help ensure that new transit employees understand what is expected of them and procedurally how to carry out their job responsibilities. 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) Lead SOP coordinator Various transit agency function subject matter experts, assisted by safety and training staï¬ and administrative support staï¬ Employees who perform job responsibilities that use the processes or procedures contained in the SOPs Targeted Audience(s) All transit agency employees who are guided by the content of SOPs Steps to Develop and Maintain SOPs 1. Identify SOP Coordinator: Since SOPs support most major transit agency functions, coordinating SOP development, review, and updates should be a centralized responsibility with cross-agency subject matter expert support. One reason to centralize this function is to ensure that SOP activities are being carried out in a timely manner and that time and resources are available for SOP activities. This coordinator need not be a subject matter expert, but rather a Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-12 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge solid project manager who is able to tap into subject matter expertise from each transit functional area. In most transit agencies, the individual who ï¬lls this role would also have other regular job assignments, with the coordination and quality control of the SOP process as an additional responsibility. 2. 3. Steps to Develop and Maintain Standard Operating Procedures 1. Identify coordinator to oversee development and maintenance of SOPs 2. Ensure comprehensive SOPs are developed in all appropriate functional areas 3. Periodically analyze and update SOPs 4. Distribute new and updated SOPs Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM Ensure SOPs Are Appropriate for All Functional Areas: Most transit agencies already have some SOPs in place, but that does not necessarily mean that they are documented, comprehensive, or up- to-date. Existing SOPs need to be reviewed for content and, where that content is less than comprehensive, enhanced with input from functional area subject matter experts. In transit area functions that lack SOPs, these SOPs will need to be developed from scratch, again with the assistance of subject matter experts. Keep in mind that subject matter expertise does not solely reside at the managerial and supervisory level, but also exists within the frontline employee workforce. Therefore, SOP development and enhancement should involve all appropriate levels within the functional area(s) of the SOP focus and where it will be used. Periodically Analyze and Update SOPs: Transit agencies should have a maintenance plan for keeping SOPs up-to-date and relevant. This plan will outline when to analyze and how to update the SOPs. Using the maintenance plan, determine which SOPs are due for update and identify the individuals who created those SOPs. SOPs should be updated with the assistance of employees knowledgeable of the functional area on which the SOP focuses and employees who have a cross-functional understanding of all transit agency activities and responsibilities. In addition, individuals who actually perform or supervise the work and use the processes or procedures contained in the SOP should be asked to provide input. It is essential to keep frontline employees involved in updates so that they can add their tacit knowledge to the SOP. A team approach is useful, especially for multi-tasked processes where the experiences of a number of individuals are critical to ï¬eshing out the SOP. This approach promotes buy-in from potential users of the SOP. Those involved with updating SOPs should work through the SOP, challenging it by asking âWhy?â for every procedural step and eliminating any elements that are unnecessary. Procedural steps can be combined, rearranged, and added where necessary during the analysis stage. This ensures that employees using the SOP are provided the most relevant and eï¬cient process. During the update of the SOP, employees should also ensure that the SOP has A descriptive title The scope of the SOP, including the transit agency functions to which it pertains The date of the SOP development The date of the SOP update Available transit agency training related to the SOP, if applicable
5-13 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge 4. Distribute New and Updated SOPs: Employees should be notiï¬ed of and provided any new and updated SOPs. The SOPs should be distributed or made available to all employees who have responsibilities within the function(s) that the SOP addresses. Transit agencies should have a communication plan that outlines how to alert employees when there is a new or updated SOP. Additionally, old SOPs should be destroyed after the new version comes into eï¬ect so that employees are not confused by the existence of multiple versions of the SOP. Useful Internal and External Resources Resources for Strategy Implementation Dedicated transit agency employee(s) responsible for implementing and sustaining the SOP eï¬orts. Subject matter experts to support SOP development and updates in each transit agency functional area, as appropriate. Resources for Sustaining Strategy Integration of SOPs into existing transit agency strategic thinking and culture. Guide that outlines how to update SOPs. Timeline outlining how often to update SOPs. Technology that facilitates sharing of SOPs and allows for editing by multiple transit agency employees. Training oï¬erings based on SOP processes, procedures, and protocols within each transit agency functional area that SOPs address. Examples of Eï¬ective Programs A large transit agency shared that they update their SOPs on a three-year cycle, meaning that after three years have passed since an SOP was created or last edited, it is due to be updated again. During this review, the transit agency looks to add new policies, rules, equipment, and tools that are relevant to the process and not currently included. After updating an SOP, they release it to the transit agency and communicate the updated SOP to employees, making sure that all employees are aware of the most relevant and updated version. The transit agency also noted that it is critical to have a documented process for actions to take when there is a new or updated SOP so employees are not referencing a document that is no longer relevant. The Chief Operating Oï¬cer of a midsize transit agency shared that it is essential to involve employees in developing and updating SOPs. When employees are part of the process, they buy into it and âownâ their SOPs. When new employees enter the organization, current employees are Keys to Success Prepare a documented plan for when and how to update SOPs. Notify employees when an SOP is updated to ensure that they are using the correct version. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM more likely to share and promote the SOPs to get the new employees on board, as the SOPs are something that they are directly involved with and in charge of.
5-14 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge Impact and Cautionary Considerations Positive Outcomes of the Strategy Employee Buy-In: When transit employees are involved in developing and updating SOPs, they are more likely to feel invested in the SOPs and ensure that their coworkers follow the included processes, procedures, and protocols. Creates Consistency and Eï¬ciency: Updated SOPs ensure that employees are following the same processes, procedures, and protocols within a given functional area, which creates consistency and eï¬ciency throughout the transit agency. Promotes Safety and Quality of Service Delivery: Although comprehensive and updated SOPs do not guarantee safe and quality service delivery, when employees follow SOPs the probability of delivering safe and quality service increases. Used for New Employee Training: New employees are able to quickly learn and understand the processes, procedures, and protocols required in their job when they have access to up-to-date SOPs and associated training that guides their job performance. Cautionary Considerations or Potential Negative Outcomes of the Strategy Labor and Resource Intensive: Developing and maintaining SOPs requires considerable time to document details of procedures, and the associated work will likely be a duty asked of employees in addition to their regular job assignments. To keep employees invested, it is essential to show them the benefits they will realize from SOPs, as well as the beneï¬ts to the transit agency as a whole. Additionally, senior management support for and buy-in to SOP development and updates will help motivate employees to assume additional SOP maintenance-related responsibilities. Communication Plan Process for Obtaining Buy-In Leadership Buy-In Provide details on expected ROI of maintaining updated SOPs, including the beneï¬ts for both individual employees and the transit agency as a whole. Valuable Communication Resources Resource guide given to existing and new employees that explains the purpose of SOPs, lists existing SOPs, and delineates where employees can ï¬nd particular SOPs related to their job. + â Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM
5-15 Action Plan K: Maintain Updated SOPs to Store Critical Technical Knowledge Share with existing employees that new employees will be able to step in and perform on the job more quickly and eï¬ectively if they have SOPs to reference and guide their speciï¬c job responsibilities. Knowledge Capture Knowledge Retention KM Planning Knowledge Transfer KM Culture Intro to KM Procedure for notifying employees when an SOP is updated. Employee Buy-In Explain to employees that having updated SOPs will ensure that work is completed consistently across the transit agency, creating eï¬ciency and making their jobs easier.