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  • How the guide was developed | Auditor General of British Columbia
    approach the main approach we adopted has been used for knowledge management work in several organizations including the Pentagon NASA US Navy and BP formerly known as British Petroleum We also solicited feedback on areas of importance from several senior managers and practitioners from across the B C Government through interviews a focus group and an on line survey We identified examples of good practices to help inform the development of the self assessment and provide context to the guide We carried out two case studies BP and the BC Forest Service to illustrate comprehensive examples We chose BP because it is a well recognized and celebrated example of success in this field The BC Forest Service has a reputation for being a leader in this field and has taken an organization wide approach to ensuring knowledge is mobilized to improve performance Finally we also solicited good ideas from around the B C Government to help inform the guide These examples can provide managers and staff with ideas and ways to improve their own practices The maturity matrix up Case studies Printer friendly version Managing Knowledge A guide to good practice Public Sector Governance A Guide to the Principles of

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/522 (2016-02-12)
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  • Self-assessment guide
    between organizations Capable organizations strive to stimulate networks and encourage staff to be part of â boundary spanningâ groups to share expertise and ideas and to generate new knowledge All effective leaders have networks of various types These networks contact each other to share experiential learning and act as each otherâ s sounding boards devilâ s advocates and problem solvers Research shows that even if organizations have great storage and retrieval systems people still go to people for context conversation and a sense of how current and reliable information is see for example Cross et al 2001 pp 100â 112 Often a person can quickly reach others with appropriate expertise and trusts them because they are recommended through a colleague In this way one might discover that work has already been done and so there is no need to â reinvent the wheel â Communities of practice CoPs are one such network They are relatively nimble and responsive and can be used for rapid learning across boundaries In BP these are the glue that holds different systems in the corporation together The BC Forest Service also includes a number of strategies to stimulate networks in order to move knowledge quickly across the silos Organizations can also support developing expertise networks through business processes and technologies For example an expertise locator can be used to identify specialized knowledge that may not be visible in a job description The assessment questions Networks and Community In this capability area the questions help organizations assess the extent to which networks and communities are becoming a way of doing business â that is emerging in response to business needs and effective in sharing and generating knowledge and specialized expertise Both senior and middle managers should consider these questions Do employees with expertise and in need of expertise participate in cross boundary groups and form networks to generate and share knowledge Do groups such as communities of practices actively manage knowledge sometimes explicit such as body of knowledge repositories and sometimes tacit such as relationship building and cross boundary problem solving Do you have well used technology such as an expertise locator or searchable personnel websites to support learning and access to experts Do you include outside experts such as retirees stakeholders customers and researchers in your work on a regular basis to improve outcomes and learning Do you have policies in place guiding the sharing of knowledge in these communities e g  intellectual property confidentiality and privacy considerations Further guidance and practical examples Practice Guide 3 Networks and Communities Practice Guide 4 Communities of Practice Good Idea 4 Policy Community of Practice BC Forest Service Networks and Communities BP Networks and Communities Capability area 3 Experiential Learning Capable organizations recognize that experiential or â on the groundâ learning is critical to supporting innovation and continuous improvement If an organization gives almost all its attention to doing things as it has always done them it is unlikely that innovations and improvements will be identified to enhance performance  Experiential learning builds on existing formal education programs Trainers have long realized that it is difficult to transfer learning from a classroom to workplace processes Much of the reason is that at least 70 of workplace learning is informal â most is ad hoc and not facilitated Cross 2007 The â learning before during and afterâ framework from BP has been adopted by many organizations as an easy way of thinking about experiential learning It involves deliberate learning at different stages of initiatives Framing these tools and processes as â learning before during and afterâ gives needed structure and simplicity to work that is complex and integrative by nature Collison and Parcell 2004 pp 35â 40 Many tools and practices can fit into this framework Some emphasize knowledge sharing and learning from peers for instance while others focus more on generation of new knowledge and innovation Learning before is the work one does before beginning an initiative It includes learning from external experts and peers who have undertaken similar projects and through existing research and evaluations For example an innovative multi million dollar project might begin with a peer assist Collison and Parcell 2004 p 35 Learning during is the work one does throughout an initiative For example a project can include a number of five minute action reviews Collison and Parcell 2004 p 36 Learning after is the work one does after an initiative evaluating both the failures and successes of the projects Such learning can be captured with a lessons learned exercise Collison and Parcell 2004 p 36 The assessment questions Experiential Learning In this capability area the questions help organizations to determine if they view learning as an integral part of business and whether they have taken steps to ensure that people have opportunities to learn before during and after projects and events Leaders at many levels should consider the following questions Is it clearly understood and emphasized in your organization that learning in the short term can make doing more efficient or effective in the long term Does learning before a project begins include gathering of explicit and tacit knowledge Is it expected that your employees will review progress and lessons learned during a project Is it expected that a post project review will take place where lessons learned are shared and understood by peers or captured for future use Are learning processes well used and adopted throughout the organization or are they just occurring in isolated pockets Further guidance and practical examples Practice Guide 5 Peer Assist Practice Guide 6 Informal Action Review Practice Guide 7 Informal Formal Storytelling Good Idea 5 Interior Health Authority BC Forest Service Experiential Learning BP Experiential Learning Capability area 4 Knowledge Base Some knowledge assets lend themselves to being captured and stored These tend to be relatively stable explicit assets such as policy documents However systems and technologies to capture share and use knowledge shouldnâ t be limited to documents Organizations also need to consider ways

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/553 (2016-02-12)
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  • BP: Knowledge mobilized across silos to support success | Auditor General of British Columbia
    review helps learning during and a retrospect supports learning after something is completed In some cases it is appropriate to document and store information that emerges in these processes as explicit knowledge assets Greenes 2003 suggests that most effort be invested in peer to peer and community connections But he acknowledges that it is worthwhile to try to capture some critical knowledge or organizational doctrine BP s knowledge repository which serves a different purpose than regular files for payroll or travel is a very attractive database with innovators featured in photos videos and stories Users can click to read or see more and they can contact an individual to learn more about how to improve their unit s work by learning from the improvements Employees at BP connected with each other and the knowledge base through the intranet discussion forums and expertise locators Because BP s many communities span organizational boundaries and connect different functions and geographic locations they were viewed as the glue holding the people and processes together Greenes 2003 pp 32 33 One of the biggest challenges for knowledge managers is to find successful ways of working with organizational silos as important know how is often trapped within work units When a member of the public used the BP website to ask Lord Browne about how BP works with knowledge management part of his reply addressed this challenge Our experience has shown that an organization based on a federation of self standing business units is very good for delivering financial performance but is not ideal for transferring know how around the company as quoted in Collison and Parcell 2001 p 45 Exhibit 5 shows how knowledgeable successful units in the organization are expected to bring other units up to their level for the benefit of the whole organization and its customers These achievements provided a new plateau from which performance can be further improved Exhibit 5 Fostering Knowledge Flow for Performance at BP Source Adapted with permission from Greenes 2003 Networks and Communities Communities of practice CoPs are central to BP s approaches They span boundaries and are more agile than formal structures Competencies grow in a CoP as Exhibit 4 shows No traditional corporate structure regardless of how decluttered and delayered can muster up the speed flexibility and focus that success today demands Networks are faster smarter and more flexible Charan 1991 Far more organizational knowledge is in people s heads than in documents databases videos and files As Collison and Parcell 2004 p 138 explain Networks are the best way we have found to access maintain and refresh knowledge They are key in validating and distilling know how in their practice area Knowledge does not remain static It s not a case of storing a document on a shelf and leaving it to gather dust Through sharing ideas tips and hints problems and solutions they are able to access the knowledge of the whole community BP is not unusual in that software designed to connect

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/495 (2016-02-12)
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  • Case studies
    development and deployment as well as building a central repository for policy The policy community has been particularly valuable as much policy work is undertaken by subject matter experts dispersed throughout the organization This community provides a way of connecting people and moving their knowledge across organizational boundaries without needing to change their position within the organization Experiential Learning Cycles of learning and development of new knowledge are an integral part of the Forest Service approach These cycles are evident in processes described by staff for example the learning organization practitioners had debriefing sessions or action reviews following facilitated events These debriefing sessions focused on lessons learned generated knowledge and identified ways to improve practices Knowledge Base The policy project noted above exemplifies how different elements of thinking about knowledge as a strategic asset were embedded in regular business For example among the benefits included Builds a valuable record of policy development work and decisions that will be accessible for future work The policy website can offer other features for skill development such as access to best practice guidelines and how to checklists for policy development Source BC Forest Service Elements of Forest Service technologies supported communication upward and downward For example the Executive blogs used by the Deputy as well as other Executive members have a very personal and open feel and include interesting links stories and facts as well as timely information not readily found elsewhere The blog was initially set up to respond to employee survey findings Low scores on the survey around aspects of executive communication were further probed through story collection and narrative analysis The blog concept emerged in response to insights from the research Some people spoke about trying to encourage and maintain important conversations and content rather than falling into the trap of developing large knowledge repositories rarely accessed and with little value The Forest Service also emphasized the importance of the connection of groups and individuals more than codification of information though it was acknowledged that documents like manuals are still necessary for some work However to date the organization has relied more on boundary spanning and stimulation of social networks than on peer to peer connections through expertise locators and knowledge repositories It has also worked extensively with a form of narrative analysis â that is where stories about the future or the past are captured signified and analyzed to support planning staff development and business transformation Culture The BC Forest Service has a can do culture As one staff member put it  A lot of us started as forest fire fighters and just have the attitude we can get through anything This makes continuous improvement an easy sell but also makes finding time for reflection difficult Moreover both senior managers and staff alike suggested to us that the ministry historically had a command and control mindset so people were action oriented but not necessarily comfortable speaking up or taking initiative Another staff member from one of the regions spoke about helping to facilitate conversations using tools such as Open Space I see us as providing fresh lemonade versus powdered lemonade We give them something more to improve how they work together and communicate We are supplying a product that they wouldn t have otherwise â cost effective because if you had to use a contractor to facilitate this work it would be a significant cost to Forests He also described how engaging it is to help knowledge move around the organization and how being freed to spend 10 of one s time with such work makes it attractive to stay in the organization and in government A learning organization practitioner described benefits of working with different groups this way I know more about different aspects of our business I am much more rounded and I can tell people about projects related to theirs and give them contact names I am paying it forward all the time whenever and wherever I can Several interviewees also spoke about the benefits of empowerment A director described how thousands of ideas for improvements flooded in through the Business Transformation project which used the same software as that used in the Strategic Conversation Experts reviewed ideas for the most promising ideas but this work was set aside briefly because of other factors When it was revisited many of those promising ideas which were considered to be smaller scale typically straightforward and requiring limited resources had been implemented without the need for explicit direction or support Currently additional transformative ideas are being considered Looking Ahead Staff members we interviewed for this case study spoke with pride about their increased skills capacity and relevance However some also described areas in which they still wanted to make much more progress Pockets of relatively insulated knowledge remain and making time for critical reflection can be challenging In a note to her successor the outgoing Policy Secretariat Chair wrote More than ever the Secretariat needs to reach out to all our partners especially in the other resource agencies In the beginning we needed to connect now we need to integrate a much more demanding sharing of knowledge and perspectives than before both wider and deeper We may also be challenged into leading deeper public engagement in our policy thinking In the Forest Service the knowledge based and other inter related initiatives provided the conditions and opportunities for ideas to flow freely and for discussions to occur in both planned and spontaneous forums at all levels of the organization In addition to facilitating the flow of knowledge across the organization those we spoke to believe that this has created a state of readiness in the ministry and poised the Executive to be able to build a future direction informed by input from the ground up BP Knowledge mobilized across silos to support success BP formerly British Petroleum is one of the world s largest energy companies with almost 100 000 employees BP provides its customers with retail services as well

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/479 (2016-02-12)
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  • 2. Ministry of Transportation | Auditor General of British Columbia
    to effectively manage its engineering services contracts the ministry recognized the need to retain the ability to be knowledgeable owners of the transportation system For highway engineering design this meant retaining and training as required design engineers with enough experience to effectively oversee the work of the engineering services consultants As one ministry employee stated If you are going to criticize someone about how they play the piano you better have some idea of how to play that piano yourself The ministry recognized that it was at risk of losing key professionals with the knowledge to oversee the highly technical projects related to highway design It currently takes at least four years of post graduate experience for a graduate engineer to obtain her or his professional certification P Eng The ministry has an Engineer in Training EIT program whereby newly graduated engineers are hired to work in a variety of situations and projects for four years to gain sufficient experience so they may apply for their professional certification However with limited in house design work it was difficult at times to provide these young professionals with enough exposure to engineering design work The Practice As part of their succession and strategic planning the ministry recognized that it had to find ways to establish opportunities to provide more engineering design experience than was currently available To do this the ministry set up or expanded in house engineering design teams operating out of the Kamloops and Prince George regional offices In addition to recruiting design engineers the Ministry was now also able to provide more design experience to those in the existing EIT program Although there remain challenges in ensuring that the ministry has the right level and breadth of engineering technical expertise having some expanded design in house is helping the

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/497 (2016-02-12)
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  • 3. Financial Key Stream Project | Auditor General of British Columbia
    strategic financial and organizational management as well as specialists providing technical support and advice With this variety comes variability in terms of the knowledge required to ensure business objectives can be achieved Some of these positions require years of specialist education and on the job experience while others require people to have both technical competencies and a high level of tacit strategic knowledge In 2007 a workforce analysis for key financial positions identified trends that will significantly impact the financial capacity of government For example it identified that upwards of 850 new staff will be needed to maintain the current numbers At the same time the skills and knowledge of many financial staff were and would be sought after in the open market Challenge The B C public service was facing a significant challenge in being able to recruit retain and develop financial staff to meet future demands However the variability and breadth of financial positions made it challenging to target scarce resources to strategies that would have the greatest impact In other words the key stream project needed to identify where to focus efforts to ensure that critical technical or specialist knowledge as well as those in senior strategic positions was managed to ensure continuity and performance into the future The Practice Among other initiatives the key stream project developed a risk assessment framework to help identify the significance of potential losses of knowledge The framework helped to identify the risks associated with specific positions or groups across government by identifying the immediacy of the threat of loss e g whether someone was expected to depart within 1 year or over 5 years and the significance of the impact e g the nature and importance of the knowledge the person had and whether or not that person was actively

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/498 (2016-02-12)
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  • 4. Policy Community of Practice | Auditor General of British Columbia
    efficient There was also an identified need for analysts to increase their experiential learning As one interviewee said There is only so much that formal educational programs can teach you about policy work You need to learn from others who have done the job before It was also clear that Cabinet and the deputy ministers expected more consistency in cabinet submissions and that cooperation amongst policy staff was needed The Practice To launch the CoP all ministry policy units were sent an invitation to attend It was recognized that whether an analyst was working on childcare or fish policy he or she shared basic skills with other analysts It was also recognized that there were common tools and approaches that could be shared to improve policy work across government The group met in various venues and worked to set a tone of empowerment There was space for each person to speak about his or her interests and opportunities to find issues that spanned multiple ministries Said Joy Illington It didn t matter if you were an ADM or a junior policy analyst we worked to reduce those traditional hierarchies because often those hierarchies are an impediment to innovation and learning The CoP is still active in its sixth year partly because of a recognized need to rotate the convener role among interested volunteers This has helped to keep meeting agendas fresh as the community engages in learning and problem solving around topics including consultation strategies and legislation development It meets on a regular basis and has an active SharePoint site for members to access The membership now includes more junior level analysts than when it first began but as one member put it This is excellent the group has changed to address an identified need 3 Financial Key Stream Project

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/499 (2016-02-12)
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  • 5. Interior Health Authority | Auditor General of British Columbia
    staff managers and professionals involved needed to see the whole picture before they could find ways to improve their approaches attitudes and behaviours Different groups e g nurses and physicians had different perspectives on the countless number of interactions that occur on a day to day basis It became clear that the environment and decision making was not formulaic but dependent on circumstances In other words applying simple rules and policies was not going to solve the problems or support a change in culture The Practice Working with an external consultant an organization development consultant within IHA collected approximately 400 stories from staff managers and various health care professionals involved They also collected stories from patients and families Each story teller was asked to analyze his or her own stories by answering a number of questions about the stories A software tool was used to help people see patterns that emerged from the stories A proxy group of approximately 60 people from a variety of backgrounds was then brought together in a large workshop where the participants collectively made sense of the data including the narratives and the patterns that the individuals had played a role in formulating The process provided physicians with key insights into the perspective of nurses when it came to care planning From this work emerged 30 action items that were owned by management staff or both jointly Some of these items were aimed at improving decision making processes while others were quick fixes related to equipment or facilities Many of the action items were more relational in nature for example how to behave and speak with each other The long term outcome of this project was a shift both in the styles of senior leaders and in the staff themselves who became more engaged in

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/552/500 (2016-02-12)
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