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NASA Knowledge Management Strategic Plan

By Don Carroll,2014-06-17 17:59
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NASA Knowledge Management Strategic Plan ...

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR

    KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

NASA Knowledge Management Team

April 2, 2002

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NASA Publication XX

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR

    KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

NASA Knowledge Management Team

Concurrence:

Lee Holcomb, NASA CIO Brian Keegan, Chief Engineer

Vicky Novak, AA, Code F

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? i

    Many people at NASA and within the knowledge management community

    contributed the ideas set forth in this document. We are grateful for their comments

    and support. Specifically, the NASA Agency-Wide Knowledge Management Team, the

    members of which are noted below, did much of the work reflected here. Special

    thanks are given to Diana Meyers and Whitney Harris for their help in preparing the

    material for this document.

     CENTER NAME CENTER NAME

    ARC Rich Keller HQ Len Japngie

    ARC Charlotte Linde HQ Elmer Padgett

    DRC Maria Chacon HQ Roland Ridgeway

    GRC Bob Stauffer HQ Sharron Sample

    GRC Rhonda Arterberrie HQ Richard Weinstein

    GRC Steve Eubanks HQ Steve Golis

    GRC Steve Prahst JPL Jeanne Holm, Chairperson

    GSFC Steve Naus JPL Michael Hooks

    GSFC Jay Liebowitz JPL Douglas Hughes

    HQ Ali Montasser JSC Larry Sweet

    HQ Brian Dunbar JSC Lloyd Erickson

    HQ Gary Minarich KSC Michael Bell

    HQ Ken Stepka LaRC George Roncaglia

    HQ Marcia Nickols LaRC Manjula Ambur

    HQ Nancy Kaplan LaRC Mike Little

    HQ Patrick Kelly LaRC Ronnie Gillian

    HQ Joe Elliott MSFC Daniel O'Neil

    HQ Raymond Kacmar MSFC Jeanette Johnson

    HQ Jane Odom SSC Dana Matherly

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? ii

    Table of Contents

    Foreword ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Executive Summary .................................................................................................................... 3 Vision ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Mission ......................................................................................................................................... 8 Goals .......................................................................................................................................... 10 Background Information .......................................................................................................144

    People ............................................................................................................................ 14

    Process .........................................................................................................................166

    Technology ..................................................................................................................188 Summary .................................................................................................................................... 20 Appendix A. Charter................................................................................................................. 22 Appendix B. Guiding Documents ........................................................................................... 24 Appendix C. Examples of Knowledge Management As An Enabler .................................. 25

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? iii

    FOREWORD

    In the days when the vast array of NASA’s resources was focused on a few long-

    duration programs (Apollo, Viking, Shuttle), we had the luxury of people sharing

    knowledge throughout the program. Engineers and scientists spent years, sometimes

    decades, working on a project, learning from the senior members and eventually

    mentoring junior team members. As an Agency, our knowledge base and abilities

    continued to grow. As we moved to a philosophy of applying the principles of faster-

    better-cheaper as appropriate, that era of apprenticeship and nurturing of the flow of

    experiential and tacit knowledge has become more fractured. In today’s environment,

    engineers and scientists may work one to three years on a project and then move on.

    Individually they may gain a lot of knowledge, but that knowledge remains with them

    and is not captured or passed on broadly for future missions. New employees are

    tossed into a maelstrom of project implementation and expected to perform without

    any substantial introduction to NASA’s processes, history, culture, and lessons

    learned. Rather than advocating a return to days of large projects, knowledge

    management principles offers a solution for moving ahead, acknowledging today’s

    constraints and adapting to a world where technology and innovative processes must

    partially replace the mentoring and measured approaches of the past.

    NASA’s knowledge, its intellectual capital, is the Agency’s primary, sustainable source of competitive advantage. Physical assets age, today’s workforce is mobile, and

    technology is quickly bypassed. Our knowledge as an Agency, however, can endure.

    This knowledge is a fluid mix of experience and know-how that allows NASA

    employees to strive for and achieve the improbable day after day.

    Those companies whose cultures promote knowledge sharing and individual learning have high employee retention, attract high-quality employees, and have a

    workforce that focuses on fixing the problem rather than fixing the blame.

    Knowledge management is the spark that will ignite our ability to get the most from the investments we have made in our workforce and information technology, and

    to harness the considerable intellectual capital within the Agency and its partners.

    Implementations in KM are more than technology thrusts, but will build upon

    technology and information to help guide NASA through the intricacies of working

    with international teams and making ever-more-complex decisions. We have many of

    the key ingredients to making knowledge management succeeda highly intelligent

    workforce, a need to learn in order to succeed, and some solid, technical

    infrastructure.

    The three key areas upon which we need to move forward to more effectively manage our knowledge are

    ? Capturing more of the critical knowledge NASA needs to safely conduct

    missions

    ? Enabling virtual teams to work collaboratively at peak efficiency

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 1

    ? Managing more effectively the information we have already captured

    If we do not begin to manage our knowledge as an Agency, we will repeat our

    mistakes. Worse, we will be destined to never learn from our successes. The gauntlet

    thrown down before us is to either deliver our missions from silo’ed organizations…or

    to invest the time and money to fly safely and successfully today while leaving a

    unique and irreplaceable legacy for the future of NASA and the Nation.

    Jeanne Holm, Chair

    NASA Knowledge Management Team

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 2

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    NASA’s need to capture the key knowledge of its workforce and learn from its

    lessons is evident. The methods by which we accomplish this goal are highly variable.

    The Administration, outside agencies, and our own workforce are calling for NASA to

    infuse knowledge management practices into the daily work of the Agency.

    What is “knowledge management”? Knowledge management is getting the right information to the right people at the right time, and helping people create knowledge

    and share and act upon information in ways that will measurably improve the

    performance of NASA and its partners. This means providing access to information at the time people need it to make the best decisions possible for mission safety and

    success. It means

    ? Providing an engineer the history of design decisions on previous projects

    ? Giving a project manager access to the best risk management practices and

    tools when he or she needs them

    ? Providing the time for a senior scientist to mentor a promising young star

Some of this can be accomplished through clever information technology solutions and

    improved access to NASA’s already rich, explicit information. The larger part of this

    relates to capturing the tacit knowledge of our workforce and effecting cultural

    changes that will encourage people to share what they know.

    In seeking the best way to achieve such a vision, the NASA Knowledge

    Management Team has set forth this Strategic Plan. This strategy is based on best practices in industry and is geared to specifically addressing the internal drivers for

    enhancing our ability to share knowledge among projects and with our partners.

    Individuals are not intentionally keeping key information from others, but rather

    NASA’s culture and environment inadvertently discourages individuals and projects

    from sharing. The findings of the NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT)1 clearly

    pointed to an environment where increasing time and budget pressures broke down

    lines of communication and prevented people from internalizing and applying

    previous lessons. Changes have been and are being made to change this, and the

    2application of knowledge management practices is a key change.

    1 See the report at http://www.nasaappl.com/resources/updates/NIAT.pdf 2 NIAT action item 17 relates to knowledge management and the application of lessons learned.

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 3

    There are three goals where KM activities can help NASA’s ability to deliver its missions

    1. To sustain NASA’s knowledge across missions and generations,

    KM activities will identify and capture the information that exists across the

    Agency

    2. To help people find, organize, and share the knowledge we already have,

    KM implementations will help to efficiently manage the Agency’s knowledge

    resources

    3. To increase collaboration and to facilitate knowledge creation and sharing,

    KM teams will develop techniques, tools, venues, and facilities to enable

    teams and communities to collaborate across the barriers of time and space

In realizing these goals, some of the specific near-term objectives should include

    capturing key employee knowledge, managing the information resources we already

    have, and creating ways for remote teams to work collaboratively. The knowledge

    management efforts are envisioned as a coordinating function that encompasses

    implementation responsibilities that might be necessary to “fill the gaps” that exist

    between organizations.

    This Plan sets forth the roadmap to move to an environment that encourages knowledge sharing, preserves our organizational memory, and allows our employees

    to learn both individually and from each other.

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 4

    VISION

    NASA’s mandate to deliver leaner, more demanding, and increasingly more complex missions has resulted in our dependency on creating multidisciplinary teams,

    building alliances with contractors, and quickly and dynamically linking to and

    learning from other Agency activities. However, NASA’s current array of processes, resources, and infrastructure does not adequately support this environment.

    Consequently, program and project managers are frustrated in trying to quickly

    identify the right people for teams, take advantage of our rich pool of experience,

    rapidly and broadly share information across organizational boundaries, and fully

    understand the range of the Agency’s people, processes, and technology resources.

    Recent reports scrutinizing failures at the Agency, and the subsequent

    recommendations of the NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT), point to a

    fundamental problem in the ability of the Agency to communicate vital information

    within teams and across organizational boundaries. This

    is reaching a critical turning point as more and more of KM plays a vital role in our key personnel reach retirement age. Today, up to 40% driving a learning culture, of our scientists and engineers are eligible to retire, with encouraging knowledge the number increasing to 55% by 2006. sharing, and supporting Increasingly, entities outside NASA are calling for us better decision making. to infuse knowledge management principles into our day-

    to-day work. The President’s Management Agenda notes under “Strategic Management of Human Capital” that

    Downsizing at NASA over the last decade through attrition and buyouts has

    resulted in an imbalance in NASA’s skill mix…. Knowledge management systems

    are just one part of an effective strategy that will help generate, capture, and 3disseminate knowledge relevant to the organization’s mission.

    4The Office of Personnel Management’s report echoes this in

    NASA is focusing a great deal of attention toward revitalizing its current workforce,

    especially with the loss of critical skills during past downsizing efforts…. NASA is

    focusing on knowledge sharing as a means to keep the workforce informed of

    project managers’ real-life experiences and latest industry trends.

    Finally, in a recent report, the General Accounting Office noted problems with

    5NASA’s ability to share lessons across the Agency. In that report, GAO pointed out

3 President’s Management Agenda, Fiscal Year 2002, p. 13, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2002/mgmt.pdf

    4 Office of Personnel and Management.

    5 NASA: Better Mechanisms Needed for Sharing Lessons Learned, GAO Report to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Committee on Science, January 2002, p. 36, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02195.pdf

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 5

    Successful industry and government organizations (develop)… strategic plans that

    provide a framework for how knowledge management practices will be

    implemented and by securing the management support and commitment need to bring these plans to fruition.

    We know that it is more critical than ever to better capture, organize, store, and

    distribute Agency knowledge resources to help achieve our goals. This impetus to

    manage knowledge comes down to understanding and applying a simple concept:

    People + Information = Action People + Information = Action

    ? PeopleThe employees of NASA and its partners, the public, the

    Government, and the technical community.

    ? InformationSpecific learnings that can be communicated between people

    (verbally, in writing, or through a method or process).

    ? ActionA decision or task that measurably improves the performance of the

    Agency or its partners, another organization, or an individual.

    When people are given access to the information and resources they need to

    complete a task, they can finish it more quickly and effectively. An engineer selecting

    a part for a sensor, a scientist analyzing data from an experiment, a manager

    selecting among various new technologiesall these actions are more likely to succeed if the people have access to pertinent information about what has worked before and

    who has made the same analyses. Knowledge management applications are the key to

    helping bring the right information to the right people at the right time.

    Knowledge management (KM) principles enable organizations to capture, organize,

    analyze, share, and reuse both explicit and tacit knowledge to make better and faster

    decisions across geographic, functional, and team boundaries. The cornerstones of NASA’s KM system are people, processes, and technology—all three aspects are needed to capture and harness the knowledge within NASA. The KM framework focuses on collecting and integrating sources of information to enhance the quality of the actions

    based upon that information and to facilitate creation of knowledge.

    The scenario on the following page sets forth a near-term vision of how

    investments in KM activities can explicitly enhance the way we do business.

    DEFINITION

     is getting the right NOWLEDGE MANAGEMENTKKNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT information to the right people at the right time, and helping people create knowledge and share and act act upon information in ways that will measurably

    improve the performance of NASA and its partners.

    Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management ? 6

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