The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

By Edward Perez,2014-07-11 20:10
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The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge Performance

    System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    (Designed, Developed and Tested by CentDoc/NDA and BOC)

    Klaus MAK, Johannes GÖLLNER

    c/o National Defence Academy of the Austrian MoD

    Central Documentation & Information Service (CentDoc)

    Stiftgasse 2a

    1070 Vienna

    AUSTRIA / /

    Robert WOITSCH

    c/o BOC Asset Management GmbH

    Bäckerstrasse 5

    Stiftgasse 2a

    1010 Vienna



    The paper at hand discusses the applicability of the Knowledge Performance System (KPS) of the Austrian Armed Forces. The Knowledge Product Model is seen as the enabling concept for interoperability of knowledge-driven organisations and has been developed in a series of Knowledge Management Projects for the AAF at the Austrian Defence Academy.

    Keywords: Knowledge Performance System, Knowledge Management (KM), Knowledge Modelling, Model Based KM, Process Oriented KM, Knowledge Product, Organisational Capability Development, Measurement, Aspects of Interoperability.


    In today’s information and knowledge driven society existing knowledge within organisations is the

    decisive resource applied in the service delivery process.

    The challenges in military organisations are more comprehensive. They have to execute national and international military and CIMIC joint operations combined with an adapted education and training system. Also the research and development programme has to be matched with the planning and lessons learned section of the MoD and JOC of the AAF. This complex transformation scenario has to be supported by an optimized logistic system and business organisation. Therefore interoperability has to be assured at all levels.

    Knowledge in all available forms as the basic resource for decision instances has to be managed in optimised form. The “Learning Organisation” has to be managed and evaluated in real time. While highly structured processes have been automated by applying business process management principles to allow concrete measurement in order to raise efficiency and effectiveness, weakly structured processes are different.

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The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Knowledge Products” are defined as consumable knowledge. This point of view focuses all KM-

    activities on accessible and applicable knowledge. Hence those products are the output of process-oriented knowledge work including all forms of production processes. Applying the well known principles of production to knowledge enables the application of similar methodologies, instruments and tools. The Knowledge Performance System Methodology has been used as a roadmap-model for defining knowledge products, knowledge resources and knowledge processes that are used within reporting mechanisms applying a model-driven mechanism in the implementation process and in relation to the different aspects of interoperability in a military and organisational context. The approach mentioned above was applied in a series of KM-projects within the Austrian NBC Defence School, an organisation heavily dependent on the knowledge and expertise of its employees in order to maintain the necessary level of security and sustainability in critical domains available at any point in time. 2.0 CHALLENGES OF KM IN THE AUSTRIAN ARMED FORCES (AAF)

    All specifications of KM tasks in the AAF are defined in the “Military Strategic Concept” and

    organisational guidelines. The guidelines for the detailed specifications are determined in a cross-section operational concept: “KM in the AAF”. Three main challenges are focused in our work and preceded to be


    Following these challenges, we focused on answering those questions and solving the problems with a new holistic approach of KM.

    2.1 Support for Capability Development

    Capability is the entirety of a system that delivers an output or effect. It will most likely be a complex combination of:








    Our questions regarding “Product View”:

    Is it possible to define the capabilities which are the entirety of output or effect as a product/knowledge product?

    Is it possible to define a military operation as a product/knowledge product?

    2.2 Enabler for Interoperability

    All levels of interoperability have to be supported by KM:


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    The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?





    Our Business Process Model related questions:

    Is a “Business Process & Model Based KM” – approach appropriate to support analysing, planning, documenting, managing and evaluating of military planning and operational tasks? Which are suitable tools and methods to support the solution of interoperability problems?

    2.3 Improvement of the Evaluation Quality

    A business process management approach with “Specification of Goals in the fields of:

     Resources “What is available input?”

     Human Capital “What is available knowledge?”

     Processes “How to manage the knowledge?”

     Use Cases What is the impact of knowledge?”

    (“Four Perspectives of a Scorecard”)

    combined with KM.

    Our questions regarding Managing and Evaluating knowledge: Is the “Balanced Scorecard Technique” a practicable approach to create a “Knowledge Scorecard?

    What is the available knowledge input (Resources)? What is the available personalized knowledge

    (Human Capital)? Do we know how to manage the knowledge (Processes)? What is the impact of

    knowledge (Use Cases)?

    Is our generic “Roadmap” executable in the CBRN Use Case?


    The “Knowledge Product” (“If you can’t measure it – you can’t manage it!”) and the “Four Perspectives of the Scorecard” represent in combination the “Architecture of the Knowledge Performance System

    (KPS)”. This architecture with its “12 dimensions” represents a “Meta Layer” for:







    a system, an organisation or an operation.

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The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Our answer:

    The “Architecture of the KPS”: suitable as a “Meta Layer” (Fig.4) for a combined organisational and knowledge-related view.


    4.1 Related Work

    Monitoring the KM initiatives and application scenarios within a company or military organisation is not something unusual, representing just a current hype.

    Over the years different approaches have been implemented in order to provide an instrument for military capability development and evaluation as well as for defining the interfaces of system elements and system components for an organisational interoperability concept based on a holistic management philosophy.

    4.2 Knowledge Performance System (KPS): Architecture and Design

    After the definition of the knowledge management strategy, the KPS has been designed. For a transparent, quality and process orientated transformation and implementation of KM, model orientated concepts have been successful or in advantage.

    This section presents the modelling of KM and offers a reference model, which is based on the business-process-oriented knowledge management approach. It gives a clue about the intentional goals, the definition and classification of business processes, the evaluation of results, as well as their interpretation for setting new goals.

    One of the tasks of any KM is the direct or indirect support of business processes. In order to obtain a clearly defined and practical tool for linking business processes and knowledge management, we introduce the concept of a “Knowledge Product”.

    Knowledge products are the results of KM used in business processes. The presented reference model (Fig.1) explains how such knowledge products are created. „Knowledge Product the anchor-point of

    business process orientated KM.

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    The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Figure 1: “Knowledge Product”.

    4.3 The Methodology to Develop a KPS

    The 5 phases in the procedure model are identified as follows:

    Phase 1: Goal Definition: The overall goal of the KM project is defined using application scenarios. The KPS supports a set of application scenarios like Process-Oriented KM, KM Process Optimization, Skill Management and Knowledge Monitoring and Reporting. This phase represents all system definitions and descriptions. Goal definitions are directly linked to political interoperability as well as aspects of legal and cultural interoperability.

    Phase 2: KM introduction steps: After defining the goal of the KM project, the second phase is concerned with the actual KM introduction steps. The scenario selected is in details described by an analysis of input/output relations and related knowledge management processes. This phase includes all knowledge

    processes and is therefore directly connected to organisational interoperability.

    Phase 3: Knowledge Operationalisation: The results of the KM are formalized regarding operational and execution systems. Models are further enhanced by adding knowledge resources and tools to the overall knowledge landscape. This phase includes semantic, syntactic and technical interoperability.

    Phase 4: Knowledge Execution: For the actual application of the KM system in real-work context, i.e. employees accessing the system and fulfilling day-to-day operations accordingly. Phase 5: Knowledge Evaluation: In the feedback loop of the provided KM system its effectiveness is evaluated in order to influence the definition phases for continuous improvement representing a dynamic procedure in transforming and adapting interoperability.

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The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Figure 2: Roadmap to Performance Monitoring”.

    During these steps of analysing and modelling the system all questions of interoperability have to be discussed and established. Therefore a firm basis for practical solutions is provided! 4.4 Knowledge Performance Systems (KPS) for Units of the Austrian Armed Forces The intellectual capital management scenario uses mechanisms and constructs of controlling frameworks and establishes these frameworks in the domain of knowledge management. Consequently the PROMOTE? approach of our partner BOC is regarded as the basis for building up knowledge scorecards. The original concept of Balance Scorecards (Kaplan and Norton) sets up 4 generic perspectives (financial, customer, business process and learning/growth perspective) and sets those in context with each other using cause and effect relations targeting comprehensive controlling and monitoring objectives within an organisation.

    The knowledge scorecards use the same principles, but focus on knowledge management aspects. Therefore the structure of the PROMOTE? based knowledge scorecard is defined as follows:

     Product Perspective: Goals, indicators and measures for the actual product provided by the


     Processes and Structure Perspective: Goals, indicators and measures in relation to processes

    executed (core processes, quality-relevant processes, management processes, etc.)

     Human Capital, Relations and Competences Perspective: Goals, indicators and measures of

    human capital and competences

     Resources and Support Perspective: Goals, indicators and measures of budget, infrastructure,

    material and tools (structural capital)

    These perspectives have been derived within the best practice project and validated against literature in the domain resulting in a reference architecture for knowledge scorecards on a generic level. 11 - 6 RTO-MP-IST-101

    The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Figure 3: “Architecture of the KPS”.

    Figure 4: “Meta Layer”.



    In the following the best practice project for a KPS based on the PROMOTE? approach is described in detail delivering insights into the project results and the steps performed. The section describes the RTO-MP-IST-101 11 - 7

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    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    problem statement and motivation for the best practice project, presents project results based upon the conceptual description above and concludes with lessons learned from the perspective of the project partners.

     Action tasks: Force Providing / NBC Company

     Training & Education

     Research & Development

    The best practice project has been executed according to the roadmap for implementing the knowledge scorecards based upon the PROMOTE? approach. The results derived and accomplished in step 1 are described below.

    5.1 Influence Factors for the Organisation

    In this step the Scenario with the influence factors for the organisation has to be defined. In our use-case external factors and internal preconditions have to be defined in three assignments:

     For the CBRN-mission-portfolio,

     For the CBRN-training-portfolio and

     For the CBRN-R&D-field.

    All questions of political interoperability with clear political objectives and legal necessities have to find its expression in clear mission assignments.

    Figure 5: “KM System Paradigma”.

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    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    These planning guidelines are the preconditions for the operating organisation, within all business perspectives:

     Product Catalogue for Mission, Training and R&D

     Processes and Structures

     Environment, Employees (HR- Resources),

     Capability Catalogue and Resources

    Figure 6: “NBC-KM-System-Overview”.

    5.2 Model of the NBC Defence School

    Supported with PROMOTE a Knowledge Map of the organisation is produced. All relevant modules describe the organisation, the input and output factors and the interfaces. Skills and capabilities combined with the task are documented.

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The Austrian Armed Forces (AAF) Knowledge

    Performance System (KPS) An Enabler for Interoperability?

    Figure 7: “Knowledge Landscape as Orientation”.

    The knowledge product model at the NBC Defence School has been structured according to the application area of the products.

    Three main categories have been identified: R&D, Training and Force Providing Products. R&D establishes the grounding of knowledge related work (e.g. scientific publications in different domains, maintenance of e-Learning, etc.). Training Products are the main area within the organisation comprising all necessary courses and training products maintaining a long-term availability of forces. Force Providing Products are products that are provided when military actions take place and expert knowledge is required within the organisation.

    Each of the boxes in the model represents a concrete Knowledge Product that can be consumed by any requesting organisational unit.

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