Knowledge Management Toolbox

Knowledge management is “an umbrella term for a variety of techniques for building, leveraging and sustaining the know-how and experience of an organization’s employees” (NCHRP 813) to support organizational efficiency and effectiveness. An agency-wide approach that involves workforce planning, development of communities of practice, knowledge capture, project management, and information management strategies can build an agency’s knowledge base.

A successful knowledge management program will be championed by agency leadership, and will promote collaboration and the formation of knowledge communities, codification and dissemination of knowledge, and succession and talent management (Spy Pond Partners, LLC, 2015).

See Knowledge Management Resources for additional reading.

Knowledge Sharing Practices

The knowledge sharing practices (strategies, techniques, and tools) shown below can be utilized to transfer knowledge to one person to another or to groups of people. When employed one-on-one, these practices, can be used to convey technical details or information specific to a position or process. When used to transfer knowledge to groups of people, these practices provide an efficient means to reach people who can benefit from this knowledge.

Annotated Template / Guidance Document

Annotated Template / Guidance Document

Annotation of templates, plans, or other guidelines provides specific instructions on items for inclusion and how to complete the template and provides documentation.
Best Practice Meetings & Studies

Best Practice Meetings & Studies

Methods, processes, and strategies that have been shown to be effective through implementation. Adoption of best practices results in time and cost savings, reduction in errors, managing risk.
Communities of Practice

Communities of Practice

A group of people who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting with each other over time and who share that collaborative knowledge within the organization, but not a formally constituted work team.
Critical Incident Review / Lessons Learned

Critical Incident Review / Lessons Learned

Focuses on finding root causes and process issues when a process, procedure, or project implementation has failed or errors have occurred.
Cross Training

Cross Training

Training an employee to do the work of another, which allows employees to fill in on a short or long term basis, improves knowledge of functions across units, and promotes personal connections among staff.
Expert Storytelling & Interviews

Expert Storytelling & Interviews

Skilled interviewer asks questions of employee to make tacit knowledge explicit.
Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing

Veteran employee shares knowledge with a less experienced employee and provides hands-on practice in dealing with everyday problems and the most difficult situations.
Knowledge Maps

Knowledge Maps

Knowledge mapping is used to help identify sources of knowledge within an organization and build knowledge networks.
Last Lecture

Last Lecture

When a retiring employee, or an employee with expertise who is leaving a position, is given the opportunity to conduct a last lecture to share their experiences through a final presentation.
Lessons Learned Database

Lessons Learned Database

A critical incident or lessons learned database serves as a repository for specific challenges met in project development and delivery.
Lunchtime Talks

Lunchtime Talks

Lunchtime talks or half-day events where subject matter experts (SME) present information on specific innovative initiatives or research findings.
Mentoring

Mentoring

Training for specific situations or developmental needs, effective for transferring organizational cultural formation, relationships outside units, develop higher level of proficiency.
Procedures Manuals

Procedures Manuals

A procedures manual provides information on a detailed process and reflects an approach that is in line with agency standards and requirements.
Process Documentation / Mapping

Process Documentation / Mapping

Process documentation or process mapping describes the steps in a process, the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in the process, and the product or products.
Structured On-the-Job Training

Structured On-the-Job Training

Structured on-the-job training provides a trainee with direct instruction from an experienced worker and hands-on experience of the job at the job site.
Training

Training

When subject matter experts (SME) conduct training session on specific topic.
Videos

Videos

Videos can support knowledge transfer by providing training and instructional technical assistance, recording webinars and events, and building awareness of model or innovation practices and documenting accomplishments.
Webinars

Webinars

A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an organization/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers via the Internet.