Group advocates federal knowledge management program

Supporters of knowledge management want the practice to be used to help manage programs funded by the new economic stimulus law, according to a letter written to the White House and Congress by the Federal Knowledge Management Initiative Committee.

Knowledge management’s core principles are to manage information as an asset and develop and continually improve channels to collect, store and share data to further an organization’s mission.

Elected officials should create a formal federal knowledge management program to help implement all the programs that will be funded by the $787 billion recovery act, according to the letter published in February and signed by Neil Olonoff, chairman of the committee.

Knowledge management uses tools such as best practices, lessons learned, and collaborative systems. The committee proposed that a federal governmentwide program be established so agencies do not have to build programs on their own.

“There is no central clearinghouse of lessons learned or what works,” the letter states. “Agencies and departments must spend scarce consulting dollars to find their own way; ‘reinventing the wheel’ in a wasteful duplication of effort."

The committee recommended establishing a federal knowledge management center to serve as a centralized resource for agencies in carrying out their own efforts. The center would provide consulting and serve as a clearinghouse of resources, such as software, expertise, and lessons learned. The panel also called for establishing a federal chief knowledge officer position.

“This person, the face of federal knowledge management, will coordinate with federal departments to explain the benefits of sharing and collaborating across agencies,” the letter states.

The committee’s letter and proposed road map for developing a federal knowledge management program are available on NASA’s wiki Web site (http://wiki.nasa.gov/cm/wiki/?id=6251).

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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