SPAWAR knowledge project an award-winning work in progress

SPAWAR knowledge project an award-winning work in progress

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

NOV. 28'A new knowledge management pilot at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in Charleston, S.C., still doesn't have a formal name or budget, but it is drawing attention within the Navy.

The Navy chief information officer's Knowledge-centric Organization Implementation Assistance Team last month gave the initiative an award for advancing electronic government.

Capt. Ronald A. Crowell said the pilot uses systems engineering methods to decide which knowledge should be shared throughout the command.

The initiative was started in August with surveys of users at SPAWAR's five technical departments in Charleston. So far, about 2,000 users have agreed to begin consolidating their business services-travel, financial and personnel-onto a single Sun Microsystems Ultra Enterprise 10000 server.

Large organizations, Crowell said, typically suffer from 'the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, and from one-deep knowledge' that is lost when an individual expert leaves.

Knowledge management, in contrast, should make data analysis flexible, support cooperation between projects and deliver information in a more timely fashion. At the same time, it raises multilevel security risks by taking information away from local domains.

Knowledge management need not be based on particular hardware or software, Crowell said. A portal such as the Army's Knowledge Center [www.gcn.com/vol19_no33/dod/3291-1.html] is one possible route. Videos, audio files and e-mail messages are equally valid, but compiling them into a useful format is 'the thing we're still working on. We haven't solved that yet,' he said.

Knowledge-sharing requests are directed to managers' approved points of contact for teaming negotiations.

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