The 27th Quarterly Federal Knowledge Management Community (FKMC) meeting focused on shifting the group from information sharing to knowledge solutions.
Federal knowledge management (KM) professionals gathered October 20 at U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a meeting themed “Understanding the Community Needs.” The primary mechanism for gaining new understanding of the federal KM community’s needs is a survey of FKMC members conducted in August and September.
Needs Assessment Survey Results
Feedback collected from the survey was shared with meeting participants during a panel discussion led by a group of FKMC founders who met over the last couple of months to reevaluate needs of the community’s members and consider the new direction of the volunteer group.
Johel Brown-Grant, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Professional Development Analyst, Communities of Practice, facilitated the discussion featuring the following panelists:
- Turo Dexter, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Knowledge Management Officer
- Bill Balko, Defense Information Systems Agency Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO)
- Stan Ford, Joint Staff, Logistics Directorate, Knowledge Management Officer
- Susan Snyder, NASA Office of the CKO, ASRC Federal Data Solutions Team Lead
Panelists said the founders took a fresh look, listened to the community, and initiated changes for the group to evolve from information sharing to knowledge solutions. The FKMC platform will be used to continue and enhance dialogue toward helping each other solve problems and gather and build knowledge management solutions for federal agencies.
Key findings of the needs assessment survey include:
- Meeting topics members rated as most helpful are case studies, lessons learned, education, training, best practices and emerging trends.
- 90 percent of respondents ranked best practices as what they need most from the community, followed by advice for standing up a KM practice.
- Expert KM speakers, examples of standing up a new KM practice, and knowledge café-like table topics, such as knowledge mapping, would make meetings more useful.
Members provided survey feedback that is being used to restructure the 2018 meeting framework. In addition to the traditional, daylong quarterly meetings – which will be held January 26, April 27, July 27 and October 26 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time – meetings are planned from 9 a.m. to noon March 14, June 13, August 15 and November 14. Storytelling is the topic of the first half-day quarterly meeting in March. Monthly lunch-and-learn webinars are also planned and will cover topics such as tips and lessons learned on how to start and run a successful KM practice.
Following the panel discussion, members suggested and voted on topics for afternoon breakout sessions, which included small group discussions of organizational change management, KM maturity model and KM success stories. Jo Ann Remshard, Knowledge Management Officer, U.S. Army, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM), presented a 10-minute profile of ACSIM knowledge management activities. The brief agency profiles are a new, regular feature of the quarterly meetings. The Joint Staff’s Ford presented a report on September KM Awareness Week activities.
Dexter, the FKMC Convener, hosted the quarterly meeting. Approximately 30 knowledge professionals attended in person or virtually via web conferencing. Dexter invited members to volunteer to help steer the community by signing up for one of the new committees — program, online platform, governance and sponsorship, and planning — formed as an outcome of the founders’ meetings and survey feedback.
FKMC quarterly meetings provide practitioners an opportunity for professional enrichment, networking and collaboration. FKMC has more than 240 members representing over 40 U.S. government agencies and is open to all federal employees. If you are responsible for your government agency’s knowledge management initiative and would like to learn more about joining the community, contact Susan Snyder, NASA CKO Office.