FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Soldiers from the Mission Command Training Program Operations Group A participated in a senior leader executive seminar on the Army’s knowledge management (KM) program at Fort Leavenworth, February 9, 2022.
It was led by Dave Van Laar, military analyst, and Michael Kitchens, chief of concepts and doctrine for the Army’s KM program.
MCTP is the Army’s deployable combat training center that supports senior-level commands and staff during warfighter exercises. As a core element of mission command and command & control, MCTP’s observer-coach-trainers (OC/Ts) pay close attention to training audiences’ KM processes.
“Knowledge management is the first thing that impacts situational awareness, common operational picture, and the transition of data into information and information into knowledge," said Col. Robert Molinari, chief of Operations Group A.
Army doctrine defines KM as the process of enabling knowledge flow throughout an organization.
“When KM is done properly, it creates shared understanding and enhances learning and decision-making,” said Van Laar.
Technology such as cloud-based platforms is a key aspect of KM, making information easy to access, share and even automate. Yet, some of the most critical components are the processes and people involved.
“Everyone in all the warfighting functions is involved in some way in trying to ensure information flows in a concise format, especially when things are changing by the hour,” said Molinari.
The Army’s KM program and doctrine continue to evolve to keep pace with modernizations in technology and changes to organizations and expected operational environments.
Van Laar and Kitchens said their team at the Mission Command Center of Excellence is updating KM doctrine to incorporate guidance related to modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The updates also include more practical instructions to help staff get their programs off the ground and maximize KM’s potential for organizations and operations.
“We’ve been to about 30 command posts, and we realized some of the things we have to build in the next Army Techniques Publication include how to create KM program, how to support interoperability, and then how to sustain them,” said Kitchens.
Molinari emphasized organizational buy-in as the critical factor to the success of KM programs. “KM has to be socialized outside of G6 (communications) channels.”
“If the key leaders don’t get behind it, then knowledge management is just some doctrinally correct concept that everyone knows is important but doesn’t pay attention to.”
Units interested in KM training can contact the seminar instructors at (913) 684-6819/9460. Also more information can be found on the Army Knowledge Management Proponent web page.