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Knowledge Management

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is it?

Knowledge management is the process of enabling knowledge flow to enhance shared understanding, learning and decision-making. Leaders across the U.S. Army are establishing knowledge management programs because these programs are critical to effective mission command (MC).

Codified in doctrine in 2012, mission command incorporates a philosophy, warfighting function and system to overcome the increasing complexity of military operations. Army Doctrine Publication 6-0, Mission Command, states the exercise of mission command encompasses how Army commanders apply the foundational MC philosophy and warfighting function. The role of knowledge management within mission command is identified as one of four key staff tasks supporting leaders in the successful execution of mission command.

What has the Army done?

The Army Knowledge Management Proponent office at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is dedicated to making knowledge management an integral part of how mission command is understood and implemented. Responsible for Army force modernization efforts across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities, or DOTMLPF spectrum, the proponent has updated knowledge management doctrine to align with mission command doctrine.

Through its resident three-week Knowledge Management Qualification Course, the proponent has trained more than 450 students in the five-step knowledge management process. The process includes assessing an organization’s knowledge assets, identifying gaps, designing and developing solutions, piloting these solutions and then implementing solutions.

Working for the unit’s chief of staff or executive officer, the knowledge management section and members of the unit’s knowledge management working group strive to improve knowledge flow. In some cases, they are small fixes, like updating the content management standard operating procedure, assessing battle rhythm events or improving reporting procedures.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

The AKM proponent is formalizing designated knowledge management positions – military and civilian – within organizations to meet the growing demand across the total Army for knowledge management professionals. Starting in fiscal year 2017, there will be additional resident courses available at Fort Leavenworth to account for this rising demand. The AKM proponent office’s services are resonating across the Army and have attracted the attention of industry and other Department of Defense partners.

Why is it important to the Army?

The Army recognizes the power of knowledge management and more importantly, ways to apply it. Knowledge management will continue to mature, flourish and enhance mission command.


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