You are on page 1of 6

KNOWLEDGE

MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
FOR MAIN ROADS WA

Turning This Vision Into A Reality

Our Knowledge Management Vision:

Achieving the Vision

The development of a corporate approach to


knowledge management is a specific initiative in the
Main Roads 2k12 Strategic Plan in the Creating Our
Workforce of the Future area of focus. This knowledge
management strategy also complements the work that
will be undertaken via the four other strategic areas of
focus Inspiring Leadership, Enhancing Relationships,
Providing the Right Roads for WA and Making Roads
Work for the Community.

When we achieve our knowledge management vision,


knowledge management will be embedded within our
work practices and recognised by all as crucial to the
success and longevity of Main Roads.

This strategy also builds on the knowledge


management foundation that already exists at Main
Roads as a result of a range of successful initiatives
that have been implemented to date, such as:

To be recognised as a world class


road authority, working innovatively
with industry, our partners and the
community, to share and build cutting
edge knowledge and expertise.

Our strategy for achieving this vision is to:


Encourage and support innovation, creativity and
diversity. Knowledge from other sources will be
melded into our knowledge base as we continue to
develop and evolve.
Establish strong collaborative and supportive
relationships and networks where knowledge
and lessons learned are freely shared, and all
contributions are heard, recognised and valued.
Embrace and build on the know how (wisdom,
insight and learning accumulated over the years) of
experienced employees, and the fresh perspectives
of our new graduates.
Leverage off new technologies to build a
sustainable and accessible knowledge base that
can be shared and built upon by all Main Roads
employees across the State.
Design work and roles to facilitate knowledge
management and the sharing, building and creating
of knowledge.
Achieving the vision will mean that Main Roads has
the foundations for a strong and sustainable future
as a result of the knowledge management initiatives
that have been effectively implemented across the
business.

With a history of more than 80 years and around


1,000 employees, the knowledge, skills and expertise
within Main Roads are assets that can be harnessed
to create a foundation for the future success of the
organisation.

The increased focus on community consultation


and knowledge sharing with other road agencies
which has broadened the range of opinions and
knowledge available to shape Main Roads decision
making.
The Innovation Strategy and values based
management which have contributed to the
development of new ideas and innovative ways of
thinking.
Regular knowledge sharing forums such as
technical X-changes and project de-briefings to
capitalise on lessons learned.
A phased retirement program which captures the
valuable knowledge and experience of our people
before they retire.
This strategy contains a range of new knowledge
management initiatives around the three key areas of
people, engagement and methodology. It will maximise
the organisations explicit knowledge, which is
written, stored and accessible, as well as the tacit
knowledge (know how) which is based on our
learning, experience and wisdom/insight.
Through a continual cycle of knowledge
management we can work more
collaboratively together to share our
knowledge and lessons learned and
refine and improve the way we do
business.

management

T
A

WH

IS

N
K

What is Knowledge
Management?
The Australian Standard on Knowledge Management
(5037-2005) defines knowledge management as:

A trans-disciplinary approach to
improving organisational outcomes and
learning, through maximising the use
of knowledge. It involves the design,
implementation and review of social and
technological activities and processes
to improve the creating, sharing, and
applying or using of knowledge.
Knowledge management is concerned
with innovation and sharing
behaviours, managing complexity and
ambiguity through knowledge networks
and connections, exploring smart
processes, and deploying people-centric
technologies.
The traditional view of knowledge management refers to
the achievement of a combination of goals and actions
around three key areas of focus:
People
Process
Technology
However, to make this strategy more contemporary and
relevant to the Main Roads context, the three areas of
focus have been customised to be:

People

Engagement
Methodology

Refining
and
improving

The K
nowledge
Management
Cycle

Learning
from
others

Sharing
lessons
learned

What Benefits
Will This
Strategy Deliver?
Strengthening our approach to knowledge
management will have many benefits for the
future of Main Roads, some of which include:
Creating a positive workplace culture which
values the knowledge and experience of
employees and rewards them for sharing this
with others.
Increasing opportunities for innovation, creating
a free flow of ideas and working collaboratively
to build on, develop and create new knowledge.
Retention of employees who will feel more
valued and appreciated for their wealth of
knowledge and expertise, and employees who
will have better access to knowledge and the
opportunity to learn from the experts.
Retention of corporate, technical and
professional knowledge through improved
and targeted knowledge sharing practices.
Better informed and more responsive
decision making.

Putting it into
Practice: Our
Knowledge
Management Guiding
Principles
Underpinning this strategy are a number of guiding
principles:
Sharing and identifying critical knowledge and
making it available to everyone who needs it.
Building and creating new knowledge.
Storing and capturing knowledge effectively.
Rewarding and recognising those who show
initiative in sharing knowledge and provide an
incentive for others to make it part of their
work practice.
Empowering employees with the appropriate
knowledge and skills to enable them to
perform their jobs effectively.
Teamwork, to facilitate knowledge sharing
and prevent knowledge being isolated with
individuals, branches or Directorates.
Commitment, to ensure the momentum for
knowledge management is sustained and
becomes part of the organisational culture.
Creating better relationships within and
between branches and regions, with internal
and external customers and to knowledge
sources.
Innovation, striving to be creative and think
outside the box when implementing knowledge
management initiatives.
Flexibility, introducing the right knowledge
management initiative to fit the context,
people and knowledge available.
Learning by doing, so that wherever possible,
employees obtain hands-on technical
experience and can learn from direct
involvement in engineering projects.

I
G
E
T
A
STR
its
f
e
n
e
B

S
E
I
T
I
N
U
T
R
o
P
P
O
ppen
a
h
l
wil

Our Opportunities

How We Will Make


It
Happen
Our Framework

Our knowledge mana


gement framework
incorporates a comb
ination of goals and
actions around peop
le, engagement and
methodology.
Linking these compon
ents together is the
need for strong leade
rship suppor t to ensu
re
that knowledge mana
gement initiatives
receive the resource
s and commitment
needed for successfu
l implementation.
It is important not to
focus solely on any
one component at the
expense of others.
A holistic approach is
required to ensure
knowledge manageme
nt becomes embedd
ed
in the culture of the
organisation.
A range of knowledge
management initiativ
es
have been identified
under each of these
three components to
improve Main Roads
knowledge manageme
nt practices. Some
examples are in the
following model:

PEOPLe

- Supportive leadership
- Knowledge Champions
- Knowledge Management
Coordinators
- Technical knowledge Mentors

LEADERSHIP

ENGAGEMENT
- Centres of Expertise
- Communities of Practice
Campf ire knowledge sharing
- Sharing Lessons Learned
- Documenting knowledge
- Mentoring program

METHODOLoGY
- Intranet knowledge
repository
- Online discussion
board
- Electronic
records system

People:

Strong leadersh
ip/corporate culture
which
suppor ts, promotes,
encourages, values,
recognises and reward
s knowledge manage
ment
initiatives.
Knowledge Ch
ampions to provide str
ategic
direction and to drive
, guide and encourage
knowledge manageme
nt initiatives which ad
dress
the needs of their Di
rectorate.
Knowledge Ma
nagement Coordinator
s in critical
high risk functions to
facilitate the sharing
and
passing-on of experti
se.
Technical know
ledge Mentors who are
willing to
share their knowledge
and expertise with em
ployees
who want to learn.
Recognising an
d valuing individual ex
pertise and
encouraging knowled
ge sharing.

Engagement:

Centres of Expe
rtise established in cri
tical areas
to develop and promo
te best practices and
to be a
centre of expertise.
Communities of
Practice (campfire kn
owledge sharing
discussions) establis
hed around particular
projects
and specific issues to
discuss, share and lea
rn
from each other to bu
ild expertise and deve
lop
best
practice outcomes.

Capturing and
sharing lessons learne
d from each
project to share and
build up corporate tec
hnical
knowledge so these
lessons can be appli
ed
to other
projects.

Documenting kn
owledge in manuals,
repor ts and
databases as a proce
ss of storing knowled
ge that can
be easily retrieved an
d accessed by others
.
A pilot mentorin
g program in the Mid
West which will
include coaching and
mentoring training for
selected
experienced staff so
they can transfer the
ir knowledge
to new staff in an eff
ective and suppor tiv
e way.

Methodology:

Internal Intranet
sites used as a repos
itory of, and
providing links to, Br
anch, Directorate an
d Corporate
knowledge documents
, repor ts, policies, ma
nuals,
guidelines, electronic
databases, reference
material
and other information
for employees.
Online discuss
ion boards to be create
d to provide for
collaborative on-line
discussion and the sh
aring and
building of knowledge
around specific subje
cts or topics.
Electronic record
s systems which conta
in readily
accessible shared inf
ormation, which will
regularly be
updated and maintain
ed.

e
t
g
n
d
e
e
m
l
e
g
ow
a
n
n
K
Ma
Towards 2012
Opportunities
from 2k12
Knowledge Management is an enabling strategy that
applies to and underpins all of the Strategic Areas
of Focus in the Main Roads 2k12 Strategic Plan.
Examples include:

Providing the Right Roads for Western


Australia & Making Roads Work for the
Community
To continue to identify and address the needs of
the community and to maintain the delivery of world
class road access, Main Roads needs to ensure that
important knowledge and experience in this area is
captured, shared and readily accessible. Improved
knowledge management will assist Main Roads in
meeting its obligations to serve the community.

Creating the Workforce of the Future


Strategic workforce planning and knowledge sharing
are important mechanisms to take advantage of a
mature, ageing workforce and prevent the potential
loss of vital Main Roads knowledge, experience and
expertise.
A robust knowledge management culture will help to
secure Main Roads intellectual assets and, as such,
will support future recruitment and workforce planning
and development initiatives. This will help to create a
sustainable workforce for the future.

Leadership
Knowledge management directly relates to Inspiring
Leadership in three ways.
Firstly, leadership support is essential for good
knowledge management practices. Strong leadership
is required to support, promote, encourage, recognise
and reward knowledge management initiatives.
Secondly, we can all demonstrate leadership
behaviours by participating in the building of
knowledge and other knowledge management
initiatives on a regular basis, and by incorporating
these into our daily work. Simply, we all possess
valuable knowledge that, if shared, will positively
impact on Main Roads long term viability and
prosperity.
Thirdly, organisational knowledge is an invaluable
resource that can be used to guide, develop and
inform current and future leaders across Main Roads.

Enhancing our Relationships


Greater use of knowledge sharing forums such
as cross-Directorate teams, briefing sessions and
mentoring relationships will increase the opportunity
for Main Roads people to work together and learn
from each other, thereby enhancing relationships and
further eliminating Directorate silos.
More efficient knowledge capture and storage in
relation to external customers and stakeholders will
enable us to build better relationships with these
groups via deeper understanding of their needs and
how we can best provide our services to them.

New Challenges! New Possibilities! How


will we take advantage of them?
A range of initiatives will be rolled out across Main Roads over
the coming years.Some of these are summarised in the attached
Action Plan.
The Action Plan is not an exhaustive overview of the knowledge management projects
that will take place. Directorates are encouraged to develop their own action plans. The
knowledge management culture at Main Roads will also be enhanced and supported by
related projects that have been included in other corporate documents, such as:

2k12 Inspiring Leadership


2k12 Relationships Strategy
Corporate Business Plan

How Will We Measure Our Success?


There are a variety of ways that we will be able to gauge if this strategy is a success. A
capability index measures the success of the Creating Our Workforce of the Future 2k12
Strategic Area of focus, and knowledge management has been captured within this.
Monthly reports on the status of this strategy will be provided to the Corporate Development
Committee. There will also be quarterly reports on Directorate level knowledge management
initiatives to Corporate Executive.
We will also utilise audits and employee surveys such as Hewitt Employer of Choice and the
Employee Opinion Poll to determine the strength of our knowledge management culture.

What can you do in your work area to


improve knowledge management?
PERSONAL NOTES:

n
atio
m
r
info
se
her gy plea
t
r
fu
te
dge tional
For is stra nowle
isa
k
th
rgan
he
t
O
on
t
r in
tac
con rdinato n
o
O
ent
Com
p
o
el
Dev

3
0
6
4
3
2
3
9