Michele Costanza

It might help if an agency has a knowledge management strategy in place, along with some type of guidance or polices about knowledge capture. Higher level GS job descriptions probably include mentoring or training junior level employees, which would allow them time for the knowledge capture interviews.

Establishing trust and building a sense of community is essential. How would a Baby Boomer subject matter expert (SME) like the idea of having a Flipcam interview with an intern posted on You Tube? I think it’s a great idea to gather questions that new hires may have of SMEs. Maybe those questions could be posted in an online forum as an FAQ, so that the SMEs valuable time isn’t spent answering the same questions more than once. Blog Talk Radio would be a great format to have “call in” questions for SMEs. Again, I think the SMEs would feel more comfortable and the interviews would be more productive if the questions were vetted.

Tacit knowledge is not easy for SMEs to verbalize, and often requires a more structured approach with a trained interviewer, such as Critical Decision Method or concept mapping, where a knowledge domain is documented in a concept map.

What will an agency then do with the captured knowledge? It needs to be disseminated, which may mean a YouTube format. It could also be turned into a knowledge module, such as a case study or simulation, to be used as a learning aid for novices.