Volpe Center Highlights
Promoting Knowledge Management in Government (DON, FAA)
The Operations Assessment Division is supporting a number of sponsors in the area of knowledge management (KM). KM involves developing practices that support the generation and dissemination of knowledge within an organization. Volpe is supporting the Department of the Navy (DON) Deputy Chief Information Officer for Enterprise Integration in developing guidelines on how to measure the performance of KM initiatives and to develop a starter kit for Navy communities of practice. As part of this effort, Dr. James L. Poage of the Division participated in the DON Knowledge Management Community of Practice (KMCoP) meeting in Washington, D.C., on August 26, 2001. The KMCoP meets periodically to enhance the formation of communities of practice - communities of geographically and organizationally dispersed persons who have similar job functions or deal with similar issues and share knowledge related to these functions or issues. This meeting focused on content management, which provides processes for participants in a community of practice to find, capture, validate, and retrieve information.
In support of the FAA's Office of Aviation Research (AAR), the Volpe Center is developing a performance metric structure and a strategic planning process to relate the FAA research and development (R&D) projects to FAA and DOT goals. Associated to this effort, AAR requested that Dr. Poage conduct a workshop to introduce knowledge management to AAR. This workshop, conducted in Washington, D.C., on August 27, 2001, addressed a number of areas, including: what KM is and why private and public sector organizations are undertaking KM initiatives; examples of KM activities; basic principles of KM; examples of KM from the federal government and industry; and comments on KM for FAA R&D activities. Following this workshop, Dr. Poage was asked to conduct a follow-on session to further explore the use of KM for R&D activities.
On October 31, 2001, Dr. Poage participated in an educational symposium on KM with the Philadelphia Federal Executive Board, where he described the Volpe Center's KM-related support to various federal agencies. Other federal agencies explaining their KM experiences included the General Services Administration, the FAA, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Dr. Poage's presentation covered basic principles of KM, examples of KM from the federal government and industry, and applying KM to federal government activities.
Conducting NASPAS Training (FAA)
The Volpe Center recently co-hosted a training event for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) National Airspace System Performance Analysis System (NASPAS). NASPAS is used to: track air traffic control facilities and service performance, analyze facility outages, compare performance of specific facilities with national averages, and identify equipment problems. The system is employed throughout the FAA including headquarters, all nine regions, the William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the National Airway Engineering Field Support Sector.
Volpe developed, supports, and continues to enhance the FAA's National Airspace System Performance Analysis System.
Ms. Jean Woods of the Operations Assessment Division collaborated with Ms. Danielle Adams from the FAA's NAS Quality Assurance and Performance Division to host and conduct two 1-week training classes in September 2001. The training was held at the Volpe Center and attended by the NASPAS regional contacts, who gained hands-on experience with the analysis tool.
This work is part of the Volpe Center's long-standing support to the FAA's Airway Facilities organization that is responsible for maintenance of the nation's air traffic control system. NASPAS, developed and supported by the Volpe Center, was deployed to the FAA in the 1980s and has undergone various enhancements to meet user needs.
Studying Transportation-Related Web Sites (USTRANSCOM)
The mission of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is to provide air, land, and sea transportation for the Department of Defense (DoD) in peace and in war. As the single manager of defense transportation, USTRANSCOM provides a global transportation planning and execution system supported by a communications and computer network. USTRANSCOM seeks to benefit from the transportation industry's progress toward total integration of information for intermodal management and tracking of vehicles and cargo, and to integrate it with the military transportation capability.
In support of this goal, the Volpe Center's Intermodal Logistics Systems Planning and Integration Division reviewed and documented more than 200 transportation-oriented Web sites and prepared a series of recommendations relevant to systems operated by USTRANSCOM. Volpe recommendations addressed the effect of these industry Web sites on several TRANSCOM freight management systems, including the Global Transportation Network, and on the design of a planned business-to-business portal at TRANSCOM.
On September 20, 2001, Mr. Kenneth Troup and Mr. Thomas Robillard of the Division presented the final briefing on the review to the USTRANSCOM Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. That report, along with the report of recommendations and the final briefing slides, has been distributed to TRANSCOM on CD-ROM and will be available to other government agencies as well. Ms. Nancy Cooney, Mr. Edward Recka, and Ms. Sarah Noble, all of the Division, were also project team members for the study.
Volpe's Approach to Knowledge Management
The Volpe Center's approach to applying KM can help improve an organization's performance through increased productivity, quality, responsiveness, and innovation. The approach:
Volpe-authored articles on this approach have appeared in several publications, including Knowledge Management magazine and Knowledge Directions, the journal of the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management.