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www. Aptima. com Engineering the Community of Practice for Maintenance of Organizational Knowledge Daniel www. Aptima. com Engineering the Community of Practice for Maintenance of Organizational Knowledge Daniel Serfaty [email protected] com Presented at the Knowledge Management Forum June 15 th, 2006 * Presentation based in part on a paper by Lintern, Diedrich, & Serfaty, IEEE Conference on Human Factors and Power Plants, 2002 Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 1

Challenges from the Field § An Admiral wants to structure his command staff to Challenges from the Field § An Admiral wants to structure his command staff to maximize its adaptability to likely mission changes § A hospital CIO needs to manage the dynamic knowledge about patient status, nurses staffing, and surgeon availability in its operating rooms § A nuclear power plant manager is concerned about the loss of domain expertise if his retiring workforce is not adequately replaced § A US Company Commander wishes to share his leadership experiences directly with other Commanders that might replace him in the battlefield Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 2

21 st Century Workplaces 21 st century workplaces are far more than social or 21 st Century Workplaces 21 st century workplaces are far more than social or economic organizations. They are sociotechnical systems — complex organizations of highly skilled individuals interacting with information and other people through advanced technology Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 3

Key Challenges in Human-Centered Engineering Complex Socio-technical System Social & Organizational Structures Technology Capabilities Key Challenges in Human-Centered Engineering Complex Socio-technical System Social & Organizational Structures Technology Capabilities Congruence … or. . . Disruption Human Mission Agents Mission, Tasks Human Decision &Makers Work Processes Enable decision-makers to perform their mission, “aligned” with the technology and the organization ØCreate organizational structures that “fit” the mission, the technology, and the people Ø Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 4

Aptima, Inc. § § § Human-Centered Engineering products and services Founded in 1995; 50% Aptima, Inc. § § § Human-Centered Engineering products and services Founded in 1995; 50% compounded annual growth Clients: 33 government, 41 commercial Partnerships: 71 commercial, 20 university Offices in Woburn (Boston), MA and Washington, DC Highly interdisciplinary staff Mission: Maximize the performance of complex sociotechnical systems — military operations centers, operating rooms, air traffic control centers, etc. Combine social science theory with quantitative, computational methods to: – – Engineer organizations to make the best use of new technology Design automated systems for effective use by people Deliver training systems for tomorrow’s skills Demonstrate measurable results Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 5

Our Customers Ask Us… § How should we organize to optimize our performance? § Our Customers Ask Us… § How should we organize to optimize our performance? § How can I detect, understand, and disrupt a terrorist network? § Will automation improve performance enough to justify the investment? § What info should I put on a large display that is visible to the whole team? Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. § How do I train effective leaders for multi-national, multi-cultural teams? § How do I prepare my teams in advance of high-fidelity training? § What competencies are required for the job, and where are we falling short? § Did my training program improve performance? 6

A Motivating Example: “Malicious Procedural Compliance” At one plant, operators would not always follow A Motivating Example: “Malicious Procedural Compliance” At one plant, operators would not always follow the written procedures when they went to the simulator for re-certification. …(they) would deviate from the procedures because the desired goal would not be achieved if the procedures were followed. … The people who were evaluating the operators criticized (them) for “lack of procedural compliance”. The operators decided …. they would do exactly what the procedure said --no matter what …and became stuck in an infinite loop… repeating the same set of actions several times. … the evaluators criticized the operators yet again, this time for “malicious procedural compliance. ” Kim Vicente (1999), Cognitive Work Analysis, p xv What’s wrong with this organization? Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 7

Presentation Outline § About Aptima § “New” Science of Adaptive Organizations § Maintenance of Presentation Outline § About Aptima § “New” Science of Adaptive Organizations § Maintenance of Organizational Knowledge Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 8

Understanding Work Organizations: From the Lab to the Field. . . And Back… The Understanding Work Organizations: From the Lab to the Field. . . And Back… The “New” Tools § Rigorous human modeling – Performance – Social Networks § Simulation-based experimentation § Live Performance Assessment Operational Applications of Results Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. Virtual, Human-in-the. Loop Experiments Constructive Simulation Electronic Triad JAOC WOC A WOC B WOC C DM 0 Sea-Mines & General Defense (Sea + Ground): artillery+hostile air +frog-launchers+etc. DM 1 DM 3 DM 2 Defend North & Defend South Medevacuation Field Applications, Live Assessment lead-vehicle+Bridge+ ground mines+SAM sites DM 4 Beach B + Airport DM 5 Hill + Beach A + Port 9

Operator Workload On Organizational Size and Workload d a Lo Optimal Staffing n tio Operator Workload On Organizational Size and Workload d a Lo Optimal Staffing n tio ina b (N-1) rd o Co Task Load a (1/N) Organizational Size (N) How to reach and keep the “sweetspot”? Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 10

Proven Solutions for High-Reliability Organizations § Redistributing task load – Static: function/role design matched Proven Solutions for High-Reliability Organizations § Redistributing task load – Static: function/role design matched to the task – Dynamic solutions: workload sharing § Reengineering coordination load Today – Team communication & coordination training – Emphasize implicit coordination & anticipation – Efficient sharing and maintenance of knowledge in organization Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 11

Organizational Knowledge § Collaborative and social processes – Knowledge development – Knowledge maintenance § Organizational Knowledge § Collaborative and social processes – Knowledge development – Knowledge maintenance § Community of Practice – Robust, working knowledge is developed and maintained within a community of practice, one in which the integral social interactions within a workplace serve multiple, often unacknowledged functions that are essential to productivity Can’t become an expert by reading through a database, only by doing the work Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 12

On the Difficulty of Storing All Organizational Knowledge in a Database § Most knowledge On the Difficulty of Storing All Organizational Knowledge in a Database § Most knowledge of operators is predominantly know-how and not facts that are amenable to storage in a database (Vicente & Burns, 1996); Mumaw et al (2000); Roth (1997)) ”In one nuclear power plant, operators are required to recognize a fluid leakage of more than 50 Kg/hr (Vicente & Burns, 1996). What does that mean? Is it a slow drip, a steady flow, a gush, or a torrent? ” Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 13

Explicit & Implicit Knowledge § Organizational knowledge is captured in a Explicit & Implicit Knowledge § Organizational knowledge is captured in a "core competency" made up of: – Explicit knowledge (e. g. facts, rules, procedures, instructions), and – Implicit knowledge (that tacit capability to transform explicit knowledge into a competent or skilled act). § Typically, explicit knowledge is the “tip of the iceberg” § Approach: Building implicit knowledge on the “skeleton” of the early, explicit knowledge Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 14

Shared, Collaborative Practice § Implicit knowledge is shared – It is both created out Shared, Collaborative Practice § Implicit knowledge is shared – It is both created out of, and revealed in, collaborative practice – It is therefore properly characterized as organizational knowledge Emergence of “virtual teams” throughout the organization – Organizational collaborations are not confined to persons who are proximate in space and time Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 15

The Nature of Shared Knowledge § Transactional view § Dynamic memory – Versus a The Nature of Shared Knowledge § Transactional view § Dynamic memory – Versus a storage view of memory – Physical analogy of Bernard convection § A fluid when appropriately heated in a container will exhibit convection rolls. Those convection rolls dissipate when the heat is removed but reappear when the heat is reapplied in the same manner. § Explicit/Implicit interplay between: – Know-what (explicit), and – Know-how (implicit): Ability to put know-what into practice – Critical in making knowledge actionable and operational Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 16

Development, Use, & Maintenance of Organizational Knowledge § Apprentice-Master style relationships § Legitimate Peripheral Development, Use, & Maintenance of Organizational Knowledge § Apprentice-Master style relationships § Legitimate Peripheral Participation – Developmental process in which apprentices are permitted to participate initially in peripheral activities and, as they become more skilled, to assume responsibility for more central activities. § Embedded in Work Activities – Process is situated within ongoing work activities where new apprentices have numerous opportunities to observe and to assist masters and other apprentices – Many “false apprenticeships” don’t offer natural progression from peripheral to central activities Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 17

Xerox Example: Copy Machine Technicians § Xerox Example: – Technicians who repair copy machines Xerox Example: Copy Machine Technicians § Xerox Example: – Technicians who repair copy machines at customer sites. These technicians, who work on their own when they visit customer sites, are trained in copy-machine repair by their company and then supplied with repair manuals that were thought to be comprehensive. This information was inadequate for all but the most routine repair tasks. – Technicians often encounter repair problems that fall outside the formal instruction and repair manuals. – They have, however, developed an informal support network in which they share information about unusual repair problems. They meet often in social gatherings outside work hours where stories about challenging repair problems almost invariably dominate the conversation. Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 18

Xerox Example: Building a Community of Practice § Reinforce communication links between technicians by Xerox Example: Building a Community of Practice § Reinforce communication links between technicians by providing them with two-way radios § Knowledge base that drew directly on technicians' insights and their sense of what they needed – Peer review was implemented to ensure that ideas were scrutinized before they were added to the knowledge base – Knowledge base became an important element in the social processes that bound these technicians into a community of practice – Generated an aura of professionalism by demonstrating that technicians’ expert knowledge (and their ability to create knowledge) had value beyond resolution of a local repair problem – Those who contributed to the knowledge base earned respect and social recognition from their peers. Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 19

Another Example: Company. Command. com Username guest (Read)EST DST Company. Command. com is company Another Example: Company. Command. com Username guest (Read)EST DST Company. Command. com is company commanders-present, future, and past. We are in an ongoing professional conversation about leading soldiers and building combat-ready units. The conversation is taking place on front porches, around HMMWV hoods, in CPs, mess halls, and FOBs around the world. By engaging in this ongoing conversation centered around leading soldiers, we are becoming more effective leaders, and we are growing units that are more effective. Amazing things happen when committed leaders in a profession connect, share what they are learning, and spur each other on to become better and better. Watch excerpts from the Army Innovation video Ø Created by a Company Cmdr to share experiences and tips from the front Ø… Later institutionalized by the US Army Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 20

Summary: Community of Practice § Development and maintenance of organizational knowledge occurs seamlessly in Summary: Community of Practice § Development and maintenance of organizational knowledge occurs seamlessly in a vibrant community of practice. § Natural social processes of negotiation, communication and collaboration are central § KM technology insertion must support social processes rather than storage and retrieval § Processes must be fostered in a work place where the continuity of organizational knowledge is at issue. Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 21

“Malicious Procedural Compliance” Revisited At one plant, operators would not always follow the written “Malicious Procedural Compliance” Revisited At one plant, operators would not always follow the written procedures when they went to the simulator for re -certification. …(they) would deviate from the procedures because the desired goal would not be achieved if the procedures were followed. … The people who were evaluating the operators criticized (them) for “lack of procedural compliance. ” The operators decided …. they would do exactly what the procedure said --no matter what …and became stuck in an infinite loop… repeating the same set of actions several times. … the evaluators criticized the operators yet again, this time for “malicious procedural compliance. ” Kim Vicente (1999), Cognitive Work Analysis, p xv Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 22

“Malicious Procedural Compliance” Practical Solutions, (1/2) § Community of practice – Operators collaborated in “Malicious Procedural Compliance” Practical Solutions, (1/2) § Community of practice – Operators collaborated in the development and sharing of knowledge. – Process was not accorded legitimacy by management § Legitimacy – Note the enlightened attitude of Xerox who did legitimize this sort of thing when they found out § Perceived Overhead – Sharing of the sort undertaken by operators inevitably has an overhead – Danger that cost cutters will see that process as one that should be eliminated Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 23

“Malicious Procedural Compliance” Practical Solutions (2/2) § New Knowledge Development – Workers are always “Malicious Procedural Compliance” Practical Solutions (2/2) § New Knowledge Development – Workers are always developing new knowledge and will always know things management does not – Enable social sharing between management and work force – Get used to it, Management…. § Mutual Trust – Need to enable more mutual trust at work – Not trust building exercises, rather develop trust through collaborative practice in the workplace § Simulation Use in Practice – Opportunity for management to learn something – Opportunity for operators to explore their system Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 24

Conclusions § Successful High-Reliability Organizations – Adapt their work processes and structures to fit Conclusions § Successful High-Reliability Organizations – Adapt their work processes and structures to fit the mission demands and resource availability – Enable the formation of communities of practice “virtual work teams” – Augment explicit knowledge management tools with implicit knowledge development and retention procedures § Workplaces as Complex Socio-Technical Systems… Ó 2006, Aptima, Inc. 25