DA-BAR staff complete training course on knowledge management

DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research officials and staff participated in a training course on Knowledge Management (KM) on 24-27 October 2023 via Google Meet.

Organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines, the training was joined in by the bureau’s Knowledge Management and Information Systems Division and officials and staff from the human resources, planning, and communication, among other related units, of different government agencies and private organizations in the country.

Anchored on enhancing organizational productivity and growth, the training course elaborated on the basic concepts and principles of KM, and its framework and methodology; and discussed implementing fundamental concepts, practices, tools, and techniques in creating, sharing, and applying knowledge in the workplace.

Elena A. Cruz, former vice-president of DAP and managing director of the Center for Knowledge Management, served as resource speaker. She started her discussion on the difference between data, information, and knowledge. Data are the unorganized numbers, words, sounds, and images but when arranged or processed into meaningful patterns, these are considered information. Meanwhile, knowledge is information put into productive use and is made actionable.

Cruz also underscored the importance of tacit and explicit knowledge and how it can be transferred and captured.  These define the SECI Model: Socialization (tacit to tacit), Externalization (Tacit to Explicit), Combination (Explicit to Explicit), and Internalization (Explicit to Tacit).

“KM attends to both explicit and tacit knowledge, while Information Management (IM) can handle only explicit knowledge. Also, IM handles information for any purpose and KM is concerned only with what is useful for effective action,” Cruz added.

Introducing the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Framework, Cruz also discussed its major elements: vision and mission; accelerators; knowledge process; and outcomes. Accelerators, in particular, help propel and speed up the KM initiative in the organization.  These are Leadership, Technology, People, and Processes. She emphasized that Leadership drives the KM initiative in the organization  while  the technology accelerates the knowledge process through effective tools and techniques. Processes involve social and technological steps geared towards improving organizational productivity, quality, and growth. People, the users and generators of knowledge, are considered intellectual capital. The different stages in the APO KM Implementation Approach were also discussed.

Aside from lectures, the duration of the training course also included various group exercises and presentations. For the agency level, each organization was initially assessed on its level of KM readiness. These were based on sets of questions/surveys on seven audit criteria categories: KM leadership, processes, people, technology, knowledge processes, learning and innovation, and KM outcomes. From this, the opportunities for improvement served as a reference in identifying the key strategic knowledge gaps, hence, initially crafting a pilot KM Action Plan.

Cruz ended the training course by sharing success factors in implementing KM.  These include institutional will, full management support and participation at all levels, program organization and management, effective communication and feedback, continuous training and capability building, and program innovations. (### Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)