Monday, 16 December 2013

KM case study - KM in the US Marines

Marine Corps Recruiting Booklet, 1940 There is an excellent blog post here from Randy Garsee on KM in the US Marines.

Here's a quote he includes
“This is the first war where we had a fully functioning system of knowledge management, where information can be gathered, accumulated, studied, and analyzed.”
Col. Michael Crites
Even though its a short blog post, you can see mentioned many of the components of the Knowledge Management framework they used.

  • Defined roles, such as the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned, and Crites' role which he describes as “a mixture of consultant and reporter.” 
  • Supporting technology, such as MCCLL’s secure web site 
  • Processes for capturing knowledge, such as the After Action Report. 
  • Processes for synthesising and publishing knowledge ("The information is collected and analyzed. The lessons learned from that particular battle or event are extracted and published once a week") 
  • Processes for Learning Before Doing (“A Marine that comes to war studies Lessons Learned, studies what his predecessor did before him, and that’s how he gets ready for deployment.”) 
  • Governance, for example a top down steer on what needs to be learned ( “The command ... guide me into what lessons they want recorded, what lessons they’ve learned, according to their operations").
And here's the conclusion
“Marines are famous, I think, in strength and physical courage and intellectual ability,” Crites says. “But now I think we’re showing more intellectual prowess overall because of the effort of Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned.”

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