Knowledge Productivity in a Project-Focused Government Department: What Works, What Doesn’t

By Graham A. Durant-Law and Patrick Byrne.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Knowledge productivity is the purposeful, deliberate, and conscious action of creating, applying, organising, and measuring knowledge. This paper presents a practitioner’s case study of a three-year initiative, colloquially known as TARDIS, in a project-focused government department. TARDIS is the knowledge productivity framework within Capability Development Executive of the Australian Defence Force. The mission of the Executive is ‘to provide the Government of Australia with decision making knowledge to enable it to make prudent and timely investments in Defence capabilities’. To put it another way the Executive is responsible for embedding war-fighter knowledge in capability proposals for consideration and approval by Government. The scope of TARDIS is significant as it addresses all dimensions of a knowledge management system - people, process, technology and content. At its core, TARDIS is a broadly based initiative aimed at getting the Executive to work smarter, rather than harder. It is about creating an ‘open’ environment where most of the knowledge in the organisation is visible; outcomes are published and monitored; and metrics are used to guide future business improvement. TARDIS addresses the gap between understanding there is a better way of doing business, and actually putting that better way into practice – this is the essence of knowledge productivity. This case study examines the knowledge productivity journey of Capability Development Executive and looks at what has, and has not, worked. The reality of realising individual and organisational wants and needs has been difficult, particularly where they are conflicting. It has taken individual and organisational discipline to stay on the journey, which we contend is a missing element in the knowledge management literature.

Keywords: Discipline, Knowledge Productivity, TARDIS

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.33-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 634.807KB).

Graham A. Durant-Law

PhD Candidate, Division of Communication and Education, The University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Graham Durant-Law is an experienced senior executive with a considerable background in knowledge systems design, knowledge management theory and practice, health services management, workforce planning, and change management. He also has substantial experience as an adult trainer, having held senior instructional appointments in Australia, the USA and Canada. He is the Administrative Director of for the ACT Drug and Alcohol Foundation (ADFACT), and has worked in aid settings in countries as diverse as Rwanda, Bougainville and East Timor. Graham is researching part-time his PhD in knowledge management on the topic of ‘A Knowledge Productivity Model for the Public-Sector’. Among other qualifications Graham has a Master of Health Administration, a Master of Knowledge Management, and a Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology. He has a passionate interest in Celtic music and enjoys playing bagpipes, having won titles at the state and national level, both as a soloist and as a band member. He shares with his wife an interest in fine food and wine.

Patrick Byrne

Director, HolisTech® Pty Ltd, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Patrick Byrne is an expert in project management, problem projects, knowledge systems, and requirements analysis. Pat has a Masters of Technology Management and is currently working towards a Doctorate in Project Management.

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