May 5, 2014, WASHINGTON (AFNS) – The Air Force revamped the Knowledge Management career-field, aiming to make its Airmen into some of the service’s top innovators working in newly established KM centers Air-Force-wide.
The KM career-field split, announced earlier this year, moved 80 percent of its Airmen to the new Administration Air Force Specialty Code 3A1X1. Approximately 20 percent of Airmen currently assigned to the Knowledge Management AFSC 3D0X1 will remain; becoming a more specific, technically-honed specialty.
According to Chief Master Sergeant Robert Jackson, Knowledge Management career field manager, KM will undergo a significant technical training ramp-up to meet this challenge. They employ a process improvement mindset, analyze mission requirements and recommend solutions. They are the consultants, trainers and facilitators to connect people to the information they need.
“The idea is to help Airmen avoid searching through mountains of digital data to find what they’re looking for,” said Jackson. “The real goal is capturing and reusing the wisdom, experience and lessons we learn over time.”
Last year the Secretary of the Air Force’s Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Michael Basla sponsored a pilot program to evaluate knowledge management outreach in 15 organizations spanning the Air Force and Air National Guard, yielding promising results.
“The pilot proved that real innovation can happen when we connect process improvement and technology,” Basla said. “We are not just applying new technology to old processes, but rather looking to improve the process itself, harnessing our Airmen’s intellectual capital to enhance mission effectiveness.”
One pilot knowledge management center at Dover Air Force Base, Del., reinvented a process for producing thousands of letters of appointment. They used Microsoft SharePoint capabilities to produce an appointment letter management tool, cutting back on numerous hours and resources.
“If this kind of improvement can be made with appointment letters, imagine what is possible with our critical mission and business systems,” Jackson said. “Airmen spend a lot of time on old paper-era processes, so KM can really help.”