Skip to main content
In this document, the acronym 'K M' means Knowledge Management

Find what you need
Share What You Know
Connect With Those Who Know

Summer 2010

Inside This Issue (Links)

So You're Going to be a KMO


KM in a Contingency Operation


6th Annual Army Operational Knowledge Management Conference, 18-21 October


What is Personal Knowledge Management and What Can We Do About It!


Technology for Army Knowledge Management


Accessible Information Supporting Our Wounded Warriors


Using SharePoint to Create Effective Document Libraries


Army KM Cells Gather for Symposium


What's Hot in the BCKS Professional Forums!


Index of Links


Call for Articles


Publisher Info


Battle Command Knowledge Systems

Connected (TM)
Army Operational Knowledge Management
Divider: Find What You Need, Share What You Know, Connect With Those Who Know

So You're Going to be a KMO
A Competency Model for a Knowledge Management Officer

White Paper by Major Michael McCarthy, Division Chief of Exercises, 2d Infantry Division
Summary by Dr. Michael Prevou, Strategic Knowledge Solutions (Contractor)

image of soldier standing on a hill.

Photo courtesy of U. S. Army

Congratulations Major. You have just received word that you will be the new (and maybe first) Knowledge Management Officer (KMO) when you report to your division from Intermediate Level Education (ILE) – Command & General Staff College. Where do you begin to prepare?

MAJ Michael McCarthy lays out his quest to understand knowledge management and the role a KMO plays in the unit. He takes you on a journey to answer six critical questions that define the competencies a KMO needs to be successful:

  1. KM Knowledge: What topics should I read and study?
  2. Skills: What skills should I acquire?
  3. Relationships: What relationships do I need to cultivate?
  4. Attributes: What personal traits are suited to the role of the KMO?
  5. Experience: What experiences will be useful to me professionally?
  6. Habits: What habits should I cultivate?

He outlines a common sense approach to both tacit and explicit knowledge, how they are different and how we must 'manage' them differently. He looks at an emerging construct of a knowledge environment and how by managing the elements in that environment we are better able to enable knowledge flow. He builds a KMO mind map of required skills and discusses the attributes and habits of a good KMO.

So you're going to be a KMO... The development and use of this KM competency wheel and skills map may help you organize your thinking and approach for becoming a successful KMO.

White PaperPDF format

Back to Top

What a Soldier or leader can expect from military Knowledge Management

  • Reduce the time needed to resolve specific technical or leadership problems and challenges
  • Significantly shorten the learning curve by providing access to relevant online subject matter experts and mentors
  • Help create innovative breakthrough ideas and tools for the benefit of all
  • Transfer best practices from one individual to another in near real-time
  • Decrease negative outcomes for first-time real-world contact experiences
  • Reduce the cost of mission accomplishment through superior knowledge transfer
  • Fill the knowledge gap between doctrine and TTPs learned at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) schools and the practical application in a fast changing environment
  • Harness the collective minds of the military profession to generate "on the fly" knowledge as needed

KM in a Contingency Operation

Keith Hibner, XVIIII Abn Corps Knowledge Management Advisor (Contractor)

"You have to remember the last CONOP [contingency operation] we had was before there was a KM cell in the Army," said XVIII ABN Corps Knowledge Management Officer (KMO) LTC Mike Johnson in response to how KM was practiced in OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE compared to previous CONOPS.

OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE was the US Military's support operation to the country of Haiti after the devastating earthquake there in January of this year. This operation turned into an opportunity for the XVIII ABN Corps KM Cell to develop and review processes needed to conduct KM activities in a CONOP environment. Here is an overview of how the XVIII ABN Corps KM Cell applied knowledge management.

In general, the concept of OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE designated USSOUTHCOM (US Southern Command) as the lead military organization. USSOUTHCOM formed Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-H) to perform the mission. XVIII ABN Corps' ACP (Assault Command Post) was the core of the JTF-H Task Force. The Corp's Main CP provided reach-back support to the ACP.

As the mission matured, XVIII Abn Corps personnel coordinated with Haitian Nationals, NGO [non-governmental organizations] Relief Organizations and even individuals offering assistance.

Image of Soldier helping a child in Haiti.

Photo courtesy of U. S. Army

The first order of business for the KM Cell was to establish a Corps UNIFIED RESPONSE knowledge portal through which critical information could flow. While the Corps and KM shop personnel were experts at establishing wartime portals with restricted access and closed domains, this particular portal had to be configured differently. For example, the KM Cell had to consider who would need access — not only members of the Corps, but also other Army organizations, other US military forces, and even civilian personnel. The KM Cell overcame this access dilemma by first utilizing permissions-based capabilities and finally by adding Army Knowledge Online/Defense Knowledge Online (AKO/DKO) Single Sign On (SSO) capability. The portal access for personnel in Haiti was critical because the portal became the primary reach-back tool. Access to the USSOUTHCOM/JTF-H portal was created by providing a critical link to their KM representatives positioned forward in Haiti.

Additional KM expertise was applied as processes were observed in the Corps Operations Center. One tool was built to track the Airflow to and from Haiti. Communications was monitored to determine better methods for employing Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multi-national (JIIM) capabilities. In some cases, the best KM tool was a BlackBerry with an International Calling Plan!

One notable tool employed during OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE was the Command Post of the Future (CPOF). This powerful collaboration tool is usually used in a secure environment for situational awareness of the operational picture. During OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR, this tool was used in a NIPR domain to enable situational awareness. This may seem like an easy application to employ but special permission had to be gained in order for this tool to be used on a garrison NEC (Network Enterprise Center) network.

OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE demonstrated the need for Command and Control collaboration systems that expand beyond conventional operational military applications. This was critical in humanitarian relief efforts that need to execute against tight timelines when lives are at stake. Reflecting on the role KM played during the XVIII ABN Corps' mission during OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE, LTC Johnson summed it up by saying that he would make sure CONOPS were included in future KM SOPs and the identified processes are rehearsed.

Back to Top

6th Annual Army Operational Knowledge Management Conference, 18-21 October
Army Vice Chief of Staff GEN Chiarelli is Featured Speaker

Final planning continues for the 6th Annual Army Operational Knowledge Management (AOKM) Conference, 18-21 October at the Kansas City Airport Marriott.

Confirmed Speakers include:

  • GEN Peter W. Chiarelli – Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
  • LTG P.K. (Ken) Keen – Military Deputy Cdr, United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)
  • LTG Robert Caslen – Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth
  • BG Allen Batschelet – Deputy Chief of Staff, G3, United Sates Army Europe and Seventh Army
  • Mr. Dale Ormond – Deputy to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center
  • Dr. Nancy Dixon – President, Common Knowledge
  • Dr. Richard McDermott – McDermott Consulting

The conference theme, "Knowledge Management in Support of Full Spectrum Operations," highlights the impact KM has on the full spectrum of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The theme serves as a timely backdrop for information exchange among military and civilian KM leaders from around the Army and the business world. Fostering innovation and collaboration between the private sector and the Army to delve into tough KM issues facing an Army in transition will be paramount for this conference.

Conference Web Site Screenshot

Conference Website

While still being finalized, the program is built around five different tracks, each facilitated by a major command:

  1. Human Capital Enterprise – Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)
  2. Readiness Enterprise and Deployed Forces – Forces Command (FORSCOM)
  3. Material Enterprise (ME) – Army Material Command (AMC)
  4. Services & Infrastructure Enterprise (SIE) – Installation Management Command (IMCOM)
  5. Joint/Interagency/Intergovernmental Multinational Operations – Joint Forces Command (JFCOM)

Presentations will highlight practical examples of the effective application of KM and a full schedule of engaging training sessions will reinforce KM understanding and activities among the Soldiers, CKOs, KMOs and other KM practitioners and professionals who attend the conference.

Conducted over three and half days, the conference will include plenty of breaks for networking and an icebreaker-kickoff the first evening of the conference. If you are interested in learning about real solutions to today's KM challenges, or you are looking for how you can help integrate KM across the Army, the 6th Annual AOKM Conference is for you. We look forward to seeing you in Kansas City in October!

To register for the conference, visit the conference web site. Users with an AKO account use this link: https://ikn.army.mil/apps/CONF_TEMPLATE/index.cfm?id=36

Users who do not have an AKO account use this link: https://ikn.army.mil/anon/CONF_TEMPLATE/confindex.cfm?id=36
...and the following User Name: AOKM2010 and Password: BCKS

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the conference, please contact the Conference Coordinator at (913) 684-6807, e-mail leav-bcks-webmaster@conus.army.mil.

Back to Top

What is Personal Knowledge Management and What Can We Do About It!

Eric Olsen, I Corps Knowledge Management Advisor (Contractor)

ConnectedTM wants to hear about your KM Best Practices

In a world where knowledge is the key to learning, growth, innovation, and effectiveness, knowledge management provides a hotbed of new approaches and new issues. ConnectedTM wants to highlight your organization's KM Best Practices. We invite you to tell us about your KM programs by contacting leav-bcks-webmaster@ conus.army.mil by 15 August. Our staff will conduct an interview to help you tell your organization's story.

As a young Army Captain ready to take command, I remember asking myself; how am I going to lead this organization? To me this was a complex organization that required competent leadership, knowledge and experience from its commander. How would I acquire the critical knowledge in order for me to lead? If you were lucky, your training room was well stocked with required publications, manuals, and updated garrison and tactical SOPS. If you were real lucky, you had an eager training NCO, experienced platoon leaders/sergeants and most importantly a seasoned First Sergeant.

At that time, I did not know that I was data mining the tacit knowledge of the unit. This process was satisfactory for the 1980s. However, today our Soldiers operate in a totally different environment that is characterized by accelerated change, information overload, online collaboration, virtual words and social and operational networks. It's imperative that today's Soldiers have the skills and tools to succeed in their assigned mission.

"The most important contribution management needs to make to the 21st Century is to increase the productivity of the knowledge worker." — Peter Drucker

So what is Personal Knowledge Management or PKM? The definition I found useful was quoted by Jerome Martin in his online article, "The Basis of Corporate and Institutional Knowledge Management." He said that PKM "is knowing what knowledge we have and how we organize it, mobilize it and use it to accomplish our goals and how we can continue to create knowledge."

When looking at PKM, we center on the individual and how that knowledge worker institutes processes, self organizes and use tools that allow for the effective retrieval and implementation of knowledge. Examples of the tools and process of PKM include, but are not limited to, My Sites or Personal Home Pages, iPhone, RSS feeds, personal taxonomy, Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Paul Dorsey of Milken University used the following taxonomy to describe the component or functions of PKM. PKM is (see figure 1):

  • Accessing Information and Ideas
  • Evaluating Information and Ideas
  • Organizing Information and Ideas
  • Analyzing Information and Ideas
  • Conveying information and Ideas
  • Collaboration around Information and Ideas
  • Securing Information and Ideas

As we look at this framework proposed by Dorsey, we realize that knowledge workers must develop not only a KM skill set, but have available the tools that promote efficient and effective knowledge management in support of individual, organizational and enterprise goals and efforts. These PKM tools provide workers ways to filter and focus information and data; support critical processes that allow for the organization's growth; enhance cognition and quick retrieval, support critical thinking and taps into external subject matter experts; and, most importantly, is reliable and secure.

The importance of PKM is more clearly visualized when you take a deep look at the cost of ineffective KM practices. In a Workplace Productivity Survey commissioned by LexisNexus and reported by MSNBC, the following causes were reported:

  • White–collar professionals spend an average of 2.3 hours daily conducting online research.
  • Sixty-two percent (62%) of professionals report they spend a lot time sifting through irrelevant information.
  • More than forty percent (40%) surveyed indicated an inability to handle future increase in information flow.
This image describes a process for conducting personal knowledge management (PKM): Step 1 is Analyze. Step 2 is Convey information. Step 3 is Collaboration. Step 4 is Securing the knowledge object(s), (if appropriate). Step 5 is Evaluate the knowledge being transferred. The last step, Step 6 is to Organize the knowledge.

Figure 1: Army PKM efforts must focus on the development of skills and tools in support of all aspects of Personnel Knowledge Management.

Finally, if you consider that the cost of information overload and interruption of work was estimated at over $900 billion (according to Basex, a New York research company), significant improvements to an organization bottom line may be realized by a defined PKM strategy. The PKM strategy must focus on the development of an organization that fosters knowledge management and establishes an education and training process for its workers.

PKM has always been an essential part of how the Army operates. Improving our KM practices will lead to increased efficiency. While we wait on the big Army to incorporate KM into the Army Training System (ATS), there are some initial steps that individual units can take right now that will lead to better individual and unit performance. For example, unit KM strategies should incorporate and crosswalk PKM skills to our mission requirements and defined responsibility. This faster methodology works from the bottom up, and may be more efficient and in touch with the users of KM. At the unit level, Army leaders need to recognize the value of PKM and incorporate and reinforce it through training and SOPs.

Additionally, a unit's Officer Professional Development (OPD) or NCOPD programs should teach and mentor on how to best use SharePoint to support individual work and collaboration, TTPs on file and document storage, or even the use of RSS feeds/Twitter for currency on critical topics and functions.

Finally, those organizations who are not authorized a KMO or KM section should identify an officer or NCO who can fulfill those KM responsibilities. These individuals would support the organization in both the development of a KM-savvy work environment, but, more importantly, would lead the effort in the education and training of PKM skills that are necessary for future Army missions.

Back to Top

Technology for Army Knowledge Management

image of III Corps FRSA

Figure 1. III Corps FRSA

Lee Finch, AKO Integration and Liaison Team (Contractor)

We all know that knowledge management is "the art of creating, organizing, applying, and transferring knowledge to facilitate situational understanding and decision making..." and that it has three major components: People, Processes, and Technology. Let's talk about Technology (and maybe a little Process).

image of Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Cav Division FRG site

Figure 2. CAB, 1st Cav Div FRG Site

Technology has been a great boost for KM, but it evolves so quickly and there are so many technology solutions for KM, it is difficult to develop a working technology solution that allows Soldier and leader access to knowledge through a single portal. One solution for this is to create a technology "wrapper" that allows access to all knowledge through a single portal. Think of this as a blended solution of knowledge technology with the wrapper constituting the "front door" to access your knowledge. A wrapper of choice is Army Knowledge Online/Defense Knowledge Online. (AKO/DKO). This wrapper provides access to many other software platforms and utilities to manage forums, internal collaboration sites (like SharePoint), milSuite, search utilities, email, and just about anything else.

image of Army Component Command Knowledge Portal

Figure 3 ASCC Knowledge Portal

A couple of examples of using an AKO wrapper to access all your knowledge are the III Corps Family Readiness Groups (FRG) on AKO (Figure 1). These sites link families together throughout the entire organization. Families can collaborate vertically, horizontally or diagonally across the entire structure. The 1st Cav Division 1CAB FRG site (figure 2), for example, provides Family Readiness Support Assistant contact information, upcoming Fort Hood and FRG events, links for families, newsletters, scholarship and lots of other useful family information.

III Corps FRSA Angela Oakley said "...the Army Knowledge Online system has so many more benefits to offer our families (than other technology systems). One of those is safety ... this web site allows us to monitor and decide who we want to have involved in seeing our information ... good information is not lost, it's saved on the AKO web page."

An example of incorporating professional forums into the AKO wrapper is the Army Service Component Commands knowledge portal (figure 3). This site integrates hypertext markup language, cascading style sheets, javascript, and aspx-coded professional forum feeds and displays all this content on a single page. Once set up, these are easily maintained.

Technology will continue to improve our ability to collaborate and share knowledge. However, it will always be up to the knowledge manager to sift through the knowledge content to identify the critical knowledge required to make decisions that will influence outcomes.

Back to Top

Accessible Information Supporting Our Wounded Warriors

Sharon Tobey, BCKS Section 508 Advisor (Contractor)

The most important component of Knowledge Management is known to be the people portion. We also know that technology is often a tool we use to accomplish this. But what happens if your information is important and available, but not accessible or usable? What if it is life or death information — can a Soldier afford to not get it?

We all appreciate things that make our lives easier, such as automatic doors or books on tape. But what would you do if you depended on those things and suddenly they were no longer available for you?

  • Between 2003 and 2007, approximately 1,162 service members sustained direct eye injury or trauma and were evacuated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.1 It has also been discovered that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause visual complications even when the eyes have not sustained trauma.1,2
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of service members with TBIs have complaints about vision problems.1
  • Approximately thirty percent (30%) of all patients with combat-related injuries treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (2003-2005) sustained TBI.3 The more concussions a service member suffers from, the more likely he/she may have behavior or personality changes and/or lasting brain damage without even knowing it.4
image of an AW2 Soldier discusses his future options with his AW2 representative. He has a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics and computer science but chose to be an Eleven Bravo. His choice is to return to that career.

An AW2 Soldier discusses his future options with his AW2 representative. He has a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics and computer science but chose to be an Eleven Bravo. His choice is to return to that career.

Soldiers with severe wounds, injuries, or an illness often think their military career is over. This is not true. The Army culture is changing; severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers continue to serve the country productively and proudly in every field, grade, assignment, and component. To date, most Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Soldiers who requested to continue to serve have been allowed to do so. Leaders at all levels, in military and civilian organizations, recognize that Soldiers have vast knowledge, skills, and expertise which they can use to enhance their training curriculum and workplace experience.5

Besides assisting wounded warriors, accessibility helps us all. It makes documents accessible on PDAs or cell phones, slower internet connections, and different types of browsers. Moreover, accessibility is mandated by Federal Law in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which applies to Federal departments and contractors providing services to Federal agencies. Furthermore, compliance with Section 508 is also required by Army Regulation 25-1, "Army Knowledge Management and Information Management Technology."

Your part in complying with accessibility laws and regulations as a KM Professional is easy. If you use Microsoft Word 2007, use the Styles ribbon to format your document instead of highlighting the text and changing the font. Screen readers cannot see font changes, but they do recognize Styles.

For example, you could make your title a large font, bold, and center it and it looks like a title to the visual person; however, to a screen reader, it is just text. But, if you use a Style and set that same text as a Style Heading or Title, both the visual and the screen reader will recognize it as a title.

If you use images in your Word documents, right-click the image and select "Format Picture" so you can add alternative text, which is a description of the image in case the reader can't see it clearly.

For presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, use the pre-formatted slide template to add titles, text, and images, etc. in the designated locations. Avoid inserting text boxes, as doing so adjusts the tab order of the document. There are users who cannot use a mouse, so they navigate through the document using their tab key. Making sure the tab order is correct ensures they read the content in the order you intended.

When you add an image in PowerPoint, right-click on the image and select "Size and Position" to add alternative text. The alternate text is what the screen reader will read. Imagine hearing a document being read to you and suddenly hearing "image.gif" in the middle of a sentence. If there is not alternate text to explain the purpose of the image, the file name is read, which will make no sense.

Fill in the Notes section of the slides. Not only will the Notes section make it easier for others who may use your briefing, but in many cases, an entire slide is made up of images or graphs. You can use the Notes section to explain the slide when using Alternative Text doesn’t make sense of the slide.

"Everyone in the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) understands what a huge price our Soldiers and Families have paid in support of their nation and now we are here to support them for as long as it takes," said COL Jim Rice, AW2 Director. But, what are you, the KM Professional, willing to do to support them?

When scanning documents, ensure you are scanning so the text is recognized as text and not scanned flat as an image. Although the image will appear to have text, it is still an image which cannot be read by a screen reader, or searched for content.

For final documents, PDF or HTML is the most accessible format; however, it takes an accessible original to make an accessible final document. PDF is a "final" format that allows minor tweaking. Making the changes required for the document to be compliant may not be possible once in PDF format, especially if the PDF was created from a scanned document. Also, correcting the HTML code produced from an incorrect document is extremely difficult and time consuming, requiring expert HTML knowledge. If HTML is the avenue you choose, it is easiest to start with it rather than to convert to it.

When using videos, ensure the video is captioned, or that the script is also available. This practice assists everyone by providing multiple methods to reinforce learning the information: seeing, hearing and reading.

As you learn these new document habits, you will also notice you can save time. If you want to change a Style, just change it in the Styles ribbon and the whole document is updated, versus finding each instance and changing them individually. Web documents created using the same processes save on bandwidth and modification times as well, by using Cascading Style Sheets.

Of course, this isn't everything, but beginning new document habits now will make life easier for all of us in the long run. Our Soldiers are worth it.

Further Information:

Footnotes:

  1. United States. Cong. House. Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. 109 Cong. Traumatic Brain Injury Related Vision Issues. By Thomas Zampieri. House Committee on Veterans Affairs. 2 Apr. 2008. House of Representatives. 15 Oct. 2008 http://veterans.house.gov/hearings/hearing.aspx?newsid=219
  2. "Academy Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Military Eye Trauma Bill." The American Academy of Ophthalmology. 29 Oct. 2007. 15 Oct. 2008. http://www.aao.org/newsroom/release/20071029.cfm
  3. "Emerging Health Concerns: Traumatic Brain Injury." PDHealth. Deployment Health Clinical Center. 15 Oct. 2008. http://www.pdhealth.mil/TBI.asp
  4. "Force Health Protection & Readiness Quick TBI and PTSD Facts." Force Health Protection and Readiness. 15 Oct. 2008. http://fhp.osd.mil/image/outreach/quick_white.pdfPDF format
  5. Continuing on Active Duty (COAR) or Reserve Duty: http://www.aw2.army.mil/career/continuation.html

Back to Top

Using SharePoint to Create Effective Document Libraries

David A. Foreman, SharePoint Administrator (Contractor)

In 1898 the file cabinet was invented and offices were forever changed. Prior to this, documents were folded and stored in pigeon holes. Everyone used file-folders and cabinets to organize office information. From the 1930's thru the 1980's, the Secretary's handbook taught secretaries two ways to organize files — alphabetically or chronologically. Written Records and documents remain the core method of communication. So while it is not glamorous from a Web solution standpoint, how we manage such content is critical to any organization.

With the dawn of the personal computer, document management has been almost non-existent. Reasons for this include the low cost of storage, ease of duplication and lack of training. The end result is "document sprawl" — terabytes of documents and duplicates that are stored, backed up and kept, many of which have no business value.

To find the proverbial "needle in the haystack," expensive search engines are developed. But, instead of just the one document, thousands of copies are found, with different versions, and you must examine them all in order to find the right one.

So what is the answer? It is a twofold answer. One answer is a document governance plan that can help determine if a document meets a business need. For example, a governance plan should define what information is needed and how it should be managed. A "Data Expiration" part of the plan indicates when that information is outdated and no longer needed. Each individual organization must address this issue.

The second answer is how to organize those documents. In other words, build a "better file cabinet." Imagine a document library where there are no duplicates and you can find the specific document in seconds… even when there are thousands of documents in the library. In SharePoint, Microsoft developed a solution that allows us to create documents and is also compatible with the full suite of MS Office applications. SharePoint offers us the ability to build in governance, content management and organization at the same time, all of which can be tailored to a specific organization’s need.

Document libraries are really lists. They are similar to spreadsheets with columns and rows that allow you to organize and collect information about a document. In the past, File Folders were used to organize information (put all the documents about the same subject together). But in the PC world, this led to duplication of information.

If a document was related to two different subjects, we made a copy, or worst, we modified the content of the copy so we had two documents with the same name but different content.

Folders cause another problem unique to web-based document management. The URL used to search for a document is limited to 254 characters. Using folders increases the characters in the search string, resulting in search errors. When you click on a link that contains in excess of 254 characters, the search will not work because the URLs are truncated by the system. Instead, we use columns to replace traditional Folders.

Another SharePoint component is Content Types: Content Types are a way of defining a specific type of document. You can associate a Template, Application, and associated columns to describe the document. Likewise, use Filters in document libraries to present specific content, allowing users to find the exact document without ever using a search engine. All of these alternatives to document organization and management aid your governance plan.

The features in SharePoint that will help you to build a better file cabinet are:

  • Document Libraries – a custom list in SharePoint.
  • Content Types – specific classes of documents.
  • Site Columns – pre-defining the type of information you want to collect. Site columns are used with lists or associated with a content type.

Consider these steps to develop an effective document library:

  1. Site Columns — there are four standard categories of columns:
    1. Organization — Usually a unit large enough to have a mission has multiple functional responsibilities, such as Administration, Operations, Finance, etc. If you want to use filters to link to these, think about creating SharePoint groups to assign users.
    2. Document Functions — reflect the purpose of the document, such as Procedure, Brief or Proposal.
    3. Subject — a column name that replaces the traditional folder label.
    4. Chronology — group content that is date associated: month, day, or year.
  2. Templates – create templates when you develop content types and when you produce a new Word document, spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation. At the very least, create "blank" templates for each Office Application. This is the time to think about all those standard documents you produce: Excel spreadsheets, request forms, standard reports, etc.
  3. Site Content Types have names everyone will recognize, e.g. "Word blank document," etc. In the Advance feature, you will browse to the templates you have created. Then add all your custom columns.
  4. Document Information Panel settings (DIP) When you create your Content Types, there is a document panel settings category where you can create a new template. When you click on "New," it opens InfoPath and populates a default form with all of your Columns. Learn how to use InfoPath and modify your DIP as the default form will look quite ugly. Once you've created it, it can then be used on multiple content types.
  5. Document Library Once you have created all your Content Types, you are ready to create your document library. Create your document library. Then go into Settings and Advance Settings and check "Yes" to allow management of Content Types. Then go back to Settings where you can add all site Content Types you created, which will bring all the columns with it.

This will give you a good foundation to create your Document Library. In future articles, we will look at "Conditional Formatting" and "SharePoint Filter" web parts to create different Views of your document library, and how MS Office can be setup with default fields and data for document metatags.

Back to Top

Army KM Cells Gather for Symposium

On 25 May 2010, 67 Knowledge Management Officers (KMOs) and staff officers from across the Army's operational forces gathered in a virtual meeting to learn from each other and to share their KM experiences and best practices. Hosted by the Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS), this collaborative effort involved operational KM Cells from Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs) to corps, divisions and brigades.

Photo of helicopters flying over mountains.

Photo courtesy of U. S. Army

Participants included KM representatives from major operational headquarters, to include:

  • US Forces – Iraq (USF-I)
  • ARCENT (US Army Central)
  • CENTCOM (US Central Command)
  • JFCOM (Joint Forces Command)
  • FORSCOM (Forces Command)
  • PACOM (Pacific Command)
  • SOCOM (Special Operations Command)
  • TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command)
  • AMC (Army Material Command)
  • XVII Abn Corps
  • 1st Cav Div
  • 1st Inf Div
  • 82nd Abn Div
  • 101st Abn Div
  • 103rd ESC
  • BFSB Ft. Knox
  • MC CoE (Mission Command Center of Excellence)
  • Signal CoE (Signal Center of Excellence)

Several presentations from across the Army highlighted the symposium:

  • COL Greg Johnson, USF-I, KM Director (Introduction to the Symposium)
  • LTC Brett Turner, USF-I KMO (Managing SharePoint Portals as a Knowledge Enabler)
  • MAJ Bill Allen, Dep KMO, 1st Cav Div (Resetting the Division’s KM)
  • LTC Roberta Samuels, KMO, 101st Abn Div (Building a Division KM Cell)

The presentations were followed by an extensive question and answer sessions, during which KMOs from across the Army discussed problems and shared solutions. This segment of the symposium proved particularly valuable to staff officers new to KM.

The value of KMAs, especially their efforts to help stand up new KM cells, such as the 101st Abn Div KM Cell, was acknowledged during the presentations and discussions. Participants also pointed out KM Net and the KM courses conducted by BCKS as critical resources for Army KMOs.

A poll at the end of the symposium indicated that 100 percent (100%) of the participants thought the symposium had proved useful or very useful, and 93 percent (93%) indicated that BCKS should conduct similar meetings in the future, using the same format. A 2nd symposium is currently scheduled for 27 July.

The symposium agenda, presentations, attendee roster, chat log and pre-symposium discussions can be accessed on the KMNet. For further information about the symposium, contact the BCKS KMA (913-684-6793).

Back to Top

What's Hot in the BCKS Professional Forums!

  • S1NET has reached 50,000 members and averages approximately 20-30 new members daily.
  • S1NET continues to be the favored on-line community of practice for the Army's S1 community.
  • S1NET received more than 2 million member visits during the past year. During those visits, they downloaded more than 780,000 documents, tools, or SOPs that they used to refer to, or to help them do their jobs.
  • They interacted and collaborated with over 19,000 discussion posts.

S1NET - Requesting Feedback for Awards Tracker Database: Many units in the Army have been spending countless hours creating Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides depicting awards status. As it stands, there hasn’t been a standardized awards tracker designed in the Army yet where units can input minimal data and populate a database where due dates and tracking mechanisms are automatically updated. If someone were to create this database, many hours could be saved, thus redirecting S1 members to other tasks to be more productive.

SFC Donnie Keith (S1NET Topic Lead) started a topic on S1NET soliciting feedback for a database that he’s created that will do just that. This database consists of dropdown menus for dates received, Award type, Recommended, Presentation Date, and many other pertinent fields. SFC Keith’s database also includes an automatic GCM Generator.

Although still in the testing phase, 58 S1 personnel have responded, on S1Net, since May 5th stating that this product would save them countless hours in tracking awards and recommendations. Many units have already volunteered to be the beta test bed for the draft product.

Collage of Forum LogosKMNet - The missing KM link at the tactical level: "What are the thoughts of Multi Compo Academies?" Many efforts have been geared toward integrating Knowledge Management cells at the division and corps level, but how is that knowledge acquired at these levels filtering down to Brigade Combat Teams, Battalions, Companies, and Squads? What are, or should be the processes within these units?

The 101st Abn Div. KMO raised this very question on KMNet. She asks, "What was being done with KM at the platoon and squad level? The answer I got from a Division KMO was essentially nothing was being done at that level because of lack of personnel resources below the BCT/Division level to be able accomplish this, which is certainly a valid, if not very satisfying reason."

This discussion received 30 responses with recommendations from assigning KM duties to the S2 sections as they are the proponent staff function that traditionally debriefs combat elements as they return from their missions. Another recommendation was to assign these duties to FA 53 and 57 personnel as their mission is focused on Battle Command and Knowledge System Integration for the BCT which includes the BNs. Then there was the issue of the TIGR system.

TIGR is a tool used at company level to build mission prep briefs, capture mission execution data, and conduct end of mission briefs and Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB). The data collected and stored via TIGR, combined with S2 Debriefs and AARS is codified for future missions. Essentially, KM is, in fact being practiced at these lower echelon levels via internal tools, AARs, and these reference systems, they’re just not being referred to as KM.

S3-XO NET - Battle Damaged MRAPs for training: The Infantry Warfighters' Forum asked S3-XO NET if they would poll the community to see if units would like to have battle damaged MRAPs shipped to their installations to use for vehicle recovery training. This inquiry received 18 replies from unit S3s stating that their unit’s maintenance program would immensely improve if they had these training tools available.

The most notable response was one from the S-3 for the National Maintenance Training Center at Camp Dodge, Iowa National Guard. He stated that having several of these damaged MRAPS would greatly enhance their training and provide real world experience for their maintainers and tactical trainers to teach units with, should they become available.


All BCKS Professional Forums require AKO access. Most BCKS forums require membership to view or participate in the forums. To join a forum, it's a simple 3-step process:

  1. Access the BCKS Professional Forum page at: https://forums.bcks.army.mil.
  2. Select the link to forum you want to join.
  3. Then select "Become a Member," fill out the profile and submit.

Back to Top

Index of Links

Links Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks in this newsletter does not constitute endorsement by the Defense Department, U.S. Army or U.S. Army Command Arms Center of those websites or the information, products or services contained therein. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

Some NECs (Network Enterprise Centers), may have some sites linked from this publication restricted.

Back to Top

Call for Articlesimage of Front Cover of Newsletter

Are you a KM professional or someone who's just getting involved with KM? Would you like to share a KM experience, Best Practice or TTP with the other Soldiers? Submit an article for publication in ConnectedTM. KM is about sharing and exchanging knowledge, and ConnectedTM can serve as your platform for doing that.

This is an opportunity for you to discuss your experience with KM and how it helped you or your unit save lives, time or money; prevent injuries; or improve training, a process or a procedure. Many people will have the opportunity to read your article in ConnectedTM and it will also be preserved in archived copies of ConnectedTM that are available online. Whether you'd like to contribute an article or suggest a topic for ConnectedTM to cover, we hope to hear from you soon at leav-bcks-webmaster@conus.army.mil.

Back to Top

Publisher Information

Headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS) is a subordinate organization of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center. ConnectedTM is published quarterly by BCKS and disseminates AOKM news, TTPs and best practices, and is a forum for expressing original, creative and innovative thought about knowledge management.

Information provided is intended to help the Army improve Soldier and unit readiness, training and performance. Contents of this publication are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the Department of the Army or the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Links throughout ConnectedTM will work if you have an active Internet connection. Otherwise, you will need to copy and paste the URLs provided into your browser. Some links require AKO (Army Knowledge Online) access.

Send submissions, suggestions or questions for this publication to ConnectedTM, BCKS, 627 McClellan Ave., Bldg. 43, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027; or via e-mail to leav-bcks-webmaster@conus.army.mil. We're on AKO/DKO. See us at https://bcks.army.mil
Editor: Bill Ackerly (Contractor), Phone: (913) 684-6383, Fax: (913) 684-6352.

Back to Top