Harness knowledge management in public sector to enhance service – Business Daily
A story is shared about an employee who resigned from an organisation after serving for decades, taking with him critical skills and knowledge gained during his career. After his departure, several key work processes were paralysed.
The management spent a fortune training and equipping the replacement staff in order to stabilise operations. It is cases like these that elucidate the importance of knowledge management in an organisation.
Knowledge management entails the collection, maintenance, and sharing of organisational knowledge. The public sector in particular has lost a lot of knowledge through employee departures, mostly due to inadequate succession structures, the lack of knowledge management practices and outright failure to appreciate its benefits.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2009 issued a circular reviewing upward the mandatory retirement age to cushion the government from the loss of employees with critical skills, especially those in technical areas. Ministries, departments and agencies were, therefore, required to provide mechanisms for succession management.
The demand for efficient service delivery by the public sector has increased, resulting in the need for practices to create, organize, share and store knowledge, as it plays a critical role in ensuring continuity of processes.
These interventions ensure efficiency and productivity, minimize duplication of efforts, and improve access to resources necessary to generate new knowledge, encourage creation of innovative systems and, when adapted by the public sector, lead to improved service delivery and accountability.
In the long run, there is need for contextual understanding of knowledge management practices and systems in order for public servants to be able to fully appreciate what might work best in their units.
At the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), we have adopted and prioritised knowledge management in order to address the aforementioned concerns.
There is need to develop a curriculum in this field in order to ensure that the professionals in the public sector are suitably equipped to adopt to the changing work environment.