The phrase “best practice” frequently is used by Navy and government leaders – and by executives in virtually every industry sector. But, what does it actually mean? Best practices are defined, quite simply, as techniques that have proven more effective than others. They are the result of what the Chief of Naval Operations calls “high-velocity learning” culture – an environment that encourages discovery and embraces new solutions. To paraphrase Thomas Edison, there always is a better way to do something; one just has to find it.
Less than two years after the establishment of the JAG community’s Knowledge Management (KM) division, it has been heralded as a Navy best practice. Indeed, one of KM’s primary functions is to identify and share JAG community efficiencies; by promoting best practices internally, KM has become a model for external organizations. In May, Shawn O’Rourke, chief knowledge officer at the Office of the Navy Judge Advocate General, and his deputy, Cmdr. Matthew Beran, will accept an Information Management/Information Technology Excellence Award on behalf of the KM team in Norfolk, Va.
“This award reflects the vision of our JAG community leadership, and the empowerment KM has enjoyed from the very beginning,” said O’Rourke. “Our leaders have positioned KM to have a significant transformational impact – designating it in the JAG 2025 strategic plan, resourcing it with manpower and equipment, and supporting it as a key priority.”
Throughout its brief history, KM has challenged conventional thinking related to DoD business operations and information technology systems. Time and again, the team has taken bold swings at entrenched problems, tackling them proactively and aggressively. Working in coordination with KM officers and representatives at OJAG and Region Legal Service Offices worldwide, the KM team has connected all 2,400 workspaces within the JAG community to the internal Portal. The dynamic website offers users a variety of tools to increase workforce efficiency, such as the Fleet Law Library and the Innovation Hub. KM also is implementing the brand-new Courtroom Technology Project and collaborating with Microsoft on a digital justice platform to enhance courtroom advocacy. KM also recently deployed several self-service legal assistance solutions. Additionally, KM is leading efforts to adopt cloud-based solutions, such as NJS (Naval Justice School) Online, which offers virtual training courses.
“This award is the result of the hard work of more than 40 KM officers and representatives throughout the enterprise,” said O’Rouke. “For them, this is not a collateral duty – this is part of the day-to-day culture of the JAG community.” “You can see our progress in the growing confidence in KM throughout the organization. Small, local solutions are having a cumulative impact, and our experience and understanding is increasing,” he added.
More information about KM’s prestigious award will be shared on this blog in May. Bravo Zulu to all KM team members and supporters!