News Stories

Knowledge Management: For Your Information

USACE, New England District
Published Nov. 8, 2017
Will Burgess looks at information for Knowledge Management.

Will Burgess pours over the massive amount of information he has been tasked to organize as the Knowledge Management Officer.

Will Burgess has the formidable task of guiding the New England District’s information and business practices into the 21st Century.

As the District’s Knowledge Management Officer, Burgess is responsible for streamlining the District’s entire universe of information and developing workable policies and practices, otherwise known as Knowledge Management Initiatives (KMI’s). “I help achieve solutions through a happy medium of people, technology and processes,” he summarized. “The end result is information gets to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.”

Dave Margolis, Engineering Branch Chief, collaborates with Burgess as a member of the KMI development working group. He believes the organization can improve its management of information. “People spend an inordinate amount of time tracking things down,” Margolis assessed. “It’s incredibly inefficient.” 

The oft-used shared drive system is the KMI development group’s number one priority, as well as their toughest task. “The shared drive has issues with file-naming, file folders, file structures, and the interface, among other things,” Margolis elaborated.

Other issues on the horizon include managing data from many systems used by the District, such as CEFMS and P2, as well as administrative files like conference requests, overtime forms and timekeeper files. Big picture concerns include freeing up organizational stovepipes and absorbing experiential knowledge from the retiring workforce.

The project’s timeline is to be determined, according to Burgess. In the interim, he is working to establish roles and responsibilities for the Knowledge Management process, as well as develop a training plan.  “This project requires patience and cooperation,” he acknowledged. “It all sounds good on paper, but its success boils down to personal discipline and habit-building.”

Knowledge Management initiatives have succeeded for other Corps programs. “St. Louis District had a ‘Clean-up Day’ where they gave employees four hours to destroy all of their obsolete physical documents,” said Burgess. “They literally threw away tons of paper.”

Margolis added, “In FUDS [Formerly Used Defense Sites], we hired a contractor to digitize all our files and put our documents into a national file structure. It became easier to find things and deal with version control.”

“Knowledge Management is not a solution,” Burgess cautioned. “There’s no end-all, be-all solution to risk and mistakes. Knowledge Management evolves over time and grows from both ends of the organization.”


The Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

   This proposed plan is presented  to facilitate public involvement in the review and commenting on the remedy selection process for the Nantucket Memorial Airport (NMA) Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS.) 
    The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a No Action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for the Munitions Response Site-1, Project Number D01MA049901 at NMA located on Nantucket Island, MA.  The proposal was prepared using the Guide to Preparing Superfund Proposed Plans, Records of Decision, and Other Remedy Selection Decision Documents (USEPA, 1999).
    The final decision for NMA Site-1 site will be made after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the public comment period. The proposed decision may be modified based on new information or public comments. The public is encouraged to review and comment on the proposed plan.
    The FUDS program addresses the potential explosives safety, health, and environmental issues resulting from past munitions use at former defense sites under the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Munitions Response Program, established by the U.S. Congress under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program.  
    FUDS only applies to properties that transferred from DoD before October 17, 1986 and the first priority of USACE is the protection of human health, safety, and the environment. 
    The Army is the executive agent for the FUDS Program, and USACE is the lead agency for investigation/reporting and remedial decision-making at this munitions site with regulatory support provided by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Updated: 05 December 2016