‘Knowledge’ is the cornerstone of the Federal Ministry of Finance because it supports all activities and tasks of the Ministry. External factors such as demographic change, staff saving and e-transformation cause additional and increasing strain on the employees and their managers who especially face the challenge to maintain their employees’ willingness, motivation and ability to perform and learn under these circumstances.
As a consequence, the Finance Department implemented the Knowledge Management Project. Managed by two persons who are working with the divisions responsible for organisation development and human resources development, this project is based on both the strategy papers of the Finance Department and on pre-existing instructions for executives carrying out their functions as managers and leaders, such as leadership principles, executive’s manual, management training and coaching.
The project was implemented by means of a multi-level process which started with a needs analysis and resulted in a catalogue of strategic knowledge objectives. Goals of this project were, amongst other things, to reduce the time needed in search processes; to accelerate and improve access to information sources; to avoid reinventing the wheel multiple times by sharing knowledge; to increase the readiness to cooperate by promoting the exchange of knowledge; to facilitate the access to experts; to drive forward the safeguarding of knowledge by creating individual incentive systems and promoting knowledge mentoring. These goals were achieved by the conception, implementation and organisation of different knowledge instruments and, in particular, by the constant involvement of the managers.
Such instruments are, for example, study weeks aimed at contributing to both knowledge generation and knowledge distribution and knowledge management days initiating a process of cultural change regarding the treatment of knowledge within the Finance Department. Moreover, by implementing an intranet platform, called Knowledge Platform Taxes & Customs, aimed at reducing the users’ time expenditure and displaying, as fast as possible, all information necessary for everyday work, and Knowledge Networks where the generation and division of knowledge takes place during cooperative exchange of knowledge, the process of change has been further supported.
Finally, it can be concluded that the knowledge management project, which became a community of practice in 2008, generated a cultural change in the department and continued a process of change. The aim of making line managers aware of their additional responsibilities as chief knowledge managers, and to give the necessary guidance was achieved. This was confirmed by the results of the 2008 employee survey, in which the line managers received very good marks in all areas.
|Award category:||leadership and change|
|Sector:||Taxation, customs, finances|
|Type of activity:|
|Short English description:||The aim of making line managers aware of their additional responsibilities as chief knowledge managers, and to give the necessary guidance was achieved|
|Organisation:||Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|