February 4, 2005  


Continuity of Knowledge Web Site Up and Running

By Matthew Early Wright

As SLAC moves into its fifth decade of operation, people who have been here since the beginning are nearing retirement age. When they leave, they will take a career’s worth of accumulated knowledge with them. (See New Committee, TIP, March 7, 2003.)

The Human Resources Department and the Communications Office have developed a strategy to help Laboratory staff preserve this information for posterity. Initially a focal point topic for the SLAC Suggestion System (Fall 2002), this effort is based on recommendations of a working group including Linda Ahlf (HR), Dick Blankenbecler (TP), Neil Calder (COM), Janice Dabney (TD), Jean Deken (TIS), Lee Lyon (HR), Kim Sutton (TIS) and Herman Winick (SSRL).

Retaining Lab’s Legacy

The new Continuity of Knowledge Web site provides tools for evaluating your Lab’s documentation needs or implementing a strategy for cross-training when bringing new hires into your group.

“An original system may be well documented, but changes to it might not be,” said Lyon, Human Resources Director. “We want to help record knowledge that enhances efficiency, productivity and legacy for the Lab in the future.”

Unlike scientific discoveries, which are well documented in journals, ground-level technical details are not always so carefully recorded. The Web site presents suggestions to get ideas down on paper, or on other media (e.g., producing video recorded technical documentaries as training materials). Outside resources include knowledge management journal articles to help managers blueprint a continuity plan for their areas.

Lyon stressed that participation in the initiative is not mandatory. The program is designed to make evaluating your needs and preserving information as easy and productive as possible.

For more information, see: http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/com/knowledge/




The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Wednesday February 09, 2005 by Emily Ball