Sandia National Laboratories
Exceptional service in the national interest
In 2019, Sandia began a knowledge management pilot program to collect, assemble, and preserve tacit knowledge from experts planning to retire on the Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle (NEFC) components: Commercial Nuclear Power Generation (CNPG) and Back End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (BENFC).
Under both CNPG and BENF, Sandia leverages over 45 years of experience informing policy decisions and leading in the development, integration, and implementation of technically safe, viable, and sustainable solutions to nuclear energy challenges, ranging from power generation to the management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
Sandia piloted a well-documented and comprehensive approach to knowledge management based on ISO 30401:2018(E) and best practices established by the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI). The approach includes Focus Group sessions, Workshop & Deep Dive interactive sessions on specific topics presented by Subject Matter Experts, and Knowledge Retention interviews with expected retirees. This approach allows for the preservation of knowledge, especially undocumented, tacit knowledge that may be difficult to document or verbalize. The group has leveraged technology by recording the sessions, both audio and video, and saved this searchable operational knowledge in a SharePoint site dedicated to knowledge management. This project has the potential to reduce or eliminate any negative impacts from the retirement of experts.
Knowledge Management is the process used to handle and oversee the knowledge that exists within an organization. Knowledge Management relies on an understanding of knowledge, which consists of discrete or intangible skills that a person or institution possesses.
The field of knowledge management identifies three main types of knowledge:
Sandia implemented the knowledge management pilot project to capture the tacit knowledge from our senior staff before they retire from the NEFC program.
The scope of the pilot project included: