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Using IS to promote KM at the Australian Army

By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

Here’s an overview of Matthew Cain’s presentation on what the Australian Army is doing in knowledge management.

A brief history of knowledge management in Army

People seem to manage knowledge differently from how they manage anything else, in a very piecemeal way. For example, Navy and RAAF are both good at capturing lessons but not good at sharing findings. They’re both working hard on their systems but are also sitting back and watching what Army is doing. Everyone is working towards reducing the gap between the information available and the information needed.

Army started looking at knowledge management in the mid-1990s and its knowledge division was created in 1996.               Although it has changed a lot since then, it is a warfare development centre. The head of Army Knowledge is Major John Calligari who is technologically savvy and very keen on knowledge management. His catchphrase is “knowledge management is getting the right information to the right people at the right time”. It was interesting to hear Army is mostly managing knowledge through electronic media.

The four areas of KM in Army are:

  • doctrine development

  • capability development

  • training

  • operation planning.

Matthew analysed the work being done in each area and went about synchronising their activities to economise the effort involved.


Today’s soldier is very technologically aware just like the rest of their generation so they have iArmy, an online tool that supports the information needed by soldiers. Using a combination of Microsoft and Google products, its objective is to allow soldiers to prepare themselves to deploy into battle. Menus include “observations”, “insights” and “lessons”.

The Centre of Army Lessons (CAL) . Focuses on these areas. Observations are the information captured from sources on the ground; insights are what can Army can get out of these observations; and lesson are drawn from insights.

The wedding

Matthew ended by talking about wanting to hear from the big group of knowledge management professionals about how they would merge iArmy with the Army Capability Management System (ACMS) which is an online learning tool.


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