Linking Department Priorities to Knowledge Management: The Experiences of Santa Cruz County's Human Services Department


Federal welfare reform, local service collaborations, and the evolution of statewide information systems inspired agency interest in evidence-informed practice and knowledge sharing systems. Four agency leaders, including the Director, Deputy Director, Director of Planning and Evaluation, and Staff Development Program Manager championed the development of a learning organization based on knowledge management throughout the agency. Internal department restructuring helped to strengthen the Planning and Evaluation, Staff Development, and Personnel units, which have become central to supporting knowledge sharing activities. The Four Pillars of Knowledge framework was designed to capture agency directions in relationship to future knowledge management goals. Featuring People, Practice, Technology and Budget, the framework links the agency's services, mission and goals to the process of becoming a learning organization. Built through an iterative process, the framework was created by observing existing activities in each department rather than being designed from the top down. Knowledge management can help the department to fulfill its mission despite reduced resources.

Lindberg, A.
Publication date: 
March 12, 2010
Publication type: 
Journal Article