In these changing times of downsizing and incentivised retirement, how can the Department capture and hold on to the vital knowledge that has been accumulated by its staff? This is a problem being faced across all Departments and it is becoming more acute as those members of staff with experience and expertise leave or retire from the Civil Service.
As a technical solution to this problem, we are investigating the possibility of creating a wiki for the Department. We have set up a trial wiki for the ICT Unit using the MediaWiki software on a standalone PC. While it is not technically difficult to set up a wiki the challenge will lie in getting staff to engage with the wiki and contribute interesting and relevant articles. If the trial is a success we will roll out a single wiki for the Department. If anyone out there has any experience in developing wikis please leave a comment below.
Taken from Baran Systems website
Interesting morning here in Earlsfort as the entire Unit, joined on video conference by our Kilkenny satellite, squeezed into one of the meeting rooms for a brainstorming session centred on how we can manage costs and do more (!) with less. In roughly 30 minutes over 200 post-its were plastered over the walls of the room each containing an idea on how the Unit, the Department and even the Civil Service as a whole could work more efficiently. There were some left-field ideas, such as giving civil servants access to Dublin Bikes and banning the use of taxis in the city (one way to thin us out!). There were also ideas around using less energy and bringing all the Departments websites under one umbrella.
These ideas were then grouped into themes – under a strictly imposed silence – using Affinity Diagrams and everyone had 3 votes to use on what they thought should be prioritised. Some of the more popular themes were around shared services, reducing our reliance on external consultants, improving skills (in the Unit and across the Department) and virtualisation. The themes will be analysed taking into account impact and feasibility and will hopefully be part of the Corporate Services Division contribution to our Strategy and Expenditure Reviews.
It was a really usefull exercise overall – short and to the point with no endless discussions or arguments about what ideas were good, bad or ugly. I have a feeling that we will be revisting this type of process in the future.
The ICT Unit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation is investigating the use of blogs as part of an exercise in Social Media.