Environmental Protection

‘Knowledge Maps’ May Ease Workforce Transition

The utility industry's first response to the "aging workforce" challenge was to ramp up recruiting and rebuild the educational infrastructure to develop a new army of workers. Now, amid growing concern about potential business process breakdowns, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s solution shows how to accelerate process understanding and effect on-demand training, while helping to preserve the undocumented process knowledge of an entire generation of longtime employees.

SMUD launched its use of Web-based knowledge maps as a way to standardize training on software applications used in distribution services. The maps are first created as business process diagrams, using Microsoft Visio. GEMWorX software, which connects Visio to a database and a Web-publishing engine, allows knowledge assets to be linked to the steps in a diagram and viewed in a browser by clicking on the process steps.

Mark Talaba, GEMWorX vice president, gave a presentation at the International Conference on eLearning conference. That presentation, “Business Process Meets eLearning” will be published in the conference proceedings.

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