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Public Sector - Public Knowledge

Insights into Knowledge-Enhanced Government

David J. Skyrme

A Report in the Knowledge Insight Series
In Association with Ark Group, publishers of Knowledge Management magazine.

Around the world governments are struggling to be responsive to unexpected challenges and to deliver higher quality services that its citizens now expect. In the private sector knowledge management has played a key role in improving organisational performance. Can it perform the same role in the public sector? This report shows that it can, but that many public administrations have been slow to embrace KM and still do not fully understand how to achieve the benefits that KM could deliver. Alongside some pathfinding examples of good practice are many instances of failing to address fundamental issues.

Written by David Skyrme, a world-recognised KM expert, who has extensive hands-on consultancy experience in public sector organisations, this report explores current and future developments in public sector KM and identifies examples of good practice from around the world. Extensive use is made of survey data, interviews and case studies to draw out key themes, insights and practical guidance for successful KM in the public sector. These themes include knowledge-enhanced policy making, more effective government and public administration, e-Government and enhanced services to citizens.


  • Insights into latest thinking and trends

  • Results from a specially commissioned survey

  • Explores key drivers for KM in the public sector

  • Identifies differences between public and private sector knowledge management

  • Explains how to make a compelling business case for KM in the public sector

  • Describes good practice examples and lessons learned from more than 35 case studies

  • Provides action checklists for your own KM activities

  • Demonstrates how to overcome key barriers and pitfalls

  • Discerns key challenges for the future.

Whether you are in policy making or service delivery, in central or local government, in a government department or a public agency, this report is essential reading for those who are involved in improving public sector performance.

Contents Summary

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. Introduction: The KM Difference
- Public Sector Plays Catch Up?
- Our Survey
- Drivers for KM in the Public Sector
- Differences: public vs. private sector
- The Core Practices
- The Bottom Line
- Making the business case

Chapter 2. Knowledge-based Policy Making
- Policy Development: The Knowledge Perspective
- Knowledge Processes
- Policy outputs
- Knowledge Pools
- KM Techniques for Policy Development
- e-Democracy

Chapter 3. Knowledge Enhanced Government
- The Virtuous Knowledge Cycle
- The knowledge audit
- Harvesting Knowledge
- Organising knowledge
- Sharing Best practice
- Creating Collaborative Communities
- Maintaining and Enhancing Knowledge

Chapter 4. Joined-Up Services
- Delivering e-Government
- Portals - Gateways to Knowledge
- Creating a Customer Focus
- Life Events
- Managing Content
- Collaborative Parnerships

Chapter 5. Enhancing KM Capabilities
- A Capabilities Planning Framework
- Governance and Regulatory
- Information management principles (examples)
- KM development and management processes
- Standards
- National KM Strategies
- KM Leadership
- KM Roles and Skills
- Promulgating Best KM Practices

Chapter 6. The Journey To Success
- Getting Started
- Developing a Robust Strategy
- Gaining Commitment
- Programme and Project Management
- Managing Change
- Delivering the Benefits
- Key Success Factors
- Challenges and Pitfalls
- Future Directions

Chapter 7. Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Useful Resources

Cases/Examples

Over 30 case studies and examples, including

  • International Collaboration: ActKM Community, UK Office of E-Envoy, Beep best practices database
  • National KM Programmes: UK Office of E-Envoy, Federal CIO Council, Finland's Parliament of the Future
  • Government Departments: Navy, Highways, Health, Trade and Industy
  • National Agencies: Education, NASA, GSA, Small Business Service (UK), AIPA (Italy)
  • State/Regional/County Government: Berkshire Health, State of Victoria, Hertfordshire County Council
  • City/Town Government: Brisbane, Liverpool, Swedish municipalities
  • Communities: IdEA (UK local authorities), London boroughs.

Details and Ordering Information

Public Sector - Public Knowledge
by David J Skyrme
Published by Ark Group/David Skyrme Associates (December 2003). Pages: 136pp plus index.

Available in PDF Only

This version has hyperlinks and an update addendum (June 2006).
View sample pages (PDF) (opens in new window).

Because this version is subject to Value Added Tax (exempt for most non-UK customers), please email us for detail of prices including tax and online discounts, stating your requirements and country. Customers in EU member countries must supply their VAT number to avoid payment of UK VAT at 17.5%.

New Lower Price (excluding VAT): UK£95 ; US$195; Euro: 135.

If you have any special requests/quotations or would like a hard-copy order form sent by post, please email sales@skyrme.com (or telephone +44 1635 253545). Please note there is an additional handling charge for orders placed off-line. Be sure to include your full postal address and telephone number if you want us to contact you that way.


Related Publications and Services

David Skyrme Associates provides consultancy services and workshops that provide more personalized knowledge on winning strategies and effective 'how-tos' for knowledge management.





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