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Capacity Building and Knowledge Management
Capacity planning and knowledge management are terms that have flooded the literature in recent years. Many of the best run organizations in the world have dedicated resources that focus on each concept respectively. However, there is also a lot of overlap in the two concepts; especially with regards to human resources and training and learning. For example, when learning occurs and is documented to train other members of the organization, not only does the knowledge base grow but so does the human capital capacity. However, since there is a human element in human resources capacity, this asset is often rather intangible and difficult to quantify.
This analysis will provide a brief literature review directed at the concepts of capacity planning and knowledge management. Both of these concepts have aspects of them that are intended to place the future of the organization on a more sustainable path by managing many of the resources that were only once consider as a vague intangible resource. However, because these concepts are so valuable to creating a competitive advantage in organizations the vagueness of these assets are being studied more aggressively. Following the literature review there will also a discussion of how these concepts will help define a component of organizational success well into the future.
Capacity Building involves organizational human capital, intellectual property, organizational history, and capital resource capabilities. The organizational capacity for change and leadership strategic direction to influence chance the ability to evaluate tactics crucial related to policy s and implementation. In congruence, studies by Hellriegel & Slocum (2011) discuss how organizational structure affects organizational capacity and decision, and subsequently influences organizational motivation and attitudes.
Build a knowledge management system that allows organization:
1) find information
2) acquire knowledge and
3) develop expertise
Build capacity of individual contributors and collective teams to serve the interest of organizational change.
Promote organizational self-assessments to encourage self-directed learning.
Develop Principles & Best Practices
Capacity Building also entails the process of improving individual skills and abilities, ensuring organizational productive growth and creating organizational optimize utilization of human, financial, and capital resources for achieving employees, and organizational goals (GTZ, 2009). Such improvements in the capacity of human capital can make an organization more agile and more responsive to changes in the external environment. Capacity Building approached with a holistic system framework, should include (GTZ, 2009):
Assessment of tools requirement to gain insight into areas of organizational strength and opportunities for targeted improvement
Execute strategic decision-making to inform the development of action plans
Encourage communication among company's executives, staff and employees, defining duties and job responsibility.
Evaluate measures of economic and interpersonal progress and celebrate accomplishments.
Knowledge management system to utilize organizational resources for training, development and learning shared among organizational colleagues with the goal for continuous capacity building of expertise to improve outcomes and increase probability for growth. Much of this depends on learning and training activities that are conducted within an organization. Furthermore, the organization should foster a learning culture that promotes self-directed learning. This is one of the highest performing states of organizational performances in which members launch their own initiatives to receive the skills they need to perform their duties. However all organizations despite their learning capacity should act to facilitate a learning environment as much as possible. Some of the specific strategies that can assist in this end include (SCANPO, 2011):
• Development strategies based upon desired outcome learning objectives
• Web-based resource libraries
• Downloadable resources / tools/Appls
• Learning organization platforms and social networks applications
• Customized training, development and learning
• Research and publications internal/external • Assessment tools for network data security
• Network Resources for partners to interconnect via Internet
Competencies and Ethics
Organizational competencies should build and identify challenging opportunity for their employees' are fundamental to organizational effectiveness and its ability to achieve its goals. Employees' ethics include knowledge of governance, administrative and human resource policies established with clear expectations for effective performance evaluation. The first step is to adopt policies/standards to promote ethical practices and accountability in the organization (PANO, 2012). However, there are many more steps that can be undertaken to further this cause. For example, ethical behaviors and performance can become embedded into the company's culture. Many ethical codes are produced simply to meet regulatory requirements and the organizational members do not actually adhere to the ethical code. Furthermore, ethical training should be conducted when new members are brought onboard as well as training existing members periodically in an ongoing effort to support the ethical objectives of the organization.
Evaluation of Capacity Building
An evaluation of capacity building is an important component to ensuring that organizational resources that are devoted to capacity building are meeting their objectives. The evaluations generally consist of an exercise in developing organizational evaluation skills and knowledge of some, or all, of the organization's staff, with a view to increasing their ability to undertake high-quality projects and programs. The evaluation of capacity building is challenging, situational and ever-changing according to the organizational diversity. Some of the elements commonly used in these evaluations include (Satterlund, Treiber, & Kipke, 2011):
Needs assessments and satisfaction surveys
individualized technical assistance print materials training meeting / webcast data entry systems data analysis services needs assessments to guide workflow
An alternate perspective is provided by a study conducted by McDonald et al. (2003, p. 10) which suggests that sustainability should be a primary objective in evaluation capacity building. They authors argue that the end results of evaluation "capability" (rather than "capacity") should "provide enduring organizational benefits, including a sustaining resource for producing evaluation as well as a system for encouraging and using evaluation." They quote the ancient proverb to drive their point home: "Give someone a fish and they eat for a day; teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime." Thus, with a focus on capabilities, the authors suggest that the such evaluations should include items such as:
Needs assessments and satisfaction surveys
Satisfaction with reaction service measures
Discussion/evaluate capacity building outcomes offer an insightful approach to build capacity results to reflect useful learned interactive and effective processes that can be modified.
Limitations of Organizational Change
While the concept of capacity building varies in aspects of evaluation capacity building, most views seem to emphasize various factors such as equipping staff within organizations with the appropriate skills to understand the value of and need for evaluation activities, formulating a sound evaluation plan, developing quality data collection instruments, understanding what constitutes rigorous data collection, knowing how to train data collectors, understanding how to analyze, interpret and report data, and most importantly, using evaluation findings to improve the organizational productivity and programs.
Without effective evaluations to base the effectiveness of a capacity building initiative off of, then it is difficult to foster any type of organizational change toward desired goals. An evaluation assessment that includes provisions that capture information about the current state of skills, knowledge and attitudes of employees regarding their interpersonal competencies toward evaluation can serve as a basis for decision making to determine whether or not the organization is currently capable of making the desired change. Without such an evaluation, there is really no way to gauge the readiness of an organization to effectively change.
Capacity planning is an abstract concept that measures broad intangible assets and tries to delineate capacities within the human resources within an organization. Much of this effort rests within training, learning, and knowledge management. The highest performing and organizations most capable of change are considered to be learning organizations. Within these organizations employees and leaders will take the initiative to undergo self-directed learning to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to further their career development. However, at lower levels, human resources must take a more direct role…[continue]
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