National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead.
This conference paper discusses how the NSW Parliamentary library went about building a learning organisation. The NSW Parliamentary Library is the oldest specialist library of its kind in Australia. The staff of the library are also specialists, who possess remarkable amounts of knowledge about parliamentary resources and history. Like many libraries today, a great deal of this knowledge is tacit, with vast amounts of corporate knowledge embedded in the memories of comparatively few individuals.
In the 2014/2015 Business Plan, in line with the strategic plan of the Department of Parliamentary Services, the Parliamentary Librarian set a goal-based activity to “Build a learning organisation”. A project team was formed, and an original plan for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building was implemented. A basic PMBOK (project management body of knowledge) framework was adopted to clearly define the scope, objectives, approach, stakeholders, team composition and risks of the activity. Distinct process groups of Definition, Planning, Implementation and Review were employed and project management templates ensured the project was methodologically sound while still maintaining the ability to quickly achieve results and test the project’s effectiveness. Three surveys were employed to inform implementation and provide a measure of project impact. Qualitative feedback was gathered through regular team meetings, staff forums and informal interactions. The first round of the project ran over 11 months, with an implementation phase of 7 months, and focussed on creating the foundations for a system of structured knowledge dissemination and management.