Over two thousand years ago Sun Tzu said, "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril." Our Army continues to adhere to this sound advice today. However, the complexity of the current operating environment and the massive amount of data and information available make it difficult to adequately attend to the great Chinese general's advice. It takes talented leaders and disciplined followers to create the conditions that result in knowing both the enemy and yourself.
To address the challenge of "knowing," the U.S. Army is integrating knowledge management (KM) practices into both the Operating and Generating forces. The integration is now beginning to coalesce around people and processes, but began as an information technology driven effort. Many believed we could improve our knowledge transfer capabilities by issuing more computers and building new websites. However, it became obvious that knowledge transfer primarily occurs through iterative experiences and dialogue. People interacting with each other are the key to effective performance. Computers and websites enable broad scale virtual interaction. However, hardware and software by themselves are insufficient for KM.
The February 2008 version of Field Manual 3-0 Operations is the first doctrinal publication to address KM. Knowledge is information processed by a human to provide meaning and value, which leads to understanding. Chapter Seven describes information superiority and addresses KM and information management. KM is, "the art of …