Knowledge Management in VRA

Knowledge Management (KM) is a relatively new discipline in Volta River Authority in which a range of practices and tools are employed to identify, capture, create, represent and distribute knowledge, thus facilitating the adoption of peer learning and experience of insights.

KM comprises of three main components:

(i) People, who create, share and use knowledge as part of their daily work and help shape a knowledge sharing organizational culture
(ii) Processes, which include methods to acquire, create, organize, share and transfer knowledge to fit different situations and
(iii) Technology, including the mechanisms to store and provide access to data, information, and knowledge that must be integrated with the way people work, and address their real needs.

The Volta River Authority has been operating the Ghana Power system for over 50 years. During this period, various policies and procedures have been developed to ensure compliance to best industry practices and also to assure the ease of various work processes.

Over the past half-century experience and knowledge have been acquired by various individuals and workgroups that have worked in the VRA and many of these experienced staff have, over time, retired from the VRA. This knowledge is either embodied in individuals or embedded in the Authority as processes or practices.

One of our challenges, as well as being an opportunity, is to ensure that this accumulate knowledge is captured and made available to future generations who work in and with the VRA.

Therefore the VRA intends developing a series of guidance documents on Knowledge Management for every business units. In this regard, a Knowledge Management unit has been established under the Projects and Systems Monitoring Department (PSMD) to undertake this function.

Three (3) units under Knowledge Management Section have been established namely, KM Operations, Organizational (Technical and Non Technical Units) and Data Administration/Content Management. Together these represent a significant investment by the VRA, indicating how seriously the benefits of applying KM have been understood.

VRA Management is making significant contributions in Knowledge Management matters towards nurturing the Authority into becoming a world class organization poised at setting the standard for public sector excellence in Africa. An example of this is the VRA KM Portal, which is a digital attempt to unlock this knowledge, to share mainstream best practices, leverage intellectual assets and facilitate knowledge creation in the Authority.

In 2012, VRA set forth its Knowledge Management Strategic Paper to harness knowledge capturing, organizational learning, data management and knowledge sharing by making new investments in people, processes and technology. To this effect, the Projects and Systems Monitoring Department (P&SMD), as part of its strategy to harness and share knowledge throughout the Authority, has developed a VRA KM Portal, which is to facilitate staff collaboration, knowledge sharing and problem solving to improve the Authority’s operations.

The VRA KM Portal would develop a strategic path that would enable staff to harness knowledge, prevent knowledge loss, bridge competency gaps, in new areas like solar, wind power and the wider VRA and all its subsidiaries.

As part of this process, the P&SMD carried out a number of activities to educate and sensitize staff on Knowledge Management capabilities and the VRA Knowledge Management (KM) Portal.