The NASA Engineering Network (NEN)
(Manson yew, Douglas Hughes, Keri Murphy, Gena Henderson, Jeanne Holm of JPL, presenting.)

NEN began as a vision for knowledge sharing:
Capture knowledge
Organize and disseminate knowledge
Enable reuse of knowledge.
Facilitates creation of knowledge

Michael, you will be pleased to know that there are many Macs in use here at the conference. Of course they have the same problems connecting to a projector as PCs. So much for engineering...

NEN Integrates a content management system, a portal, search engine, and engineering community.

Key difference with NEN is that content is authoritative and actionable. Everything's been vetted first.

Key Knowledge Resource: engineering databases.

Shocking discovery: Much of this knowledge is still siloed.

If we are going to get back to the moon, we need to know what we know...

Writing interfaces to legacy databases. Some systems are so old that they have to be exported and then imported into new systems. This to achieve standardized interface to information.

Key Knowledge Resource: Subject Matter Experts
SMEs are our best knowledge resource, but sadly they are often not easily discovered.
We know the people here know what we need to know but we don't know who we need to know to know this.

Industry benchmarking lead to NEN as a recognized best practice.

NASA Lessons Learned database, fed from various sources:
Expertise locator (POPS)
Metasearch/Subscription search
Collaborative tools (NX/Jabber)
Document and Data repositories

Search across multiple repositories - audit history of all searches provide so that you can track how you got somewhere.

Personal observation: Engineers are more likely to wear pocket protectors. Actually, I've not seen a pocket protector yet, but I see a few candidates.

NEN Communities provide a variety of expert locator tools. This is important because most people at NASA/JPL [and in business] only work with the people they know. But, they don't know who they don't know. e.g. Douglas is a synthetic aperture radar expert.

Disseminating Lessons and Best Practices:

Demonstration of NEN portal:
Four functional areas:
Community overview
Experts contact
Key community documents (e.g. standards, what to trust, what the community trusts)
Discussions on key topic areas.

NEN Unifies the above areas across the organization.

Blogs are not shown, however NASA uses blogs internally. The NASA deputy administrator uses a blog to share info internally.

Obviously, I'm only able to capture a small part of this presentation but I'm reminded of what JPL's CTO shared about how difficult it is to manage an organization of rocket scientists, each of whom are capable of creating or launching a new collaborative environment over the weekend.

After the last shuttle disaster, NASA has become even more focused on disseminating best practices and lessons learned. This has resulted in more openness and sharing in many areas of the organization.

NEN itself does not originate lessons learned, it merely support the engineering community and collecting and vetting these experiences.

The key challenged os KM is knowledge reuse - have you ever tried to search a blog of knowledge?

If you capture it, are you going to use it? or, are you just building a big data warehouse?

What's your purpose? What tools. (Brief discussion of who's using SharePoint)

A public version of the NEN site may be viewed at the Lessons Learned at NASA site:

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