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At Northrop Grumman Air Combat Systems (ACS), that presented more than just a shortterm headache. As lead contractor for the B-2 Stealth bomber, an aircraft that was nearing the end of its production life, ACS was in danger of losing the expertise it needed to support and maintain a complex machine that would be flying, carrying precious lives and cargo, for years to come. So ACS instituted knowledge management procedures designed to capture the so-called tacit knowledge, or know-how and experience with the B-2, locked in its employees’ heads. By 1999, with more cuts on the way, and with more knowledge in danger of being ushered out the door Project Manager Scott Shaffar wanted to institute KM initiatives throughout the El Segundo, Calif.-based Northrop Grumman business unit. The team created websites for each of the knowledge cells and logged information about the knowledge experts into an expert locator system called Xref, short for cross- 1 reference. Using Xref, employees can se...

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Knowledge Management at Northrop Grumman

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