5 min read

Organizational Knowledge Management: Take it one step at a time

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The first step to closing the gaps is to acknowledge that they exist. Streamline your organizational knowledge, making it accessible and actionable for everyone.  

Consider how much valuable information flows through your organization on any given day—emails, chat messages, intranet posts, meetings, verbal conversations, and more. Now, think about how much time you spend looking for that information.  

How often do you ask yourself questions like, “What Microsoft Teams channel did I read that in?” or “Where was that process posted?” or “How do I use this tool?”.  

Guaranteed, you’re not the only one having trouble finding answers. The inevitable result is you spend too much time looking for information—either the information isn’t available, or it’s disorganized, siloed, stale, or inaccessible.  

 

Acknowledge your knowledge gaps 

The first step to closing the gaps that you have is to acknowledge that you have them. Can you relate to any of the example scenarios below? 

  • You have an aging or transitioning workforce. People are retiring, moving on, or moving up, and you need to make sure their knowledge and expertise are available to their replacements. 
  • You want to streamline your onboarding process so new employees get up to speed quickly and efficiently. 
  • You rely heavily on certain employees because they know how to troubleshoot issues with specialized equipment or software. When those people are on vacation, sick, or OOO for extended periods, you need to ensure someone else is equipped to address issues in their absence. 
  • Your organization has silos that cause duplication of effort and outdated information. 
  • You want to reduce the risk of user error or issues and maintain consistency of information by ensuring that employees follow accurate processes and procedures. 
  • Your employees find themselves answering the same questions repeatedly.  

 

A solid knowledge management strategy for the rescue  

Reduce costs, resources, and duplication of effort. Embed knowledge management into your regular processes to ensure its longevity. If you work in an agile environment, why not include knowledge management in your sprints?  You must set aside some time for capturing information.  Otherwise, it will be just one more thing that gets implemented short-term and eventually stops getting traction altogether. 

Don’t follow Agile practices? No problem. You can incorporate knowledge management into other processes, such as your release cycle, quarterly reviews, or lessons learned. 

 

One foot in front of the other 

Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with just one team, one product, one process, or one subject matter expert at a time. Meet with key players to determine what information you want to capture. Nail down the information people need to do their job. Ask questions and gather the answers. Don’t limit yourself. Content can come in all different forms. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Demos 
  • Tips and tricks 
  • Troubleshooting guidelines 
  • Help articles 
  • FAQs 
  • Videos 

 

Find a home for knowledge 

Once you have determined what knowledge you want to capture, determine a centralized place to store it. Some examples include SharePoint or Confluence. Scope out the resources available and choose a location that’s accessible and searchable.  

Ask yourself these questions during your assessment:  

Can you gather metrics so that you know what people are searching for?  

Are people finding the information they need?  

Is there a way for you to determine the number of views your content is getting?  

Can people like your content or leave comments with suggestions for potential improvement? 

The ability to do these things helps make your knowledge base as effective as possible. 

Make sure your content is easily editable. Don’t let your content become stale. Empower people to be able to add to content and make updates. If they have an easier way to do something or a troubleshooting tip, for example, encourage them to share that information.  

 

No organization is perfect 

There’s always room for improvement. A solid knowledge management strategy: 

  • Helps to improve your onboarding experience for new employees. 
  • Helps lighten the load for your veteran employees. 
  • Makes everyone work more efficiently.  

The direct result is increased retention.  

Need help formulating just such a strategy? That’s where we come in. Let us help you get started.  

ABOUT INNOVATIA

Innovatia is an end-to-end content solutions provider servicing clients looking to manage and overcome challenges with their content.  For more than two decades, our experts have worked closely with client teams to help design, transform, and manage their content with a view to driving business goals through knowledge and content solutions. To discuss in more detail, contact us.