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Top 10 tips for using knowledge in your organisation

1. Get staff buy-in

Nobody naturally documents information unless there’s something in it for them, or a good reason to do so.

a. Sell back the benefits at all levels and points

     i) Increased productivity/revenue

     ii) Less interruptions

b. Point to well-understood pain points and how they can be reduced/eliminated

c. Keep it uncomplicated – make it easy to understand and do

d. Don’t use Data Information Knowledge Wisdom (DIKW) in your terminology, it only confuses people

e. Have a clear, defined scope, goals and approach to Knowledge Management (KM) in the organisation

 

2. Shared knowledge is effective knowledge

Giving your IT team access to knowledge they need will make them more effective. As Service Levels become more attainable, overheads are reduced, customers will be better served and staff morale would be higher.

a. Regularly review team interaction points/ interfaces

b. Knowing what other teams need will make sharing more likely

 

3. Don’t let knowledge disappear with your staff

a. Maintain a skills matrix – focus on the critical or single points of failure

b. Fill the gaps – or at least have a plan for the gaps

c. If a member of your team leaves your organisation, make sure knowledge doesn’t go with them; ensure you capture and share this knowledge with existing staff

 

4. Use processes to provide knowledge

If knowledge gathering and management isn’t made part of the way things are done, it won’t happen:

a. Build knowledge capture into processes at the various input/output points:

     i) Design, build, test

     ii) Resolution, workaround

     iii) Interaction review

     iv) Configuration item/asset take on

     v) Release

 

5. Decide on the right content

a. Imagine you are the end user; would you be able to use KM to help you?

b. Consider different formats; awareness sessions, seminars, blogs, animations, videos, documentation

 

6. Structure the content

a. Maintain standard content templates and conventions for different levels and types of content

b. Build in search intelligence (keywords, aliases etc.)

c. Name things consistently

 

7. Manage content

a. Employ knowledge or information owners

b. Empower them to manage their areas

c. Version control and clean up repositories

d. Review currency and coverage

e. Measure and publish knowledge use, and where it isn’t being used

f. Employ continual service improvement (CSI)

 

8. Identify knowledge gaps

Focus on the pain points (these will change over time and in line with strategy)

a. Report on service requests

b. Consider knowledge in service design stage

 

9. Quality control

Define the rules for quality control and publishing differing levels/ types of content

a. Checklists to support creation

b. Mandate fields for data input

c. Peer review

d. Proof reading

 

10. Don’t forget to do the simple stuff

a. Keep selling back the benefits

b. Keep it current

c. Build in documentation, knowledge management time and resource – accept that they have an overhead

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