By Tom Barfield, Chief Solution Architect
How many people are on your knowledge management team? One? A handful? Dozens? Hundreds? Whoever I ask, the answer is always the same: not enough.
I have never encountered a company that had enough people to manage knowledge transfer and learning. Even in companies where knowledge is highly valued and teams are well-staffed, a knowledge manager could work 24x7 and never get to all the critical tasks. So, I often get asked, “How can we maximize the value of our knowledge management teams?”
Part of the challenge is that in addition to making the dedicated knowledge team more efficient and effective, every individual within the company who has unique and valuable expertise and insights must be empowered to act as a knowledge manager and enlisted to contribute and share their knowledge
Luckily, there is a platform to facilitate this. Below are three ways Keeeb helps knowledge teams leverage the community, connect people to relevant information, and focus on high-value tasks.
Enable your audience to identify and share the best knowledge
The best person to curate knowledge is often the person who uses the information. Today, applications like LinkedIn and even Facebook make it easy to share information with our networks through feeds. This is a great start to an approach. But unfortunately, what you see and who you reach is generally limited by who you are following and timing. Information flows through the feeds so quickly and constantly that if you blink you can easily miss out on great information. There is also very little organization to the posts so an interesting and relevant article might quickly get buried by a bunch of work anniversaries.
A bookmarking approach like the Collection capability of Keeeb’s Intelligence Platform addresses these limitations. Users can easily collect and curate information for their own benefit – and the benefit of others. Collected information – links to articles, videos, uploaded documents, personal insights, and more – can be shared to individuals and groups. Moreover, collections can be curated by groups of topic experts. So, your Collections notifications are a stream of professional knowledge organized in a digital library that is easy to explore.
If you don’t have a social bookmarking capability like Keeeb, you can still tap into your audience through activities like content harvesting campaigns and other community activities. Just as it doesn’t take many people in your network sharing on LinkedIn for you to benefit – the same is true with this bookmarking approach. A small percentage of the audience bookmarking can be a huge benefit to your whole audience – and be a big help to your knowledge team.
Tap into end user behaviors to create breadcrumb trails to information
If you have data on what information is being accessed, consider investing in analytics to build a recommendation engine. At a moderate level of complexity (people who accessed this piece of information have also accessed this other information – Amazon does a great job with this) recommendation engines can be quite useful in enabling the discovery of information. However, it isn’t fool-proof. It is very easy for highly accessed information to rise to the top too frequently and bury more relevant information. One approach to address this pitfall is to combine usage analytics with tags to focus the recommendation engine on information with similar metadata. A system one of my teams implemented in the past created a solution where 20% of the audience used recommendations presented to them – we were thrilled.
At Keeeb, we are building solutions with robust usage and content analytics to make recommendations even more accurate and impactful. By understanding the relationships between what users query, consume, collect, comment on, share, and curate – as well as what gets tagged, liked and disliked – Keeeb will be able to connect users with a specific profile, interest, or need to the most relevant knowledge available across their networks. We are very excited to share further details on this soon – stay tuned for more!
Minimize time spent on transactional tasks
One of the biggest challenges for any team is shifting time and resources away from lower value tasks and toward critical work. Our knowledge teams are valuable resources that are often spread thin, and it is easy for them to get swamped by tactical activities taking time away from the highly strategic activities that have deeper impact. Liberating our teams can be as simple as implementing automated archival processes or as complex as building a whole knowledge ecosystem.
One area that I always found troublesome was time spent building and maintaining web pages. Web pages and portals can be very valuable to distribute knowledge and build community. But designing and maintaining webpages is time consuming, and I’d rather have my knowledge teams focus their efforts elsewhere. Automating the translation of knowledge into web content by standardizing the look and feel of pages and implementing dynamic content can save a lot of time while also increasing consumption. The Keeeb API enables knowledge teams to embed Collections into web pages to increase the value of web and research resources while reducing the manual effort to maintain content.
These are just a few approaches to maximize the value of knowledge teams. Please use the comments on LinkedIn to share your ideas.
Tom BarfieldChief Solution Architect