This article is one of our favourites from around the web. We've included an excerpt below but do go and read the original!
Let’s talk brass tacks; what should you be thinking about? What common pitfalls can I steer you away from? How can you ensure success?
We'll be going through the following 10 tips together, and I'd love you to follow along, applying it to your own situation. I've written a worksheet to help you do just that. Download the file below and open in your PDF application of choice.
Downloaded and open? Great, before we start, here’s some pre-reading that you might find helpful:
Okay? Let's go.
You cannot build a KMS alone. You will need a team of people around you who can capture your organisations knowledge and assist with building your KMS. The more people you have with you working towards this goal, the more likely you are to succeed.
But, first you need to identify who these people are. Who are your SME’s? Who are they accountable to? Who is out in the field often and able to capture some information for you? Write them down. Now ask around, talk to others in your organisation and see if they know of anyone else who could help (they might even want to!).
Get these people in the same room and take them along the journey with you. Identify what problems you are trying to solve and present your ideal KMS as the solution. People will raise concerns and questions, be ready for them. Once you have the team ready and on side, now you can begin planning.
I talked a lot about the values and approach to planning a Visual Content Library (VCL) (which should be a key pillar of your KMS) in this article. Whilst a lot of that logic applies here, I would suggest taking a wider view for a KMS than just visual content.
Think about the procedures that often raise questions from your field techs. What about the procedures that are rarely actioned but are vital to continued service? Make a list of the tasks that often create “additional work” (e.g. SME’s answering questions, being sent out on site, etc) within your organisation.
These should be your first priority to really showcase how a KMS can enhance your organisation. Then step through planning your VCL whilst keeping the procedures you identified in mind.
A common pitfall I have seen is that teams will start sprinting when they should be jogging.
Building a KMS is an ongoing process and your team will become disheartened quickly if they put so much work in without a dent in the mountain.
When you are implementing a KMS it is so important to keep it really simple at the start, evaluate your team's progress, and ramp up from there if the team has capacity. Set really easy goals, give yourselves some quick wins, and then build up from there.
Now let's think practically about how we are going to achieve this.
Using our list, assign each task to a person on your team and then set out clear planning steps for them to complete.
Maybe build a template for capturing knowledge. Something like: who will be involved, where will the task be executed, what equipment will be needed etc.
Leave the per task planning to your SMEs, whilst you keep your finger on the pulse of the overall project.
A complaint that I hear about 'learning library' type systems is that “no one ever used it because they couldn't access the information”.
Creating a system of titling, tagging, and storing of information is vital to ensuring that your users will be able to access the information you’ve captured.
Establishing this system early on ensures not only that information is in the correct location but also enables your team to be confident in helping others find information.
Does titling by equipment or customer make more sense to you? How will you describe the process you are recording/actioning? If your titles end up being long and complex, how much of that information can be in the description? Is there site specific information that you can turn into tags or abbreviations?
Have a think about how your team will access the information you are capturing. Desktop/laptop? Mobile? Do they have the tools readily available when they are performing their work to access your KMS?
It's great if they can access it via their work computer, but if that's on a desk 200 kms away from where they are performing their work, it's a bit useless.
Have a think about the entire process your end users will be performing to engage with your KMS, and look at providing your end users with these tools they’ll need if they don't have them.
Don’t wait for the 6-month mark to review. Put some time aside every 6-8 weeks with your team (in addition to your usual meetings) to discuss your progress and ideas the team presents on how to improve the process. This should guide you for the next 6-8 weeks on what you’ll achieve and how you’ll achieve it.
Remember the initiating problems that caused you to create the KMS and who you are ultimately making this for.
Your team of techs/end-users can utilise your KMS to do their job better and have easier access to information that your SME’s currently control. So, let's put it into practice.
Once you have gotten some content/procedures in your KMS tell your end-users to give it a spin next time they are on the job. They will have feedback for you, I can guarantee it.
Listen to their feedback, try to resolve their complaints, and create action items to improve and rework. By bringing them along the journey and regularly checking in with them will ensure that the KMS is fit for the intended purpose.
Once you have something to showcase, take it to others in the company.
Show it to people above, next to, and below you. Talk to them about the problem your organisation has, how the KMS you have built is helping that, and then examples from your team using it in the field.
What you are looking for is organisational buy-in to the KMS idea. This will ideally lead to a continued commitment to building your KMS and the ideation of other applications within your organisation.
From there, the KMS will grow and become a foundational repository of information.
HINDSITE is a digital platform that allows you to create and build a KMS. We provide a space for you and your team to upload videos, images, and PDF content for your end-users to access.
We then give you the ability to digitise your SOPs, enabling your end-users to have more relevant information to the task they are performing (when they are performing it). You can link content in from your visual content library into the workflows as well.
Lastly, we provide video calling functionality that records all calls made. You can snip these calls and create new pieces of content from them. Have a question your SME is asked all the time? Have them use HINDSITE for troubleshooting these issues, snip the relevant parts, and post it on HINDSITE. Now they can refer people to this video instead of fielding questions.
To top it off, we offer implementation services when you start with HINDSITE. As a part of this I’ll work closely with you and your team to deliver some fast value and provide extra lift in the first 6 weeks. We’ll make sure that you have the knowledge on how to succeed with HINDSITE, a plan for next steps, and we’ll assign a CSM to your organisation to check in with you regularly and give you some extra help.
Give us a call to help build the perfect KMS for you!
HINDSITE supercharges your service delivery by providing access to just-in-time skills training and digital work instructions for your frontline workers.
Let us know how we can reach you and we'll give you a ring to explore whether HINDSITE is the right fit for your team.