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How to create a Visual Content Library for on-demand training

Sebastian Vowels
Implementation Consultant

This article is one of our favourites from around the web. We've included an excerpt below but do go and read the original!

Original source:
  • February 9, 2023
  • Digitisation

Know how to capture your know-how

Alright, so you’ve decided to take the leap and create a Knowledge Management System (KMS) - fantastic! Now what?

Well, a big part of creating a modern and effective KMS is ensuring that you have a really top notch Visual Content Library (VCL).

Why? Having an effective content library helps support your digital Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Remember, your ineffective two-dimensional SOPs are no longer making the cut when it comes to communicating vital information to your team. Visual content is the secret sauce to taking your SOPs to the next level.

Outside of SOPs, our SME’s simply don’t have the time to show those two new hires that unique way to perform a niche task. This kind of knowledge is hard to communicate via SOPs but isn't being passed on without your SME taking the time.

A VCL is the happy medium that allows them to demonstrate once and never again.

So how do we make a Visual Content Library?

1. Plan

Like many tasks in life, planning is important. First, we need to make a list of all the content we want to capture. Take an hour out of your day, ideally in collaboration with some of your SMEs, and bring them along the journey for making a visual content library.

In this workshop, you’ll cover three types of videos to create.

Common questions

Talk about what are the most common questions your SMEs get asked. Next to each of these items, jot a few dot points down as to what each of these questions is composed of (steps, instructions, procedures etc).

These are priority number one, and are a great way to show some fast value of your KMS to your SMEs.

Repeated tasks

Next, write down the tasks that are often repeated within your organisation. Think daily checks, troubleshooting tips, routine procedures.

Again, jot down a few points about what comprises each of these. 

These are priority number two, something to use as an onboarding tool or quick refreshers.

Technical tasks

Last, write down the tasks that require a higher level of technical knowledge. These are tasks that your standard technicians or users would not be exposed to regularly.

Think: servicing an older piece of equipment, working with a unique tool, perhaps even teaching a concept that isn't common knowledge.

These are your third priority, and should help to enhance the previous pieces of content.

Great stuff, now we have a list to work from!

2. Schedule

Scheduling is important, but can be done oh so poorly (cue Winnie the Pooh ‘oh dear’).

You need to set yourself and your team realistic expectations. We’ve found that depending on the size of your team, 2-6 pieces of video content a week is a good pace to set.

However, that also means if you have 100 items on your list, it could take nearly a year to capture all of the items on the list if you don’t have the right resources.

Keeping this in mind, take the items in your three groups and order them based on your priorities. Think about availability of resources and SMEs, site availability, big projects, and other factors that you might need to work around.

It’s then as simple as putting a due date next to each piece of content. You could set up a shared calendar for the team, a fancy gantt chart (my personal favourite), or even a word document. We’ve created a template planning sheet for you at the bottom of this article.

This is also the time to delegate the content creation amongst your team.

With each piece of content, assign a person who is responsible for capturing that content. It's important to give your team a sense of responsibility and ownership in creating the videos, so sometimes it's useful to allocate content to those who suggested it or who are most familiar with it.

3. Organise

Let's think about logistics. How are we actually going to capture the content? There are a variety of ways to capture your content.

Mobile phones? Tablets? Camcorders? RealWear? Go-Pro? Sketch Artists? An improv theatre troupe tasked with recreating your SOPs?

Now is the time to start thinking about what resources you need to capture quality content.

Images are fairly straightforward, there are so many devices available with tremendously powerful cameras in them. 

Documents or PDFs should be available internally, and if not, your organisation will likely have the required document processor to write them out.

Where a lot of people get stuck is capturing video content. Whilst it is the hardest to get right, it's also the most powerful.

Think about things in two categories: picture and sound.

For picture, what resolution does your device capture footage at? 1080p is a good quality and will capture the majority of the required information.

Sound is tricker. If there is wind or loud machinery it can be tough for a camera to pick up a person talking or distinguish important noises from background noises.

Think about the environment you are in or invest in a portable microphone to improve sound (the Rode SmartLav+ plugs into your phone).

Now that we have our devices, let's make sure our team has access to them when they will be required to capture the content.

This might involve sending content capture kits out to sites, or could be as simply as dropping it off to the factory. Try to plan ahead and work with your team to determine when they will need access to content capturing equipment.

4. Capture

Let's put our plan into action and get the team excited to capture some content!

A good way to do this, particularly for those who might be a bit resistant to new ideas, is to schedule a regular meeting (once a fortnight) for the team to come together and discuss current progress.

You will want to celebrate those who have been uploading their content on time. Then ask those who are lagging behind what issues they are encountering, see if you can help or refer to some of your champions what solutions they might have.

During these meetings can be a good time to create a more detailed plan for the next fortnight to capture content. Ensure your team has access to their recording equipment and has a plan on how they are going to capture their content.

As an aside, ensuring your team has a plan on how to capture each piece of content is really important. There can be a number of factors to consider like:

  • Do I need to organise another person to film me?
  • Will the equipment be available on the day?
  • What will I say during the video?
  • What do I want to show?
  • Will I do one long video or four short ones?

Overall, the key thing to remember at the start of your journey is that something is better than nothing.

If your team is finding it hard to upload the six pieces of content per week you've assigned, but they are managing four, that's a win.

Keep up the motivation and maybe readjust your expectations. What you are looking for is consistency, because over time their current weekly filming capacity will become easier for the team to manage, which means more could be possible after a few months.

5. Review

Once you are nearing the end of your list, schedule another workshop meeting.

Your visual content library should be constantly evolving and growing, and I can guarantee that by the end of the first list your SMEs will be able to create a new list for you to help them work through.

Follow the process laid out in step one and don’t be afraid to expand to other ideas or categories that your SMEs think are important.

During this meeting it's really important to talk about what has worked well and what hasn't. Your team will have feedback about the process and it's important to act on this feedback.

It's also really important to celebrate and highlight the benefits of this work, creating your visual content library isn't just a fun team building exercise.

Lastly, think of metrics you can use throughout implementation of your content to measure the effectiveness of your library. Maybe compare the number of questions asked to SMEs before and after implementation?

Extra: Some tools

A roadmap is great, but how about some actual tools to build out your VCL? I’ve got a few suggestions for you:

  • is an online video review tool that allows you and your team to review content, make comments, suggest edits, and review video content all in one easy place. We use this at HINDSITE for our own tutorial video review process.
  • is an online video presentation tool that allows you to present in front of video content. It also provides screen capturing tools which could be useful for recording software or on device processes.
  • is a fantastic online project management tool. It allows you to easily invite other users, assign tasks, create deadlines, and easily make gantt charts. We use Monday at HINDSITE too.
  • is also on the cards for project management, perhaps a little more stripped back but very powerful in its simplicity.
  • If you want to try things out first on a spreadsheet, we have made a Google Sheet template that you can use to track your VCL project.

The last tool I’m going to call out is probably the most obvious: HINDSITE.

HINDSITE enables your team to effectively capture visual content on mobile or RealWear devices and upload straight to your own cloud hosted Visual Content Library.

We also have tools to take your SOPs to the next level by including your uploaded visual content.

Our video calling platform retains all calls and we have tools that allow you to trim parts of your calls and include them automatically into your VCL.

Give us a shout if we can help!


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