More and more companies are realizing the importance of knowledge management and the difference it can make in driving efficiency across a wide array of business operations. Employee performance, CSAT, internal/external training, and quality assurance are just a few areas that benefit from a robust knowledge management program.
The key to a successful knowledge management program is a robust knowledge framework. Let’s look at what that framework consists of:
THE KNOWLEDGE FRAMEWORK
A robust knowledge framework is made of 3 essential elements:
1- The People: These are the people and their roles and responsibilities within your organization.
2- The Process: How you create, update, and review the content of your knowledge base.
3-The Tool/s: The system, platform, or database you use to house your knowledge base (like Zingtree).
There are a variety of ways to implement a successful knowledge framework. The most important part though is the people. Not having the right people involved and not having them bought in can cause your knowledge management process to fall apart quickly.
The number and types of roles required to support a knowledge management system are completely driven by the business and process needs. When determining what your organization needs it’s important to answer the following questions:
Who is going to be using the knowledge base?
Who will create, update and publish the knowledge base content?
Who will review your knowledge base content and how often?
Will someone need to approve new and updated articles?
Example roles for a typical framework are:
Knowledge Subject Matter Expert (SME): Create and update content
Knowledge/Process Manager: Review, approve and publish content
Knowledge User: Uses and gives feedback on the content
Depending on the size of your organization, more roles can be added if needed. A Knowledge Architect could support the Knowledge Manager in fulfilling daily and weekly tasks. Knowledge Champions could support the SME in reviewing knowledge base content regularly or could provide continuous improvement feedback.
The key to success is identifying motivated and enthusiastic individuals to manage your knowledge base.
Once you’ve identified the people involved, you’ll need to identify the tool you’re going to use.
Ideally, your knowledge base is contained in a single place. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many times knowledge base content is stored across shared drives, SharePoint, personal computers, or, in worse case scenarios, only in the head of the person who’s been with your company for years.
The good news is that Zingtree provides a quick and easy way to create a knowledge base, and its built-in integrations with popular Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) like Salesforce and Zendesk mean you can easily integrate it into your existing workflows.
Zingtree will allow you to:
1- Host knowledge content efficiently and securely.
2- Easily create and amend content.
3- Embed videos and images.
4- Review changes through its built-in change log.
5- Manage user access and privileges.
6- Run reports on the performance and engagement with your content.
7- Have your users submit feedback on any of your published content.
Once you have the right people in place and a tool like Zingtree to manage your knowledge base, the only remaining piece of the puzzle is setting a process in place that ensures:
- There is only one source of truth
- Content is kept up to date, accurate and relevant
- Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined
- Knowledge can be accessed easily and seamlessly
Let’s dive deeper into a few of these, starting with the importance of one source of truth. If your knowledge content isn’t useful then your users will lose confidence in it and stop using it. The best way to combat this is by having clearly defined roles and responsibilities for your knowledge management team.
Below we’ve charted out what these responsibilities could be based on the example roles we listed above.
|Create new content||x|
|Review and update content||x|
|Approve and publish content||x|
|Run reporting on knowledge base usage and engagement||x|
|Flag needed changes||x||x||x|
Keeping your knowledge base up to date and relevant also means that your change management process should include steps to review how the proposed changes will affect what articles need to be updated or created. Remember, your one source of truth needs to be the truth. Any change to your business likely means a change to your knowledge base.
Be sure to clearly define the process you are going to follow to manage your knowledge base in an SOP. Making it available to everyone and reviewing the SOP on a regular basis will help ensure that your Zingtree knowledge base is well maintained.
If your company could benefit from a more robust knowledge management system then let Zingtree help you.