So, Now What? Challenges of distributing company knowledge (and 3 ways to overcome them)

What do you do with all your organization’s information?

Many organizations are now in the habit of recording any information related to their key positions, processes, and all their tasks. However, many organizations do not see the intrinsic value of recording all this information. They are starting to ask, “So, now what do we do with all of this information?” They end up asking themselves this question most often when the time comes to make use of important information, and their employees can’t find it, or what they can find is not relevant to their specific needs.

The following is a list of challenges that many organizations face after they have recorded their processes, procedures, tribal knowledge, as well as their software and product information:

  1. The information is only stored on a single employee’s local machine. Yes, the company knowledge is recorded; however, that is not beneficial to an organization when only a single employee has easy access to the information.
  2. The information is written in Word or Notepad before being saved in a PDF format. To be most effective, an organization’s important information should be searchable. This outcome can be best achieved by using a quality document management system such as SharePoint, Confluence, or one many other available options to store organizational information.
  3. The information is outdated or incomplete. Organizations often will have a one-time initiative to gather all their company knowledge in one place; however, too often, due to a lack of resources dedicated to ongoing technical documentation updates and versioning, the gathered information quickly becomes outdated. One time information gathering projects also tend to be incomplete.
  4. Conflicting information. In many organizations, multiple employees perform the same tasks and processes, but, each one of them performs those tasks in their way. Without internal reviews and editing, there end up being multiple processes documented regarding a single task (which causes confusion for those who must learn that process from the documentation).
  5. The information is deemed unreliable. Often employees are unsure of the relevancy of organizational information because of a lack of updates, or due to incomplete and conflicting information residing in the same place as the correct information.
  6. When the information is needed, it can’t be found.  Employees will utilize company knowledge when they can locate the documentation. The likelihood of the information being useful is greatly reduced when the employee must hunt for information that they need to perform their job duties

Can your employees find your organization’s most valuable information, and if they can, do they trust it to be accurate? If not, it is never too late to overcome this challenge to help your organization thrive. In order to do so, we suggest taking the three steps outlined below.

  1. Develop a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is a collection of company knowledge that is easy to search, store, provide reports and access for employees. Some of the most commonly used LMSs are SharePoint, Wikis, and Blackboard
  2. Enlist a gatekeeper. Put one person in charge of company information that is stored on the LMS system. This allows for more manageable fact-checking processes, eliminate redundancy and ensures consistency across all your documentation.
  3. Use a writer to update and develop new company knowledge. Expecting employees to update and add information regularly will be met with minimal success. An experienced writer will be able to routinely create new content and perform documentation updates that are well written and concise.

Here at InfoPros, we encourage our clients to preserve their company’s knowledge to improve communication and fuel growth. If you have gathered the information about your company’s products, process, and software but are unsure how to deliver that information within your company effectively, InfoPros can help to deliver your valuable process documentation to develop your learning management system.

InfoPros has been serving the documentation and course development needs of its clients since 1994. When you partner with InfoPros, you benefit from the knowledge, experience, and resources InfoPros has gained from successfully supporting the diverse needs of its clients. Contact InfoPros today to learn more about how we can support your organization’s information delivery needs.