“Where do I find X?”
“How do we do Y?”
If you find your team frequently asking you these questions, it might be that your knowledge management strategy is inadequate – or missing altogether!
Having the right knowledge management systems in place means:
- Your whole team can access the information they need to work seamlessly (It doesn’t just live in your CEO’s head).
- A more resourceful, self-reliant team.
- A culture of learning.
- Smoother communication and fewer conflicts.
- More consistency throughout your team.
Your knowledge management system can be the thing that sets your startup up for success or dooms it to fail.
Our client Dana is a great example of this. Her knowledge management practices consisted of “sticky notes all over the place.” We helped her set up a solid system, and her revenue quickly increased by 25% while her employee training time decreased by 50%.
We’ve found that overall in our work with startups that there are four best practices when it comes to knowledge management processes.
Four Knowledge Management Best Practices for Startups to Empower Teams
1. Create a centralized place for all of your knowledge management.
There should be one central location for documentation, information, and protocols. If information is dispersed or fragmented, it can cause confusion, conflict, and poor outcomes.
2. Choose a platform that matches your needs.
Identify what kind of documentation needs to go into the knowledge management system, and be sure that the platform you choose matches those needs.
For example, if videos are important but the platform doesn’t support video embeds or videos in general, it’s not a good platform.
We recommend using cloud-based apps.
Be sure to consider how different team members may need to access the knowledge management system.
Are they generally working on a computer?Are they out in the field, accessing information via their phone or tablet? Be sure the platform can be easily accessed in a format that works for their day-to-day needs.
Searchability is also very important, so be sure to find a knowledge management solution that makes sifting through lots of documentation as easy as possible so your team can have the details they need when they need them.
3. Keep it simple.
Make your knowledge management system easy to create and update.
Avoid creating multiple documents with the same title but end with v5 or vX – these will only create confusion.
Organize your knowledge management system into different levels of “folders” and “sub-folders” in a way that looks organized, structured, and makes sense for your startup. (Note: We put folders in quotes because not all apps have folders, but most have hierarchical pages to help you stay organized).
4. Keep it relevant.
What good is information if it’s outdated or not helpful?
Conduct a quarterly review of the documentation in your knowledge management system to be sure it is meeting current needs and reflects your current processes, data, and documentation.
(Bonus) Hot Tip: Delegate.
Assign documentation and process updates to relevant team members.
This way employees become responsible for their own knowledge management.
Putting team members in charge has multiple benefits, including:
- Clarifying who is responsible for keeping that part of the knowledge management system updated – so that it actually gets updated!
- Other team members know exactly who to ask if they have questions related to that documentation or process (instead of say…always going to the CEO)
If this sounds like a lot – or you’re not sure where to begin with setting up your knowledge management system – rest assured you don’t need to do it alone.
Business Laid Bare is here to help set your team (and you!) up for success.
Book a Consult here and get started on your Orgasmic Operations® journey today!
Download our 50+ SOP Ideas Guide to get your idea juices flowing of content to put into your knowledge management system.