1. Review current knowledge management processes and documents.
When trying to get to where you want to be, the first step is to assess and own where you are today. Some questions you’ll want to answer during the kms assessment process should include:
- What is your current process for sharing knowledge?
- Is your current process documented, available, and followed?
- Do you currently have a knowledge governance process?
- What is your knowledge-creation process?
- How is your knowledge distributed and accessed?
- What is your process for requesting and updating knowledge content?
- How are knowledge changes communicated to the team?
- How do you solicit and collect feedback on your knowledge management system or kms process?
2. Review current knowledge management framework.
Your current knowledge management framework should outline all your processes and procedures and include descriptions of each components’ purpose and functions. Some framework assessment strategies to consider are:
- Comprehensive interviews with all levels of staff
- Conducting side-by-side observations with end users to observe how they are utilizing the tools
- Reviewing screen captures of different points in the customer interaction
- Reviewing customer feedback
- Soliciting feedback via anonymous questionnaires and surveys
- Holding brainstorming discussions with the entire knowledge management team
- Completing an evaluation of your current knowledge management tools
3. Uncover and report any and all knowledge related opportunities.
Conducting root cause analysis will help you discover even the most hidden knowledge-related opportunities your team is currently experiencing. Combining the root cause analysis with user feedback via focus groups and surveys is an excellent approach to assessing the current state. It will help identify what factors should be the most critical considerations when selecting a new knowledge management system.
Here are a few knowledge-related opportunities you may discover during your assessment and analysis.
A well-constructed knowledge management system should include searchability and a defined structure when naming and placing content within the knowledge management tool.
- Inaccurate Knowledge
Your content must be regularly audited and updated to ensure accurate and current information. Selecting a knowledge management system with feedback capabilities built into the tool allows the end users to identify content that needs updating.
- User Experience
If your current knowledge base is hard to use or comes with a poor user experience (UX) design, your end users will become frustrated, less engaged, and less likely to utilize the knowledge base.
4. Assess your current knowledge base platform.
Consider these questions when determining if your current system is meeting your business needs:
- Do you have a single source of truth, or is your information stored in silos?
- Is your current system searchable?
- What are the end users saying?
5. Identify existing methodologies and knowledge management best practices for KMS software.
The key to achieving long-term success when integrating your knowledge management software and processes into existing company workflows is to develop a playbook specific to each end user role.
- Knowledge-centered service (KCS) is a popular methodology that includes a set of best practices for creating and maintaining your knowledge management system. One core theme of the KCS methodology is continuous improvement via the two-step double-loop process.
- Solve – resolving requests and providing answers
- Evolve – continuous learning and improvement, including reporting and analysis based on end-user interactions
- Regardless of which knowledge management methodology you choose, it should include a continuous improvement mentality of learning, adapting, and improving based on feedback and observations.
6. Identify gaps in your knowledge management system.
Be honest with your assessment and acknowledge any gaps in people, process, or technology.
- People – Do you have the right people in the right roles, with the right responsibilities on your knowledge team?
- Process – Do you have missing or inaccurate knowledge? What feedback are you receiving? Are there questions or requests that are often repeated?
- Technology – Has your organization outgrown its current knowledge management tool? Does it have the capabilities and features your organization needs to meet your performance goals?