Seems like everyone is a knowledge worker. Doesn’t matter whether you’re in manufacturing, insurance, finance, customer service, technology or any number of other roles. As a knowledge worker your main focus is to always find, use and share knowledge. The challenge is, for all of the investment that most organizations have made in knowledge management, much of the knowledge remains hidden or at least inaccessible. So where is it?
- Email – How many times have you asked a co-worker or friend how to do something via email? Countless times no doubt. So when you received that good answer from your colleague, did it end up in a white paper on your company’s Sharepoint instance or archived in a knowledge management system? Probably not. The info is likely still deep in your in-box, where only you can find it.
- Content Repositories – CMSs, wikis and intranets are pivotal parts of any knowledge management ecosystem, but text based searching has it’s limits. Unless you know where to look and how to search, content is often hard to locate.
- Discussion Boards and Activity Feeds – You know you saw a mention of your current challenge some months ago on Yammer, but dang it you can find it now.
- The heads of SMEs – No one really knows how much organizational knowledge is undocumented, but a rough guess would say at least 50%. Needless to say when you can’t find an answer by searching through your existing knowledge management systems you start asking questions of your subject matter experts.
- The heads of people you don’t know – In large organizations you can’t email the whole company or division when you have a question, but what if there’s a person in the org who you’ve never met who has the answer…? Or it’s in the head of someone who retired two months ago?
Take all of these scenarios and multiply them by the number of people in your organization and you begin to see the scope of the problem. Most organizations are just beginning to realize the missing piece of their knowledge management approach. Enterprise Q&A can connect all of these disparate sources by providing a channel to ask the right people in the organization for input. Input that would provide information to execute tasks more efficiently and document more of the knowledge the organization has created. Q&A is the missing piece of the puzzle that lets you access all of this hidden knowledge, because knowledge is only power if you can find it.