Categorising knowledge

Don’t get too granular straight away. It’s like going to a restaurant with a menu full of acceptable choices—it’s too hard to decide and you end up with the parmigiana.

‘General’ or ‘miscellaneous’ is the parmigiana of knowledge base categories.


Your email can save your bacon

So many people hate spam (rightly so) and their growing inboxes. I often hear claims from people who have deleted everything in there just to achieve Inbox: Zero status. If this is you, you could be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

My methods may make me seem like a hoarder, but it certainly isn’t clutter. Maybe you can adapt what I do into your process for handling email.


Knowledge 2.0 – Social Media Policy and Process Tips

If you aren’t already on the social media bus, you’re probably thinking about it. If you are using social media as a tool for your business, are you using it effectively?

Web 2.0 is the term given to web-based apps that encourage information sharing, such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and so on. Let’s take Twitter, for example. If you’re proactive in monitoring user experience and managing complaints, Twitter can become a valid mechanism of your service management model, just like the telephone, email and other customer contact methods. Social media gives you a way to access the conversations your user community is having, simply by searching for your product or business name. If they’re complaining or sharing ideas and you’re listening, you have a chance to fix those things or build on those ideas. I like to call it Knowledge 2.0.


Thoughts from my first itSMF National Conference

Last week’s trans-continental junket to Perth for the Australian itSMF National Conference was well worth the time, effort and cost. Quite apart from the award, it was wonderful to meet some great people who were kind enough to give me career-related tips and advice; and who made me feel like one of the bunch, even though it was my first itSMF conference. Isn’t it interesting that a room full of IT professionals can get together and share information with each other but transferring knowledge within our own organisations is still so difficult?


Your Intranet is a Living Thing

Diagram of the Intranet Iceberg Your intranet is a constantly evolving thing. It’s not something that you can set and forget. As your business and processes change, the information on your intranet will most likely need updating to reflect those changes. Ongoing updates to information and functionality keep it a relevant and effective tool in your organisation.
There are a few things you can do to keep your intranet alive and well.


Get Out of Your Own Way

Photo of NBA coach Pat Riley American NBA coach, Pat Riley, once said:

“Being a part of success is more important than being personally indispensable.”

It’s human nature to want to be needed, but do you really want that? Maybe you’ve already had phone calls after hours and on weekends. What about when you’re ready to move on? Whether it’s changing employers, changing careers, or changing lifestyle, many people put off taking those steps when they feel the ego boost of being needed at work. A boost it may be, but it’s far from practical. A culture of sharing knowledge brings you the flexibility and freedom to step away from the desk with confidence, but it also brings the business the flexibility to promote you, knowing that your role will be taken on more easily by one of your competent crew.


What is a Knowledge Base?

Photo of the How They Do Dat ManualYou know when you get up in the morning and make breakfast or school lunches and you go through the motions without having to think too much about it? What about driving somewhere? You were so busy enjoying the music or getting riled up over talkback that you hardly noticed those proficient driving skills that got you to your destination. You’re on autopilot.


Delegation: An Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

Image of information overloadFor the small business owner and entrepreneur, there will probably come a time when you need to think about delegating. You’ll get busy, then you’ll become successful (if you aren’t already), and you’ll get even busier. Of course, you’ll be needing a personal assistant, eventually, to handle incoming email, phone inquiries, shipping and payment issues. Maybe you’ll outsource the comment and community management on your blog, maybe it’ll be someone handling your twitter responses.


Use Your Intelligence

Image of head with knowledgeA knowledge base allows you to put your collective knowledge into an accessible, searchable format. But it’s not much use if you are the only person who understands it. Here are some of my best tips on writing for your knowledge base.


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