About Aprill Allen
I like pizza, Doritos, and I have a cat. I met my husband, Matt Allen, while we were both working in tech support and we have two sons who are growing up with the world at their fingertips. But I don’t think that’s the kind of “about me” you’re looking for.
My experience with knowledge management practices began with the one most people think of when they hear the phrase knowledge management: a knowledge base. In my case, it was a binder full of paper, a wiki, a static website with links, or a knowledge base that was part of a broader help desk software platform. I worked in technical support and then as a network operations analyst for many years, before specialising in knowledge. I’m particularly passionate about working to improve the relationship between IT support and their colleagues, which is how I came to be so heavily involved with the IT Service Management Forum.
Two reasons why you should NOT be here
1. I cannot help, if you aren’t ready.
Most knowledge management improvements are also a change management effort. If you don’t have the executive sponsorship and the leadership buy-in, I won’t succeed in helping you embed the positive and lasting change you need to make to generate your return on this knowledge management investment.
So, if you know your executive levels aren’t ready to commit the ongoing resources and their voices for change, it’s ok to come back when they are. If you’re from a smaller organisation, you may be here because you’ve hit annoying roadblocks when you’ve tried to reuse organisational know-how. Maybe it’s too hard to find things, maybe there’s a loose structure, but colleagues aren’t participating. You’ll still have to change hearts and minds. If you’re willing to put the work in, I can certainly help you do that.
2. If you’re looking for a quick fix, I don’t want to help you.
You can get plenty of quick and easy tips from my website, my eBook, and wherever you find me on social media. But if you’re hoping to parachute me in to “just rewrite our knowledge articles” and “just make our knowledge base work properly”, I won’t do that. Those sorts of requests usually mean people aren’t serious about improving employee satisfaction and lasting service success. It’s a bandaid that won’t stick.
Productive knowledge management isn’t a quick fix, it’s long term behaviour change that results in a new way of getting work done, and it needs management backing and ongoing commitment. So really, that’s back to point 1.
Still reading? Great.
What you can expect from me
I’ll ask you a lot of questions about the technology or platform you’re using. I’ll ask what your goals are. I’ll ask questions about the culture of your organisation and the current behaviours. From that, I’ll give you actionable recommendations that you can start implementing straight away.
Sometimes I may pitch a third party product or service to you when I believe it’ll make a significant improvement to your tools, processes, or skills. And—I’ll be upfront about it—there may be a referral fee in it for me, should you decide to sign on with whomever I introduce you to. It’s my reputation on the line, though, so hooking you up with a solution that isn’t really worth it for you, doesn’t do me any favours.
My pragmatism and adaptability. I don’t believe in producing reams of documentation that end up getting circulated to a group of managers and then staying on the shelf. It’s the paper (or PDF) equivalent of bloatware. That sort of work is typically built in to a high consulting fee, and that then becomes the prescription by which any implementation work strictly follows and anything else is out of scope. That doesn’t mean I refuse to produce reports. If you need a report, I’ll write one, but expect it to be in simple language, easily digestible, and with a summary of recommendations that can be quickly referenced, prioritised and checked off as you progress. And we all know how much things change along the journey to improvement, which is why I don’t set an expectation for hours and hours of documentation and strict planning work up front when we know it’s at the mercy of changing priorities. So any documentation happens on demand. If you need a report, process flow diagram or a roadmap, I’ll provide one that’s customised to your culture, workflows, and goals, with the caveat that it’s a living document and goalposts will move.
Thanks for reading this page.