Wow. I’m so excited tonight to have received the award for Whitepaper of the Year from the itSMF Australia. The IT industry seems to be crying out for practical help with communication. And really, a knowledge base is just an organised form of communication. If you’re looking for a copy, you’ll find it here, but I’m sure itSMF members will have access to it through their normal channels.
The Australian national itSMF conference has certainly been worth the trek across the country. Some great sessions with compelling content. I plan to share my thoughts on what I’ve heard over the coming days.
The IT Service Management Forum is the only internationally recognised and independent organisation dedicated to ITSM. The Australian chapter is holding it’s national conference in Perth, 17-19 August, and I’m proud to say A Simple Guide to Creating a Knowledge Base has been nominated in the 2011 Whitepaper Competition.
Created by Italian software company, Applicom, Apollo has been billed as an alternative to Basecamp and Highrise. Indeed, it’s look-and-feel is not unlike a 37 Signals product, and the new-look Google, for that matter.
As a freelancer, I have been using the Basecamp’s online project management tool for quite. I’ve been a contractor with a login to clients’ paid versions and I’ve been running my own free trial version quite successfully. Together with Highrise, it’s a good little knowledge management system. If I’m disciplined enough to document my quoting, processes and milestones, it’s less stuff clogging up my head when I switch off the computer.
CeBIT Australia 2011 was held in Sydney last week. I went along on the last day of the exhibition to catch up with the HelpMaster guys on the PRD Software stand. It was their first time as an exhibitor at CeBIT and they were certainly busy the whole three days. Fielding lots of interest from people looking for CRM and service desk solutions, they took the opportunity to demo HelpMaster Pro’s newest version.
Read PRD’s software recap of the day here.
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.
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.
You 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.
For 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.
A 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.