When starting your Knowledge Management journey, one of the best things you can do is publish and disseminate content as soon as possible.
We’ve all seen the types of people who procrastinate and over-analyse communications.
When managing content, as soon as content is approved, publish it where possible.
If you’re preparing an article about a particular topic and there some sections which are incomplete, don’t be afraid to publish it in it’s incomplete form — simply remove sections which are under review and/or put a relevant notice “under development” on the page.
If you have unedited, unrefined processes, follow these guides:
Staff or customers will always be searching for answers.
If you delay content, simply because it’s not perfect, or not yet right, then you will cause further headache and trouble for staff or customers who are in desperate need of help.
Publishing first and refining later will allow staff and customers to contribute feedback on a better way to author the content — or — to provide missing information.
This is free knowledge — people LOVE giving feedback, especially if there’s a correction or incomplete information.
You’ll still need to make reasonable effort to ensure your raw content is presentable and trustworthy.
Making poor judgements or rushed authorship may damage the credibility of the content, so don’t be complacent.
Nothing will ever be perfect, so keeping unrefined content behind closed doors forever will never benefit anyone.
Although your organisation might have rules and policies about Content Styles and Branding Guidelines, there is a balance between making content perfect and ‘approved by everyone’ versus giving your people the right information at the right time.
Shara is a process specialist and she’s helping author approximately 50 Work Instructions for a new computer system.
It’s estimated that creating each of the relevant screenshots and diagrams, accompanied with the process flows will take 10 hours per Work Instruction.
Due to time constraints, Shara initially published a summarised version of each Work Instruction which will take about 1 hour each — this means she can make some decent support material available to staff within about two weeks.
She then revisits each Work Instruction to append the relevant screenshots afterwards — starting with the most popular (most accessed) document.
This means that she’s prioritising content based upon what she knows the staff are seeking and keeping relevant documents updated, and embedding knowledge behaviours in her organisation sooner rather than later.