Every day managing knowledge

Every day managing knowledge

managing-knowledge

Posts in this series:
1. Knowledge transfer
2. Knowledge transfer situations

All the tasks related to transferring knowledge would be much easier if the company manages knowledge in teams properly. It is very important in every day of work. We will describe here, how to do this effectively, starting from the beginning of work for a new employee.

Starting work

At the beginning of work in each company, new employee have a lot of to do before he will be able to start developing: download software, configure workstation or customize tools. Many of these task are very repeatable. Thus installation and configuration processes could be automated.

It can be done using following tools:

In many cases these tools are not enough to automate all required actions (e.g. signing papers). To automate this part we can create an ordered list of actions to perform. Good example could be the Trello company, which creates that kind of list for many typical actions:

https://medium.com/@Liz_Hall1/onboarding-new-hires-with-trello-ecc87e87ffd5#.nlvikoahp
https://trello.com/b/MmaVr9Hw/onboarding-new-hires-public-board

Everyday managing

Important part of knowledge managing in everyday work is to define level of complexity and way how to stay consistent with it. To achieve this, we have to show benefits to our team members. It can motivate them to truly follow the principles. It could also help them to improve these rules by themselves.

Most of the team knowledge is distributed among all team members. The main goal is to transfer these information from individuals to one shared medium. As it was written in previous part, the main properties of good knowledge management system is to store data in shared, simple and easy to access form.

Business knowledge

Storing business understanding in shareable place could save us a lot of time during the support stage. For example time spending on asking business the same questions twice by different team members. The crucial part is a consistent language understandable by both sides: business and developers. The simplest choose for this purpose are visual diagrams.

My favourite diagram is business process flow. It gives a wide view on the primary activity of business and how our system could help them with their work.


https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn887193.aspx

There are many examples of business diagrams that could be useful for us. It is mostly depending of particular company and its needs. Good source for inspiration of that kind of visuals is one of architecture frameworks (e.g. TOGAF) http://www.togaf.info/togaf9/togafSlides9/TOGAF-V9-Sample-Catalogs-Matrics-Diagrams-v2.pdf

Soft knowledge

During development there are many moments when developers need to consult something with the business team or other developers. To handle this communication we should also have one common tool. The most popular software to manage it are Confluence and Slack. The first one – Confluence – is more commercial and generally bigger product for a corporate customers. It is very customizable and powerful. It has also quite good and steep pricing politics – friendly for small companies. Whereas Slack is more popular in Open-Source and startups community. Both tools work a little differently, but they are used for the same purposes – storing, managing knowledge and help to communicate with other team members.

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