As mentioned in my earlier posts, knowledge management core activities are sharing, innovating, reusing, collaborating, and learning. In this final installment of a three-part series, I’ll discuss channels for accessing content. These include using web browsers, desktop apps, mobile apps, search engines, email subscriptions, and mobile notifications.
Offering a 360-degree view of critical and relevant information has three key dimensions:
- Access to internal content, both structured (e.g., accounting data) and unstructured (e.g., documents)
- Access to external content (e.g., subscription databases)
- Connecting to expertise for advice and assistance
Following are examples of tools that can be used to access content, per knowledge management best practices
Portals are web sites or apps that provide personalized capabilities to users through the use of customization, building blocks, and integration of multiple sources. The term “portal” has several meanings. It can be a gateway web site offering an array of services, a personalized home page that aggregates content from multiple sources, a document repository, or a sophisticated customizable user interface. Enterprise portal vendors offer tools that promise to integrate diverse content through a highly personalized user interface and advanced search capabilities.
Digital workplaces use the intranet as a platform for information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration. They allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to intranet sites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content created for them. Tony Byrne defines a digital workplace as “what an employee reads and does digitally while working.”
Syndication and aggregation use feeds available from a web site or other content source to provide an updated list of its content in the form of a subscription, an embedded portion of a web site, or a collection of disparate content on a particular topic. RSS feeds are the most common form of syndication, and podcasts are now the most common type of content that is syndicated.
Subscription management systems allow content providers to reach subscribers on an opt-in basis, and subscribers to sign up to receive periodicals and other communications based on their interests. This channel is typically used for newsletters, news updates, and brief communications. Subscriptions can be by email updates or mobile notifications. For threaded discussion, subscriptions typically offer the option to receive immediate updates or daily digests.
Repositories are structured lists and databases that allow documents and other files to be stored, searched for, and retrieved. They are often part of specialized applications.
Search engines enable documents, files, list items, content, and answers to questions to be found. They typically allow specifying the scope or domain of the search, whether to search on text or metadata, and how results should be presented. Search may be limited to a specific database or application or enabled across an entire intranet and set of applications and referred to as enterprise search.
Mobile apps and bring your own device (BYOD) allow personal smart phones and tablets to be used at work. Systems need to be optimized for mobile devices so that people can access them using the products they prefer—with no loss in functionality or usability.
Voice recognition and intelligent agents are a way for requests and queries made by voice to be interpreted and responded to for specific domains and tasks. They produce unique results to questions that have not been pre-programmed.
Chatbots are computer programs that conduct a text conversation. They are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner.
Knowledge management best practices include ensuring 360º access that delivers all the content your users require, including both internal and external resources – even on the go via mobile devices. They’ll be confident they know the whole story.
All three parts of this series will be featured in the upcoming webinar to be held on Monday, December 9 at 11 am PST (2 pm EST).
The user interface is the knowledge management system point of entry providing navigation, search, communications, an index, a knowledge map, and links.
Best KM search engines enable searching for sites, documents, files, lists, content, and answers to questions, plus ability to search on text or metadata
Knowledge managers use taxonomy, folksonomy, metadata and tags to classify content so it’s easily discoverable through navigation, search and links.
KM leaders should base strategy on user input to determine needs to address. Conduct surveys to capture challenges, opportunities, and suggestions.