Distributing operational knowledge across a team

  • Knowledge management isn’t just a concern for larger companies. Small teams can & should adopt knowledge management practices and tools right from the beginning. It helps in building a scalable team and an effective on-boarding of new members to the team.
  • Start building your knowledge repositories. These are for information needed in the long term by many different team members.
  • To begin with, use simple tools for task management and collaboration and you can always move to a more feature-rich tool if and when you need to. To make sure people actually use a tool, make the tools usable and relevant and offer any necessary training needed for your team to get comfortable with the tool. Define expectations around particular tools for particular tasks, so that work or concerns are not addressed unless logged with that tool.
  • Find a comfortable signal-to-noise ratio of communication: start with more communication and gradually filter out what you realize you don’t need, rather than missing out what you didn’t know you need to know.
  • Remember the importance of face-to-face contact as well, in person or via VoIP, for clarifications, resolving long-standing issues and building morale. For teams across time zones, make these meetings asynchronous or organize several meetings at different times to allow a fair spread for participation.

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