Albert Einstein said “Information is not Knowledge” and this statement becomes more and more true as organizations grow in size.
Are you planning to include internal and version-controlled tools for your organization? You need an effective Sharepoint knowledge management process in your organization, no matter of size and location.
According to Microsoft, by 2016, 78% of the Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint to meet their content management needs and one in every five knowledge workers has access to SharePoint.
Table of Content
What exactly is Microsoft SharePoint?
Do you know why organizations use SharePoint and what is its importance?
Microsoft SharePoint is a cloud-based collaborative platform with flawless integration with Microsoft Office 365 applications, content management and storage systems, and highly configurable. It can be used in various ways in different organizations.
Countless companies use SharePoint for Intranets, team Sites, and Content Management. SharePoint is a website-based collaborative process that allows companies and teams to use it to collect all its organizational knowledge environment in one platform, control access to that information, apply Communities of Practice (CoP) and automate workflow systems IT industry.
5 Best Practices to use SharePoint as your Knowledge Base
If you are on a trial basis or relatively new to using the knowledge base Microsoft SharePoint, the following five practices are intended to make the onboarding curve easier for you.
For 19 years since its initial launch in 2001, companies have widely used SharePoint to collect, develop, share, and manage expertise in the organizational knowledge base.
The sheer amount of information security makes it impossible to find the right data quickly. For your expertise in SharePoint, you can use enterprise metadata management to label information and make the look-up time shorter. As you keep adding new information, the tags will ensure that everything is properly labelled and organized in the working environment.
Collaborate, collaborate, and collaborate:
SharePoint is not only a doc repository but a collaborative platform that can be used in sharing tacit knowledge of the experts and IT professionals. The knowledge workers can meet up virtually and add data, comments, share expert advice or suggestions to any doc they are working on.
Collaboration is quite essential for any company to ensure the growth of not only the organization but its staff members as well. You can set permissions on who can edit, view, or comment, make it available to everyone in the enterprise, or share it only with specific people. With all of these effective knowledge management portal functionalities, you have no reason to exclude cooperation in your software development company.
After Action Review (AAR), initially developed by the US Army, is an easy process to execute in Microsoft SharePoint. AARs are reviews done by experts on their actions and help employees make better decision-making capabilities.
After the completion of a task or a document, experts give their feedback on what is done, why a particular action was taken over other steps, how a different potential approach can provide a better customization result, what security parameters are given, and other things. From this tacit knowledge, teams can learn better and make more informed choices. You can have a common ground where anyone can ask questions, and those questions can be answered by the right people using essential conversations.
When you are using SharePoint, you will have all your knowledge workers from sales, marketing, development, HR team, etc., working from the knowledge base software. You don’t want the Sales team SOP to be accessible by the HR team and vice versa. So assigning permissions on each doc is a very crucial thing to do and is used for various taxonomies of validation purposes.
But if your company has more than ten team members, and if a new member joins the marketing team, the last thing you want to do is add the person to every document taxonomies related to marketing. This could take hours. It is worse than someone quits the team. Instead, you can assign the permissions to a group, and then you need to add/remove only once from the group.
The next tip for you while using SharePoint is to set up an information architecture for your site environment. A site’s information and navigation architecture determine how the site is set up-in pages, modules, a document library, and much more. You can have a hierarchical list of site contents, keywords, tags, data types, etc.
You want to address the primary goal you want to achieve by using SharePoint Knowledge Base and what types of articles you will include meeting those goals. After you have a clear idea of this, you will quickly determine your SharePoint knowledge base’s best layout.
Advantages of SharePoint Knowledge Management Solution
Having discussed the best practices in SharePoint Knowledge Base software, the next thing you need to consider are the advantages and shortcomings of having a knowledge base on SharePoint. First, let’s look at the benefits of SharePoint as a Knowledge Base Software:
Effortless Onboarding for Microsoft Users
Almost 95% of your staff is likely to have used any of the Microsoft Office 365 Suite applications. With the very high popularity of Microsoft Applications, you can use software for knowledge management initiatives from the same suite that your staff use for their day to day tasks in the field. This reduces onboarding efforts, and the admin department does not have to keep track of many passwords for security importance.
One system for all your needs
Another advantage of using a Microsoft Office 365 application is that Microsoft has various applications to meet your organizational needs. Microsoft Outlook possesses a strong potential to manage your calendar and emails inbox, Word is perfect for writing any doc, Excel can help you with managing your finances, and Powerpoint, Onenote, Access, Skype, etc. can help keep all your activities streamlined into one suite experience that solves all your requirements.
In addition to that, using SharePoint is multi-functional. You can use it as your organization’s file system, knowledge repository, knowledge sharing, knowledge management solution, document management system, knowledge assets, document collaboration platform, and much more. You can SharePoint to write business systems, content creation or classification of a web part and company, knowledgebase platform, etc.
SharePoint is your Organization’s Wikipedia
Once you start using SharePoint knowledge management, you will realize that all your data is stored in one place. With such high levels of an enterprise of all knowledge looking up content is as simple as doing a wiki search. Simply type a few terms in the search bar, and all relevant content, a web part of documents can be found in a couple of seconds. Anyone can add content types and access the data of the knowledge base system.
Limitations of SharePoint Knowledge Management Solution
Limited Search Capabilities
Even though Sharepoint Knowledge Management has a search feature, there are limitations associated with the search functionality. With SharePoint, your content isn’t indexed. Search is limited to the site collection your user or individual is searching on, and you cannot filter the search results by any parameter other than the age of the content. The search feature is useful for looking up a small number of files with a general query of parameters. For larger sizes of data taxonomies with advanced parameters, the search results are inefficient.
SharePoint’s information structure is similar to Wikipedia’s information architecture: it isn’t organized and indexed in a user-friendly manner. A large amount of unstructured content process can be quite overwhelming for end-users and teams. Ideally, your content should be well organized into appropriate topics so that it is easy to search for information. The content classification and structuring in SharePoint needs a lot of footwork.
Restricted Number of Users
This feature’s lack of this can be a severe issue for organizations trying to make their Sharepoint knowledge base platform public. Most of the self-serving knowledge-based platforms should not require users to log in to look up some information. This is a big hassle for your customers and their security, who do not want to spend more than a minute looking for the data. So if you want someone to look at the contents of your knowledge base, and that person does not happen to be a member of your company, this won’t be an easy task.
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of SharePoint that, in our opinion, can affect its ability to be a knowledge management platform. While SharePoint is just perfect, typically based on the user’s experience, it fails to meet others’ needs.
If your Knowledge Management capabilities are intended for external use, like the Knowledge management platform of RStudio, then knowledge base SharePoint might not be the best platform for your needs. On the other hand, if you want a knowledge management system for your employees or for a specific user, and there is a lot of document collaboration going on, then SharePoint might be the right choice.
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After reading this blog, we hope that you have gained a more concrete understanding of SharePoint and Knowledge Management solutions. With SharePoint, document collaboration, security, and content classification are easy. You can work with other staff on creating perfect documents and enhance business productivity to a great extent.