SharePoint Knowledge Management: 5 Best Practices

Microsoft reported that by 2016, 78% of the Fortune 500 companies had started using SharePoint to meet their content management needs. One in every five knowledge workers has access to SharePoint. 

You need an effective Sharepoint knowledge management process if you plan to include internal and version-controlled tools for your organization. 

As Albert Einstein said, “Information is not Knowledge,” and this statement becomes more accurate as organizations grow in size. Let’s find out how capable SharePoint is as a knowledge management platform.



What exactly is Microsoft SharePoint?

Do you know why organizations use SharePoint and what importance it holds?

Microsoft SharePoint is a cloud-based collaborative platform. It has flawless integration with Microsoft Office 365 applications, content management, and storage systems. SharePoint is highly configurable and can get used in various ways in different organizations.

Enterprise metadata management is a set of features introduced in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

It allows taxonomists, librarians, and administrators to create and manage a set of terms across the enterprise.

Countless companies use SharePoint for Intranets, team sites, and content management. 

SharePoint is a website-based collaborative process that allows companies and teams to gather their organizational knowledge in one platform.  

They can also control access to that information, apply Communities of Practice (CoP), and automate workflow systems in the IT industry.

SharePoint is the best suited to be an internal, collaborative, version-controlled tool for your Knowledge Management strategy. 

In simple terms, this means keeping your company information in one place, accessible across a large, distributed team, and enabling people to collaborate in a better way. 


5 Best Practices to Use SharePoint as Your Knowledge Base

If you are on a trial basis or relatively new to using Microsoft SharePoint, the following five practices will make the onboarding curve easier for you.

  1. Use Tags

    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 correct data quickly. 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 labeled and organized in the working environment.

  2. Collaborate, Collaborate, and Collaborate

    SharePoint is not only a doc repository but a collaborative platform. It can get 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 in SharePoint. 

    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. 

    If you are looking for ways to increase collaboration, you can refer to a blog on increasing team collaboration. You will learn 10 proven strategies for better collaboration in your organization.  

    With all of these valuable knowledge management portal functionalities, you have no reason to exclude cooperation in your software development company.

  3. Inculcate AAR

    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 completing the task or a document, experts give their feedback on what was 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.

  4. Assign permissions

    When 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 taxonomy related to marketing. It could take hours. It is worse than someone quitting the team. 

    Instead, you can assign the permissions to a group, and then you need to add/remove only once from the group.

  5. Information Architecture

    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. With SharePoint, content classification can be done in the form of specific Libraries and Lists created by the end-users according to their needs.

    You want to address the primary goal you want to achieve by using SharePoint Knowledge Base and what types of articles you will include in fulfilling those goals. After you have a clear idea of this, you will quickly determine your SharePoint knowledge base’s best layout.

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Advantages of SharePoint Knowledge Management Solution

Advantages of SharePoint Knowledge Management

Having discussed the best practices in SharePoint Knowledge management software, the next thing you need to consider are the advantages and shortcomings of having a knowledge base on SharePoint. 

Working together, SharePoint and knowledge management are complementary to each other. First, let’s look at the benefits of SharePoint as a Knowledge Base Software:

  1. Effortless Onboarding for Microsoft Users

    Almost 95% of your staff is likely to have used Microsoft Office 365 Suite applications.  With the very high popularity of Microsoft Applications, use software for knowledge management solutions 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.

  2. 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 great potential to manage your calendar and email inbox. Word is perfect for writing any doc, and Excel can help you with managing your finances. 

    Powerpoint, Onenote, Access, and Skype can help keep all your activities streamlined into one suite experience that solves all your requirements.

    In addition to that, SharePoint knowledge management 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 use SharePoint to write business systems, content classification or creation of a web part and company, and knowledge base platform.

  3. SharePoint is your Organization’s Wikipedia

    Once you start using the SharePoint knowledge management system, you will realize that all your data is stored in one place. Searching for content is as simple as doing a wiki search with this knowledge enterprise.

    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

Disadvantage of SharePoint Knowledge Management
  1. Limited Search Capabilities

    Even though the Sharepoint Knowledge Management system 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.

    Want another suitable option? Contact CloudTutorial. To make your customers, employees, and team members’ search easy and convenient, CloudTutorial has provided categories and sub-categories options in its knowledge sharing system.

    With sub-categories, users can easily explore different information and get what they are looking for on the website.  

  2. Unstructured Content

    SharePoint’s information structure is similar to Wikipedia’s information architecture: it isn’t organized and indexed in a user-friendly manner.  

    A large number of unstructured content processes can be 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.

  3. Restricted Number of Users

    This feature 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 knowledge management solutions 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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    CloudTutorial comes with many advanced features to make things easier. Create categories and sub-categories with ease.

    FAQs

    SharePoint has many useful features, but at the same time, a lot of shortcomings like challenging navigation for the average customer or user experience, the overall cost, and subscription, which makes it difficult to see if it is the perfect KMS for your organization.

    If your primary goal is managing a doc, then using SharePoint to control your organizational knowledge is the right choice. SharePoint is suitable for the automation of business processes, especially for companies that are already subscribed to SharePoint.

    Knowledge management solutions identify knowledge gaps during content creation and refer unanswered issues and questions to experts who can respond to the question by adding new information back into the system.

    Although there are many, some of the top open-source knowledge management solutions include Documize and phpMyFAQ. In this blog, you can read more about best knowledge base open source software.

    Organizations need to integrate the platform with data classification tools that extend the out-of-the-box capabilities of SharePoint with better search functionality, a correct information architecture, taxonomy, and term management. It will turn SharePoint into an effective knowledge management solution.

    Conclusion

    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. 

    With the help of SharePoint, you will be able to create well-defined business processes.  If you have any questions related to knowledge base for your business, contact us at CloudTutorial, and we will be happy to hear from you.

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