Topics

Topical/threaded discussions and KM #KM-research #question


Sam Yip
 

Hi all, this is my first post here. I am doing a product research and would love to hear your opinion!
 
From an organizational & KM perspective:-
  • how valuable is it to have a tool that organizes topical / threaded discussions and sub-discussion among employees, and gives priority to posts & comments that are more engaging among employees (i.e. a dumb-down reddit)? Why or why not? 
  • how do you measure the growth of your knowledge base?
  • how do you measure the usefulness of your knowledge base?
Some thinking behind this is: 
1. a bottom-up approach to fill the knowledge gap is probably useful  
2. "knowledge owner" should be incentivized to share thoughts and ideas within the workplace
3. generally how to tie sharing/collaboration etc. to KPIs?
 
Would love to get your perspective on this, thanks in advance.

S


Stan Garfield
 

Sam, welcome to the community, and thanks for posting here!

Here are my thoughts. I encourage other members to also respond with theirs.

>How valuable is it to have a tool that organizes topical / threaded discussions and sub-discussion among employees, and gives priority to posts & comments that are more engaging among employees? Why or why not?

I believe that it is valuable to have a threaded discussion tool.  I don't think that prioritizing posts and comments is necessary.  The most engaging threads will be obvious by the number of replies made in them and by the number of different members making those replies.

>How do you measure the growth of your knowledge base?

Report on the number of contributions over time, the number of different people making contributions, and the percentage of the target population making contributions.

>How do you measure the usefulness of your knowledge base?

Here are three ways:
  1. Conduct user surveys and employee satisfaction surveys
  2. Monitor search logs to see if users are finding what they need or if searches are failing to return useful results.
  3. Add a “I reused this document” or "I found this useful" button, similar to a “Like” button, but more specific, to all content. Encourage users to click on this button for content they were able to reuse. Report on the percentage of content that receives these clicks and the average number of such clicks per content item. See 5-Star Ratings: Just Say No
>Knowledge owners should be incentivized to share thoughts and ideas within the workplace. How to tie sharing/collaboration etc. to KPIs?


Dan Ranta
 

Hi Sam - welcome to the group.  Your questions are highly relevant when building a collaboration culture based on problem solving and re-use.  Stan's replies are excellent - let me build on them.  Best Dan

From an organizational & KM perspective:-
  • how valuable is it to have a tool that organizes topical / threaded discussions and sub-discussion among employees, and gives priority to posts & comments that are more engaging among employees (i.e. a dumb-down reddit)? Why or why not? 
When done well, a threaded discussion can become a centerpiece of collaboration - with a real focus on problem solving and like I like to call, collective elaboration.  What I have done led before is the linkage between experts and expertise to a threaded discussion to help ensure people with the knowledge and those willing to help get into the game.  This can be very powerful.  The priority items (bells and whistles) - they can be effective also - such as crowdsourcing the best answers and moving tacit to explicit - a discussion to a wiki article, for example.  There are many ways to enrich the engagement, but too many features can be confusing also - there's a balance.
  • how do you measure the growth of your knowledge base?
  • how do you measure the usefulness of your knowledge base?

The number of items, the usage, people perspectives (like Stan said - a survey or a way to flag an item as valuable)  I have seen live stats be helpful to show activity and what's being re-used.  With a wiki in the mix and a solid taxonomy, you can measure articles by topic to help determine if a topic (and sub-topics) are valid and used.  Red links in a wiki is something I love to disperse content creation responsibility as you aim to create a complete bullpen (wiki portal space) of high relevant articles with links to knowledge objects (attachments) to discover and learn more.

*************************************************************************************

Some thinking behind this is: 
1. a bottom-up approach to fill the knowledge gap is probably useful  - yes it is...leveraging the power of the people to decide what's needed (your gap) should be an ongoing process and covered in governance materials that guide an KM program

2. "knowledge owner" should be incentivized to share thoughts and ideas within the workplace - absolutely since this is key to curation also

3. generally how to tie sharing/collaboration etc. to KPIs?  I like a balanced scorecard to do this since it can link these elements and more in an understandable format.







On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 5:32 AM Stan Garfield <stangarfield@...> wrote:
Sam, welcome to the community, and thanks for posting here!

Here are my thoughts. I encourage other members to also respond with theirs.

>How valuable is it to have a tool that organizes topical / threaded discussions and sub-discussion among employees, and gives priority to posts & comments that are more engaging among employees? Why or why not?

I believe that it is valuable to have a threaded discussion tool.  I don't think that prioritizing posts and comments is necessary.  The most engaging threads will be obvious by the number of replies made in them and by the number of different members making those replies.

>How do you measure the growth of your knowledge base?

Report on the number of contributions over time, the number of different people making contributions, and the percentage of the target population making contributions.

>How do you measure the usefulness of your knowledge base?

Here are three ways:
  1. Conduct user surveys and employee satisfaction surveys
  2. Monitor search logs to see if users are finding what they need or if searches are failing to return useful results.
  3. Add a “I reused this document” or "I found this useful" button, similar to a “Like” button, but more specific, to all content. Encourage users to click on this button for content they were able to reuse. Report on the percentage of content that receives these clicks and the average number of such clicks per content item. See 5-Star Ratings: Just Say No
>Knowledge owners should be incentivized to share thoughts and ideas within the workplace. How to tie sharing/collaboration etc. to KPIs?



--
Daniel Ranta
Mobile:  603 384 3008


Sam Yip
 

Thank you Stan and Dan, for sharing your insights and experience.

Drawing on my own experience working at global organizations, I feel that companies usually approach KM as building a library, and it requires conscious effort among the staff to contribute to the library. I wonder if it is feasible and would work better, if companies could approach it from another angle and let people chat in a starbucks-like setting, where information can flow more freely and take less conscious effort.
 


Connie Smith
 

I would definitely agree with your suggestion, Sam! Conversation and sharing information would be a much more natural process to build from organically and could allow for growth and insight across silos and into processes that may never be uncovered or thought of otherwise. So many of us these days go to work and just do our job without much interaction with others on what we are working on, unless solicited or discussed in a formalized gathering (committee meeting, etc.). We need to encourage and allow individuals to bring back time spent 'around the water cooler,' and deem it important and not a waste of time. Especially in these times, when so many of us are socially distancing and struggling with all the added stresses and pressures, it is important to be able to share/discuss what we are working on and be open to suggestions and alternative methods. This, in my opinion, is the most important and overlooked/undervalued aspect of KM, I'm so glad you brought it up in this group Sam!

Connie Smith

Administrative Assistant

Business & Applied Technologies

Buchanan 128

319-296-4009

“Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”  ~Peter Senge


On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 5:14 AM Sam Yip <sam@...> wrote:
Thank you Stan and Dan, for sharing your insights and experience.

Drawing on my own experience working at global organizations, I feel that companies usually approach KM as building a library, and it requires conscious effort among the staff to contribute to the library. I wonder if it is feasible and would work better, if companies could approach it from another angle and let people chat in a starbucks-like setting, where information can flow more freely and take less conscious effort.