Knowledge is king

There has been much discussion in linkedin and the blogo-sphere about choosing the right knowledgebase technology for your business. The authors are focused on which wiki, blog or version of SharePoint is best. Having deployed enterprise knowledge bases using Sharepoint and various Wiki technologies in the last few years I can tell you that the technology itself makes very little difference. It’s the information and how you plan to collect it that is the key.
You will face resistance if you plan for people to start documenting everything they know and do. People have a natural instinct for job security and will most likely not comply or do a poor job of it. You will need to plan on a way to provide benefit to the employee for documenting their knowledge. I’ve had success in the past creating knowledgebase’s of support and maintenance information. I made documenting their knowledge a prerequisite for promotion out of that role.
A more natural approach could be to make the work itself the documentation. Software developers have been embedding documentation in their work for years. This eliminates the need for separate user manuals or development guides. The code itself becomes the documentation.  Providing your employees with an archive of documents, spreadsheets, images or objects created in the past could very well be the most effective approach to documenting your enterprise IP.


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