3 Highly effective ways knowledge managers can keep content fresh
Knowledge managers have a tough job. They’ve got to manage a resource that’s in a constant state of flux.
Today, the world’s knowledge doubles once every thirteen months and the pace is picking up.
Our knowledge managers have to navigate this constantly changing landscape, making sure that all the key processes to preserve knowledge are in place.
Keeping content fresh and relevant is vital in any organization. It allows people to quickly find what they need and not waste time looking through out-dated resources.
Your team is busy. They need to know that the content they are accessing is relevant and that it can help them perform at a higher level.
Your clients are busy. They want to solve problems quickly and efficiently and know that you only share high quality content with your team.
Your potential clients have a lot of options. They want to know that you are at the forefront of your field. That you keep up to date with the latest developments in your industry. That you care about staying competitive.
It’s vital that all companies that share knowledge, and that’s most of us these days, have a solid system in place that helps keep content fresh and relevant.
Effectively managing your team’s knowledge will put you at the front of the line. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can keep your content fresh.
1. Schedule time to refresh, update or retire old content
Content goes out of date. Knowledge evolves. Systems change.
Training materials, internal manuals, company blog posts, brochures and web copy all need to be kept up to date.
As you capture more knowledge and produce more content it’s harder to keep track of everything. To stay on top, set aside time in your schedule and add a review date to each piece of content you produce or capture. You can do this individually or in themed batches.
How often you do it depends on the type of content. Anything heavy with current statistics will need to be reviewed more often than evergreen pieces with more general best practices. And, make sure curated content is still up to date and hasn’t been taken down, moved or heavily edited.
When reviewing content ask questions like:
- Does this reflect new discoveries or new trends that are here to stay? Will this be more useful if we updated it?
- Are the statistics still true? Are they relevant?
- Do we still use this tool?
- Do we provide this product/service?
- Does it reflect current company goals?
These will help you identify the pieces that need updating and prioritize them.
2. Talk to your team
Tech executive Bob Zukis believes that one of the biggest challenges knowledge managers face is that we don’t know what we don’t know.
The best way to identify that gap is to go to the proverbial horse’s mouth. Talk to your team.
Ask them if there are any areas that they need more help in. Sometimes teams are working with out-of-date resources that performed well back in the day but aren’t in line with current best practices.
Sometimes, they haven’t had enough time to reflect on what they need.
To keep content fresh, give them the opportunity to share what type of content they’ll benefit from most and what isn’t working so well.
3. Experiment with different lengths and media
What’s the bulk of your content made up of? Do you mostly rely on articles? Manuals? Video? Webinars? Social media posts? Infographics? Peer reviewed papers? Encrypted messages?
To keep your content fresh, experiment with presenting key information in different styles.
You can use a combination of articles and short videos to deliver trainings. You can record screen shares for common issues and questions with a simple browser app like ViewedIt.
Capturing knowledge is useless unless it has a practical purpose. You are managing this knowledge so it can be used by your team, not so it can sit in a software somewhere not gathering dust.
Don’t let your content stagnate
Capturing knowledge is essential for any company that wants to compete in today’s marketplace.
Knowledge loss is expensive, disruptive and has a huge opportunity cost. But, so does spending hours looking for the right resource. Knowledge workers face a lot of barriers to productivity and spend too many hours trying to find the materials they need to do their job well.
It’s time to burn those barriers and make sure that content stays fresh, relevant and searchable.
It’s a worthwhile investment and the sooner you start making it, the sooner it will pay off.