Implementing knowledge base software successfully can result in many benefits for your organization: better employee productivity, improved customer service, more satisfaction on the part of employees and customers, and much more. But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is buy a software application and then just sit back and wait for good things to come. Successful implementations require planning to make sure everyone is on board, on the same page, and working toward the same goals.
Here are a handful of strategies for how to make your knowledge base software implementation a success.
Understand that organizational change might be required
If your company already has a culture of knowledge sharing, then your employees will probably not need much coaxing to understand the importance of knowledge base software to that effort. But in many organizations, sharing is not currently the norm. You may have employees who are reluctant to share what they know—perhaps because they are afraid that their personal value to the company might suffer, perhaps because they are worried that what they know is wrong.
Changing an organization’s culture can be a challenge, but it is one that will pay off in the long run. The place to start is at the top: when employees see executives and managers adopting knowledge-sharing behaviors, they will be more comfortable doing it as well.
Establish clear objectives
Many companies jump head first into software implementations without first establishing the goals of those implementations. Without objectives, how do you know what the software is supposed to achieve? More importantly, how do you measure those achievements?
Is your goal to gather information to reduce the effects of employee turnover? To facilitate knowledge sharing across departments? To provide a self-service customer service option? Knowledge base software can help you do all of these things and more, and establishing objectives will help you communicate with your employees about how you expect them to use the new tool.
Articulate desired employee behaviors
After you establish the objectives of the software, you can identify the behaviors necessary to meet those objectives. Who in your organization do you expect to contribute to or use the knowledge base? What kind of resources do you want to gather? How much or how often do you want employees to contribute? How will those contributions be tracked and assessed?
Knowledge base software makes it easy for everyone in your organization to contribute and access knowledge resources, but you will need to articulate and set clear examples of the behaviors you would like to see happen.
Decide how you will measure success
How will you know if your knowledge base software implementation is successful? Less time spend on customer service calls? Improved productivity? Higher customer satisfaction ratings?
The metrics you use to measure the results of using knowledgebase software should be directly tied to the goals you established at thebeginning. Set short- and long-term goals and make them specific (i.e., “a 10%reduction in time per call over the next 12 months”).
Provide adequate training
Online knowledge base software is intuitive and easy to use, but you should still provide training to everyone you expect to use it. This will help employees conquer any fears or hesitations they may have about using the new software. Training sessions also provide an ideal forum for you to share the goals of the implementation, demonstrate the desired behaviors, and explain how success will be measured. The more your employees know about the software and how to use it, the better they will be able to help your business reach the goals you have set.
While these five strategies may not be able to guarantee you a successful knowledge base software implementation, they will certainly set you on the right course.