Organizational knowledge management depends on a) knowing what you know; b) knowing what you don’t know, and; c) knowing who knows what. Without knowing these things, a lot of time and effort can be wasted gathering the required knowledge for a decision. Worse, an employee might make a decision without consulting the knowledge. It’s not that people don’t want to make good decisions based on the knowledge – they often simply cannot find or don’t know about the knowledge to begin with! Luckily a quality KM portal or company intranet can be the main stop for all company knowledge, making documents easy to find and knowledge easy to share.
SharePoint is a powerful tool for this purpose. A lot of KM efforts already use SharePoint, although many of its most powerful features are often left untouched or unoptimized. A perfect example of this is search. Companies with a focus on KM must build comprehensive metadata standards by which they organize their data and information. If it’s done properly, organizations can rely on SharePoint’s search function to retrieve that information for the user. That’s a great start. But what happens if you don’t know what you don’t know? How could you possibly search to find the knowledge you don’t know exists?
MRS solves this problem by using an “e-commerce method” of knowledge discovery. Using the search function in SharePoint, we are able to produce dynamic content that is specific to each user based on a) the person’s role and the metadata tags of the documents, and; b) the actions of other similar users. For example, when I as a sales and marketing employee log in to my SharePoint, I might see a few documents, messages, wiki threads, or links to sites that are relevant to my role. When one of the software developers logs in to their SharePoint, they will see a host of different resources relevant to their role. A “recommended for you” section on the page might point them towards similar pages or documents. Employees are used to using services like Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Amazon, and others where new products and information are pushed to the user to encourage further browsing. If a company truly wants to have their employees knowledgeable about what’s going on at the company, then a cohesive intranet with dynamic content and content discovery features are among the best ways of doing so.