The best team for any job is the team that can effectively meet the client’s needs. But what skills make up an effective knowledge management (KM) team? A comprehensive KM team is conversant in the following areas of expertise.
Document and Content Management, Entry
No team of KM specialists is complete without expertise in document and content management. Knowledge of indexing, content taxonomy, and search design is key. Knowledge assets have to be collected, stored, and organized in such a way that usable chunks remain current and easily accessible, time and time again.
It’s not all about just knowing how it’s done. Someone has to actually do the work of creating the content, maintaining version and access control, publishing material, and retiring it. This ability often accompanies good writing, editing, and proofreading skills, but content should always be proofed by someone other than the writer before it is posted.
You need a numbers person who can estimate the ROI of KM efforts and explain why they are worth the cost to the client.
Writing, Editing, and Proofreading
Someone on the team must have the skills to create appropriate new content and to bring the existing content into line with organizational standards. Proper style and tone should be based on user audience characteristics and preferences.
Technology, Web Design, and User Experience
You can build a knowledge management system, but if users don’t like using it, you could lose them for good, even if you retroactively fix the problems. It’s important to get user feedback in the design stage!
Ideally, a team member with user experience expertise will also know how to capture, track, and address user feedback. The ability to design web pages and work with digital images would also serve the team well.
Leadership and HR
You’ll need a team leader to assess the team’s ongoing status and keep its activities on course. This is often the same person who administers basic HR-related tasks such as tracking attendance and handling benefits questions.
Client Relations and Marketing
Clients often like to have a single point of contact for a team, and you’ll do well to have a personable, outgoing team member cover this skill. It often makes sense for the Team Leader to serve as the liaison with the client. And a good marketer can win you additional work with the client organization.
After Action Reviews
Experience with gathering stakeholder feedback and capturing important lessons learned from KM efforts is a great asset to any KM team.
An effective KM team has members with skills in the following areas: document and content management; content entry and maintenance; writing, editing, and proofing; technology, web design, and user experience; and client relations and marketing. To learn more about what a great knowledge management team can do for your business, talk to the KM specialists at StyleMatters.
Alan Biehn currently works as a Technical Writer for StyleMatters in Philadelphia’s tallest building. He holds a BS in Audio Recording from The Ohio State University and recently earned his Masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Alan has worked as a marketing writer and editor for nonprofit organizations and ESL professionals, as well as for major commercial clients.