Team Knowledge Management

What is the best way to share knowledge within an organization?

Most organizations have never thought about this problem. Those that have often use solutions such as virtual discussion forums or open office spaces that they hope will naturally bring people together. However, these attempts seem to rarely create the sharing synergy needed to move the organization forward. What can be done about this?

Tiago Forte has studied this challenge and believes his PARA system can be used to address it. In a recent posting on the Forte Labs website, he shares that a bottom-up approach is more likely to succeed.

All of this leads to my conclusion that modern organizations need to take a “bottom-up” approach to knowledge management instead of a top-down one. It can’t be about “extracting” knowledge from their people; it has to be about empowering them to do their absolute best work.

He then shares five recommendations on how to create this team knowledge management environment. The first step is getting clear on the organization’s flavor of PARA.

Even if you’ve decided you’re going to follow my advice to the letter, there is always a “flavor” of PARA that makes sense for your culture. This can include decisions such as:

  • What is our definition of a “project,” “area of responsibility,” “resource” and “archive”?
  • What needs to happen when we kick off a new project for it to be considered “active”?
  • What needs to happen when a project gets completed, put on hold, or canceled (for it to be considered “inactive”)?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the standard for each shared area of responsibility?
  • What are the officially supported platforms on which PARA will be used?
  • What are the strict rules, softer “rules of thumb,” dos and don’ts, and cultural norms that govern how people will use PARA?
  • Who will be the “PARA Champion” who oversees its implementation and makes sure the guidelines are being followed?

Learn the other four recommendations at the Forte Labs website.

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