10 key steps for an easy organisational knowledge sharing platform set up

1. Ensure strong and exemplary support from the highest level

  • Obtain management approval and commitment
  • Register the approach in a global strategy
  • Engage the most influential people / leaders1

2. Dedicate an internal team to the project 

  • Set a project management team that combines the expertises and functions
  • Choose people based on their representativeness (background knowledge), motivation and availability
  • Formalise their role (responsibility) and their level of involvement (time) in the project

3. Clearly define the project scope and the needs it fills

  • Make sure the needs are expressed in business terms rather than functional ones
  • Differentiate individual needs from collective needs (at organisational level)
  • Distinguish what is covered or not by the project/tool

4. Stick as closely as possible to users behavior and habits

  • Identify the different usage scenarios
  • Initially, do not change all the processes but rather try to find a way to replicate existing ones
  • In terms of taxonomy, do not create an official thesaurus but match the vocabulary and terms used in the field
  • Map existing collaborative practices (networks, communities of practice, mentoring practices, etc.)
  • Evaluate the time and methodologies used to manage information and knowledge, the tool is supporting all these processes

5. Take the context and the existing environment into account

  • Map the existing tools, their functional scope and the scope of actual use
  • Identify current needs and gaps
  • Clearly position each tool
  • Create an environment as friendly and integrated as possible for the user

6. Design an intuitive platform 

  • Define a clear and simple architecture that meets the identified needs
  • Define simple and explicit rights/roles models
  • Define a clear and strategical taxonomy, close to the organisation’s vocabulary
  • Apply a graphic identity similar to the one of the organisation

7. Develop a network of active facilitators 

  • Dedicate a facilitator (ideally a volunteer) to each space
  • Support facilitators in their mission (support, tutorials, guides)
  • Follow and support potential technical problems (connection, browsers, passwords, etc.)
  • Transforming facilitators in real ambassadors of the platform, not only online but also offline
  • Create a sense of network between the facilitators

8. Experiment with your scenarios on a limited area 

  • Test uses with a representative group
  • Organise feedback sessions
  • Adjust your usage scenarios, deployment strategy and architecture based on the feedbacks and behaviours observed

9. Develop a network of active facilitators 

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Communicate before, during and after the project launch
  • Clearly define the message for each target group
  • Highlight the key uses and the key value (gap filled by the platform, real value added)
  • Diversify the channels (not to overlook the offline) and the message broadcast medium

10. Observe, evaluate, adjust 

  • Define qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure success
  • Go back to the results of the information audit to demonstrate success
  • Establish mechanisms that value and reward contribution as well as “consumption”
  • Keep listening to users and develop the platform use