Crowdsourcing as a Knowledge Management Strategy for Businesses
“Knowledge Manager” is one of the many hats small business leaders wear.
Oftentimes small business leaders are not in a position to invest as much time and money as they’d like into knowledge management, yet they know that knowledge management is a significant pillar to the future success and growth of the business.
Distributing the right knowledge to the right people at the right time is tricky. Creating content that can be distributed is even more challenging.
Maybe you don’t have time to document your business. Or maybe you don’t even know how certain parts of the business work because you have rockstar teammates that take care of it. How can you make sure all of this important knowledge, that the business depends on, is documented?
Crowdsourcing is when you enlist a large group of people to help achieve a goal that benefits the common good. In today’s world, you can crowdsource anything from ideas, to cash.
Crowdsourcing business knowledge happens when you empower people in your organization to have the ability to contribute knowledge to a knowledge center. People contribute knowing that their creation will help the organization down the road.
Crowdsourcing company knowledge can take on many different shapes and forms depending on the people and the business. Culture also plays a significant role in how successful crowdsourcing company knowledge is within the business.
Top 3 reasons why crowdsourcing company knowledge is great for small businesses:
- Offloading work from management
- Gives a sense of empowerment and ownership to the employees (great for eNPS)
- Can bring SOPs and training documents closer to reality
Top 3 reasons crowdsourcing company knowledge sucks:
- Frequently the creation of content is open ended and non-restricted
- Maintaining standard formatting is tricky
- Opportunity for wasting time by creating duplicates of knowledge articles
Sounds messy right?
A structured crowdsourcing strategy can make an incredible difference. Here are some common attributes you would find in a structure crowdsourcing strategy:
- Instead of allowing anyone and everyone to contribute (or what we refer to as upstream and downstream knowledge sharing), invite people to contribute their strengths to the knowledge base. For example, if you have an employee who is particularly great at running an end-of-day report, ask them to document it.
- Offer simple templates for SOPs and training materials
- Have a “check” in place before publishing the knowledge to the rest of the company. This is sometimes referred to as having a “gatekeeper”
Platforms like Proceed.app can help make structured crowdsourcing easy and practical in your business. Check out how Proceed.app works here.