Conference 2014 – Creating a Technical Knowledge Hub on SharePoint

Presenter : Sarah Burns, Pathfinder

Allison Long reports :

Sarah is the only KM person at Pathfinder, and she has been tasked with implementing a knowledge / collaboration hub using SharePoint. While things are not even close to perfect, she has come a long way in three years!

In order to create the Knowledge Hub, she had to re-configure iShare (Pathfinder’s SharePoint) because it was a mess. She had to develop a common language for the system, catalog the library, and figure out a way to incorporate Pathfinder’s physical archives and shared drive information while also thinking about how to facilitate collaboration and use of the iShare system. Whew!

Sarah worked with her IT group to improve iShare navigation. She also hosted a mini-information audit/card sorting activity with staff to help with organization of information.

In developing the taxonomy for iShare, she got buy-in from technical area leaders to make sure the words she was choosing were commonly used by those parts of the organization.

Elements of the Tech Hub

She cataloged the Pathfinder library within a SP list.

She worked with technical experts to create Technical Assistance Libraries where the experts can post the best sources on their topics and their reasoning behind their selections.

The archive is crazy big. Archiving project artifacts has become part of the project close-out process to try to control the crazy a little. Still a huge backlog.

Virtual Content Advisor Teams act as communities of practice for specific topical areas on the hub. Sarah wrote a guide for these groups’ facilitation.

Yellow pages to be able to find the right people to talk to

Training– Sarah held training sessions over lunch, and she took the time to teach people in the moment when they asked her every day questions about iShare. She also made a training DVD to send to country staff in order to overcome connectivity issues.

Recipe for success:

  1. Patience
  2. Perseverance
  3. Celebrate small victories
  4. Repeat

Lessons Learned

  1. There is a big difference between getting stuff done in SP and learning about SP
  2. Don’t expect change overnight
  3. Take the time to show people how to do things in SP instead of just doing it for them. They will learn better that way.
  4. Connect technical experts to technical libraries
  5. Don’t divide things you want to be able to search into separate lists. It’s easier to have everything in one place in order to search.



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