2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
August 2020 - Magazine No. 251
August 2020 - Magazine No. 251
Written By Dana Neuman- Rotem , Sagit Salmon

The Israeli economy has rapidly shifted from routine to state of emergency and then, slowly and gradually from emergency to emergency routine. Organizations are required at all times to continue providing their customers service. We chose to stop during this period for introspection and conversation. We practiced this with other service providing organizations. Together, we tried to learn how to prepare to future emergencies and implement some of our routine actions. We based our insights on dilemmas and accumulated experiences.

Our assumption is that knowledge and information are vital to service, and should be regarded as such by the organization. This is mainly true when service centers continue operating during emergencies, in which information is transferred very frequently. This means that knowledge operations cannot be fully shut down. Therefore, their workers need to receive apt tools and conditions to operate it continuously. Operation can be either remote, in shifts or regularly.

Here are some challenges typical to times of emergency:

Multiple changes, fast rate

You can update the information stored in the various content pages (as usual) and, if necessary, allocate space on the homepage, concentrate these pages and refer to the relevant items. Alternatively, you can store all instructions on a single page. These alternatives are both fine, as long as no contradictions are found in the information stored.


Bridging knowledge gaps for absent workers

In most organizations, workers needed to catch up on knowledge they lacked on their own. These gaps can be bridged by applying any of the following methods:

  • Referring the worker to one page containing all instructions
  • Creating a video summing up events, allowing the worker to reconnect pleasantly
  • Creating a designated tutorial to recap events


Knowledge Directories as a key organizational communication tool

During this current crisis, knowledge bases of service centers served as a vital tool both due to the many updates and many workers working from home. It is worthwhile to review how such a state may be retained, as it contributes to their reputation and position in the organization.


Technological solutions for communicating with users and content experts

Communicating with users and subject matter experts via focus groups, implementation and professional discussions were previously held only in person. Therefore, they required much time. Covid19 has coerced us to utilize technological solutions for remote action. We now understand that some actions can remain remote and thus save time and human resources (e.g. one does not need to consider travel times).

That said, it is best to adapt a balanced approach and still hold some meetings face to face.


In conclusion, this emergency has ushered in new opportunities which forced us to come up with quick and creative solutions. These solutions will probably stay with us for a while.

We all experience occasional difficulties at work. You might find it difficult to perform a task, keep up with the schedule, or provide the perfect solution (which, naturally, perfectly suits the costumer's needs), work overload, etc. We instinctively first focus on the challenges at hand when facing difficulties these tasks entail. Therefore, we might often lack a better response than "that's impossible", "that's impractical" or "the schedules are irrational and therefore…not happening".


Instead of immediately explaining the impossible nature of this task, try a different, more positive approach. Try defining things differently by implementing methods from the Knowledge Management methods. Hereby are some ideas.


Process simplification: occasionally, a new task may seem complex, therefore intimidating. Deciphering the task can be attained by breaking the complexity down into smaller particles as well as structuring the process. Breaking the task down to smaller sub-tasks will surely raise new questions. Answering these questions will provide you with solutions.

For example, setting up global websites is a highly complex project. This project involves several factors interacting and working with a number of interfaces. It also requires adhering to predefined schedules. Simplifying the work process and breaking it down might benefit the project greatly.


Documenting work processes: documenting work meetings (their agenda, summaries and protocols), documenting work processes by using checklists, and using other work documents which contain fixed templates that enable us to get a better update regarding the essence and scope of required work. Thus, we can attain a higher level of certainty regarding the challenges the task involves. Therefore, we can more easily adopt a positive approach to handling it.


Agile progress: Agile is a methodology that assumes on gradual development, rather that top down full planning and design.  It therefore focuses on teams’ ability to cooperate quickly and respond to the demands raised during the project's run. Managing a project in an Agile environment enables us to constantly react to change and provides efficiency, agility and quality in terms of both responding to customers' needs and lack of malfunctions and errors. This work method will allow us to better understand the project's needs mid-project and thus adopt a more positive attitude when managing a new project.


Using methods from the realm of Knowledge Management will enable us to adopt a positive approach. This approach will ultimately enable us to promote the interests of all parties involved and generate positive feelings of cooperation.


This tip or challenge can improve your current situation. No task should be regarded as a 'mission: impossible'. Remember: every challenge enfolds an opportunity for learning and development.




Written By Anat Drucker

When browsing the web, we are exposed to a vast amount of information, including articles of interest to us. We don't always have the time to click on the link and dwell on reading them. However, if we know approximately how long reading this content would take us, we would probably more freely click on the link to the full article.

Therefore, I recommend presenting estimated reading time (ERT) at the top of each page beside the article's publishing date.

ERT should be displayed on web pages containing articles, stories, and reviews of certain content. However, there is no need to display it on visual content pages such as pictures, infographics, product pages, and short and frequent messages on blogs and social networks. Since these pages display a certain message focused on selling the product.

This article's ERT, by the way, is 2 minutes.


How to calculate the ERT

Reading rate is measured in amount of words per minute (WPM), which is commonly used to measure typing or reading rate. Reading time is subjective, as it depends on the type of content read. If the content includes graphic data analysis and pictures, reading will surely take longer. Other factors which affect reading time are font type and size, age of reader and the text's display. Is the text being read via computer screen or on paper? How many paragraphs does the text contain? how many characters does each word contain? The latter obviously affects the time spent on longer words. For standardization purposes, the 'word' to which WPM refers to is a word comprised of 5 characters.


According to studies in this field, an adult can read 200-250 WPM. Therefore, ERT can be reached by dividing the amount of words in the article by 200. If the result presents seconds, it is best to round it up (either upwards or downwards) to retain simplicity for readers' sake.


The quickest way to estimate the reading time is to enable digital tools, which include a calculator, to do the work. One example is the Read-O-Meter, a free calculator available as a website. This tool calculates EST based on a 200 WPM rate. You copy + paste the text into the calculation textbox and receive an indication, which is then to be manually pasted at the top of the article. Some software tools contain an automatic ERT calculation feature via script code (such as Java and HTML).


Origins of the ERT trend

On April 2009, journalist Marc Armstrong began posting the Twitter tag #longreads. He wanted to give people a way to recommend "magazine length" online articles. This tag later became a website titled long-reads containing only articles and stories comprised of more than 1,500 words. This website contained an ERT indication feature, including a word count for each article.







On November 2011, Amazon added an ERT feature to their mobile e-book reading app. This feature was actually activated a year later, in October 2012, on newer devices. In October 2013, when the blogging platform became available to everyone by former Twitter CEO Owen Williams, ERTs became an integral part of online reading culture.


In conclusion, the Estimated Reading Time indicator contributes to User Experience and enhances engagement by allowing users to choose what to read and when to read it.






Marketing land, How Estimated Reading Times Increase Engagement With Content


Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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