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Knowledge bases addressing emergency and beyond

1 August 2020
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.

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