Templates or Documents
1 November 2017
In today's day and age in which leading companies have realized that (correct) Knowledge Management is a vital and integral component of attaining business objectives. The question is: how can we make data and knowledge accessible for users' respective purposes? Should we use constructed and divided templates or documents in which we concentrate the data?
Let us pause and consider our objective. Our central goal is to attain a state in which anyone (management, employee or client) facing a decision (be it professional or business oriented) can access the most data he/she needs in most quick and optimal manner. The following article reviews the main differences in terms of data display in organizational systems.
Take a service representative answering calls and evaluated based on their length, searching for data in the organizational Knowledge Management system. If every conversation involved sitting and reading an entire text document in length in search for the relevant answer, it is highly doubtful that this customer will wait on the line. Furthermore, let's consider the user's reaction. Will the user take the time to read the entire document in order to retrieve the data? This is a highly uncertain possibility. It is far more probable that over time the representative will stop using the system and rely on people around him.
But when the call representative knows he/she is accessing a knowledge item designed according to a fixed template, the answer can be found effortlessly in a matter of seconds.
Templates make Knowledge Management and its application accessible, comprehensible and user friendly.
Using templates generates uniformity of data-page display (content, location, and form), sequence and coherence. They make it easier to understand the logic behind the content's organization and locate the concentrated data on the relevant page. Sticking to structure enables the searcher to navigate and locate data quickly and simply, making this process shorter and more efficient.
In contrast, when considering an engineer or academic researcher pursuing in-depth and extensive content in varying form a single, detailed document is the preferable solution. This type of user isn't short in time and is interested in every detailed aspect he/she can get their hands on.
In conclusion, when writing knowledge or information we must first consider our main target audience. Real time knowledge management, such as that required in call centers, is the embodiment of "less is more". Time saving, and professionally and substantively focusing content are all vital and tools that can assist in attaining them are crucial.
Other fields, in which detailed, extensive and in-depth data is required, prefer a single document loaded with knowledge.
Now that the difference between structured and document-based Knowledge Management has been clarified, all that remains is to adapt the content writing to the relevant reader/searcher.