Assign Subject Matter Experts

Assign SMEs

Tacit knowledge is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. Most of knowledge in your company is tacit. One of the critical knowledge management tasks is to transfer knowledge from tacit in order to explicit, to identify, articulate, and share it.

If we look at corporate knowledge as an iceberg, the explicit part is just the tip of the iceberg, while tacit knowledge is the massive part below the surface.

Knowledge Iceberg

Every knowledge area in your company needs someone who looks after it — an expert, who can fill the gaps and answer questions. These people are called Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). They are like walking encyclopedias; they are strong in their areas of expertise and can answer questions in the blink of an eye.

In OneBar we use tags to represent topics. You can create tags for each knowledge area in the company, e.g. various products, components, daily routines, or tools you use. You can then assign SMEs to each tag. They will receive a notification when someone posts a new question with a given tag, and they will also see all the tag-related activity in their feed.

Tags

You can make knowledge base maintenance an official responsibility for SMEs and allocate time budget for it. They don't necessarily have to respond to each question directly, but they should know who is the next best expert and can re-assign items if needed. OneBar also provides tools for curators to merge duplicate entries, cross-link questions, archive or mark some items as invalid/outdated.

Tags

What should I do?

Step 1

Add tags for the most popular subjects in a company. Tell the team about the main knowledge areas and ask it to tag every question it posts.

Step 2

Find someone in your team to become an SME for each of these topics.

Step 3

Subscribe experts or curators to tags using slash command

/onebar subscribe @name <tag>

Step 4

Now, if someone asks a question about particular subject, all subscribers will get an instant notification. They can react to it right from Slack by answering the question directly or assigning somebody who can help find an answer.

Tags

If you can’t find a curator for a knowledge area, OneBar will do its best to find the right people automatically. It will then suggest assigning those people when a new question is posted. Over time, it will learn who is more knowledgeable in which areas and will improve the quality of these suggestions.

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