5 Tools that Help You Capture Tribal Knowledge
How do you capture tribal knowledge?
The short answer is you write it down. But just documenting the knowledge isn’t going to make changes in your business. That’s why you need software to help you capture your tribal knowledge.
At ScreenSteps — a knowledge ops solution that helps companies transfer knowledge more efficiently — we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses that are stuck in tribal knowledge. And they want a way out. And that’s why they start searching for software solutions.
The best way to capture tribal knowledge is with a knowledge management tool. This is software that helps you document your procedural knowledge. The tool then makes it easy to capture that information and share it with your team.
Here are five knowledge management systems that can help you capture your company’s tribal knowledge.
1. Knowledge base
A knowledge base is a system that helps you create, organize, and share your company information and resources. It centralizes all of your company knowledge so that employees (and other end-users) can access the information 24/7.
2. Knowledge ops platform
A knowledge ops platform does everything a knowledge base does plus adds in training features. The purpose of a knowledge ops platform is to help your employees transfer knowledge more efficiently.
So the goal is not just to document all of your knowledge but use that knowledge to help level up your employees by supporting them in their jobs and helping them avoid mistakes.
An intranet is an internal company website. It is a central location for companies to communicate with their employees. This is anything from company announcements to a centralized location to store all of the company’s information.
4. Decision tree software
Decision tree software is a system where you can document, store, and share step-by-step procedures. The decision trees could be in the form of a flowchart or and interactive how-to guide.
5. Corporate wiki
A corporate wiki is a collaborative documentation tool. That means that anyone with access has input into your policies and procedures.
The risk of using a corporate wiki is that it is based on collaboration. Ultimately, by allowing everyone to document procedures and make edits, you lose control of the correct way a procedure is done. Essentially, you are still relying on tribal knowledge.
Can you use video software to capture tribal knowledge?
Yes and no.
If you are trying to capture procedural knowledge (what we call actionable knowledge), then a video isn’t a reliable way to capture that knowledge.
If you are capturing foundational knowledge (i.e. background and contextual information), you could use video software.
Read this article for more on foundational vs actionable knowledge and how to capture it.
Software alone won’t solve your knowledge transfer problems
With a knowledge management tool, you’ll be able to document and share your company’s knowledge. That helps prevent your business from losing that knowledge as employees quit.
However, software alone isn’t going to solve your employee training and employee support problems. If employees are making mistakes, training takes months, and operations are slow, then you need to pair your software solution with the right framework and habits.
At ScreenSteps, we developed the Find & Follow Framework. Paired with our knowledge ops platform, the Find & Follow Framework helps you create a training curriculum and implement company habits so that employees are more confident, efficient, and independent.
Companies that have implemented Find & Follow have escaped tribal knowledge and the anxiety and stress associated with it. Plus, they have cut training time by as much as 85%.
Learn more about Find & Follow by taking our free Find & Follow Course. The 30-minute course provides a big-picture overview of how the Find & Follow Framework works.