The 5 Keys to TeamReadiness’ Easy Knowledge Capture Process…

Published on February 10, 2011 in Best Practices | No Comments

…are facilitation, video, transcription, the two-draft process, and TRM On Demand™ software. Together, they give TeamReadiness an implementation advantage by removing the barriers to progress and improving productivity.

Team members have knowledge (much of it in their heads) of procedures, processes, plans, policies, best practices, etc. Things like how to operate a machine, use analytical tools to solve problems, respond to an emergency, or even expectations for how team members should behave when on the job.

Team members want to have this information documented on paper or in a digital format so they can refer to it when they need it, share it with others, use it for training, communications, or to collaborate with others in order to make improvements or problem solve. However, assigning team members the task of documenting their knowledge can be a challenge. The process is often arduous and tedious. It is viewed as a lower priority task, ancillary to their primary job function. It can quickly become an interruption to normal work activity and ripe for procrastination. Because knowledge capture is a skill set, the documentation that results, while “perfect” in the eyes of the person who created it, can be difficult for others to follow and understand (critical details are often missing or unclear).

TeamReadiness defines knowledge capture as the process of extracting information from the minds of client team members and putting it into a format that can be easily understood, referenced, and shared with others. TeamReadiness uses highly visual formats such as photos, videos and graphics along with text and voice (audio) to make very clear the information or knowledge that client team members want to capture. TeamReadiness provides the knowledge capture skill set and takes care of the details so client team members can stay focused on presenting or demonstrating their knowledge. We make the knowledge capture process “easy” by facilitation, video, transcription, the two-draft process, and TRM On Demand™ software.


1. Facilitation.
The goal of facilitation in the knowledge capture process is to free client team members from the burdens of documentation so they can focus almost exclusively on presenting or demonstrating their knowledge. We want to alleviate the hassles and barriers that often interfere with knowledge capture. It is the facilitators job to capture and document the information presented by the client team member. Facilitation is helpful in several ways:

  • We schedule a time to capture knowledge. Setting aside a specific time to capture knowledge and having a TeamReadiness facilitator meet you at your location to work with you provides the motivation and discipline to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Sometimes the only barrier is getting started.
  • We act as the “voice of the user” to help get the appropriate level of information that users will need. Acting as a “novice” user, the facilitator may ask clarifying questions or get good photos and video shots that really help make clear the information that is being presented. Key to success is making sure that the information will make sense to the novice. One of the challenges that any subject matter experts has is deciding how much detail is necessary to include when explaining a procedure or process for doing something. A facilitator can help bring out the appropriate level of detail so the information will be useful to novice users.
  • We provide an encouraging presence to help bring out the best in others as they communicate their information. The facilitator acts as an “audience” for the client team member to present or demo his knowledge. Having an audience to present things to can be energizing and create the right inspiration and environment for a team member to give a good “performance” and articulate the desired information.
  • We keep the focus on completing the knowledge capture process so that it gets done quickly and timely. TeamReadiness schedules time to work with client team members to help ensure that the process of creating and editing documentation gets done. Facilitators help to extract knowledge and put it into a highly visual format. They understand the process and importance of getting something on paper or in video format that a team member can review and edit. TeamReadiness provides an excellent knowledge capture process that facilitators and client team members follow to get the best possible documentation on time, within budget.
  • We maintain confidentiality of the drafts of the information collected until it is approved for release to others by the client team member. TeamReadiness builds trust and respect with client team members by keeping the knowledge documentation confidential until it is approved and ready for review by other team members. That way, if someone is concerned about how the documentation may look, they will be given the opportunity to change or correct things before it is shared.

2. Video

  • Video is the best tool we have for “note taking.” It makes it very easy and fast to record and understand what client team members say and do when they present or demonstrate their knowledge.
  • Little or no advanced preparation or documentation is required before getting started. Because the client team member already has a command of the knowledge to be presented, he or she can present it or demonstrate it and we use the video to turn it into documentation.
  • Work out the details as we go along. As the client team member starts speaking, he or she often works out the specific details of the knowledge he or she wants to capture. It is expected that “mistakes” will be made and they are easy to edit-out on video. We always plan on doing at least two drafts so even if the details do not get worked out the first time, there is always another chance. Often it the process of creating the first draft and editing it that fuels the creative process and inspires the client team member to optimize the specific knowledge they want to capture.
  • Video images show exactly what is happening as the client team member presents his or her knowledge. Pictures provide clear and easy to understand information. This is especially helpful when demonstrating a procedure (e.g., how to reset the cooling tower, etc.) or how to execute a plan (e.g., building emergency evacuation, etc.). Where text instructions or simple photos or graphics can be hard to understand or fail to adequately show everything that the user needs, a video shows the user everything they need to know.

3. Transcription

  • As the client talks and presents or demonstrates the information, we take “notes” (using video) and do the “write up” of the information. We create the documentation. We put the information into a printable Task Sheet or an edited video or a training course so it can be used for reference or shared with others. Transcription is the documentation process, the process of putting the information down “on paper” or in edited video or digital format. Then client team member(s) can review it and make improvements.
  • We eliminate the transcription burden. Transcription tends to be the greatest barrier to completing the knowledge capture process. It is detail work that requires discipline, time, patience, and discernment to make sure that the information is complete, sufficient, and presented properly so that users will find it helpful, easy-to-use, and easy-to-understand. TeamReadiness does this task for our clients.

4. The Two-Draft Process

  • We schedule a two-draft process to give the client team member a chance to review the first draft and make improvements. But it has an additional, and perhaps even greater benefit as well. Knowing that you do not have to be perfect to get started is comforting and helps take the stress or anxiety out of the knowledge capture process. The two-draft process provides the assurance that things do not have to be completely defined or understood to get started. It helps eliminate an “all-or-nothing” thinking where a client team member thinks every task, procedure, or policy has to be identified and defined before we begin.
  • Sometimes the best inspiration for getting a procedure or policy defined is a first draft. When a team member explains a process or procedure for the first time, it may be undeveloped, and lack some details, clarity or polish. A first draft helps team member take inventory of what the information they have and the information they need to collect in order to complete the documentation. Often, it is easier to edit a document than to create one. Once we are able to get a first draft that can be examined and reviewed, it gives the team or team member a chance to further develop the thinking on the subject and come up with edits or improvement ideas that make the second draft perfect or nearly so.

5. TRM On Demand™

  • TRM On Demand™ online software enables other team members to review drafts of the knowledge documentation and provide comments and suggestions for improvement. This is done online, from any internet connection, anywhere in the world, at anytime.
  • TRM On Demand™ software maintains confidentiality and security of the draft documentation and comments by using password controlled access. Only designated team members are able to view the documentation and comments.

These 5 things – Facilitation, Video, Transcription, The Two-Draft Process, and TRM On Demand™, give TeamReadiness’ clients the ability to easily capture knowledge for reference, training, communication, and collaboration.

TeamReadiness’ Easy Knowledge Capture Process

Easy Knowledge Capture Procedure

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You demonstrate your procedures, policies, etc., and we turn it into easy to understand documentation for:

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  • Reference
  • Training
  • Communications
  • Collaboration

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TeamReadiness™ can help!
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