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Knowledge Management (KM) Best Practices: Home

This guide provides guidelines for best practices in KM, ensuring information quality, context, shareability, and efficient access. KM enables an organization to optimize its information as assets.

Knowledge Management Guidelines

Good KM doesn't necessarily mean more work for members of an organization.  It means doing things the right way in order to position information assets so that they optimally benefit you, your colleagues, and your institution.


Best Practices for KM::

  • Name your folders and files intuitively, so that others on your teams and across the organization (as permitted) can understand your content without having to click open every file.  For example, name file folders by the function of their contents (see document to the right for examples).  This will also give structure to shared file directories. See file link to the right for more examples.
     
  • One copy in one place: Avoid duplicating the same file among team members. Keep one copy in a shared directory that all team members can access. Duplication overloads the search and browse experience, creates the need to manage and backup unnecessary information, and confuses version control.
     
  • Gmail: Create a "Personal" folder to house your personal emails (vacation pictures, family correspondence, etc). This will enable segregation of this email from official Brandeis email records.
     
  • Provide a key to what your acronyms stand for.  ABCD=????
     
  • Early each January, update the properties of your file templates (e.g. presentation, spreadsheet, and word processing apps) so that the current year and your authorship is reflected. This will reduce misinterpretation of your work and record the source information.
     
  • Rather than emailing large attachments to a group, email a link to, or share a file or files in a shared drive.
     
  • Tell and document stories and share lessons learned from your work, so that colleagues can leverage them.
     
  • Search the organization's intranet and web site before recreating work that may have already been done:  Don't reinvent the wheel.
     
  • Mark your calendar to periodically clean out your email, desktop, and shared drive content. Is there really a legitimate need to keep the content? Are there historically significant documents that should be submitted to the institutional archives?

Information Resources

Recommended Reading

This book covers the impact of retirees taking valuable, implicit knowledge with them when they leave an organization.

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