The OfficeScope Spotlight

Avoiding the Pitfalls of “Tribal Knowledge”

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the term “Tribal Knowledge”. Basically, it refers to any knowledge that is only known by the tribe. It’s based on years and years of history, building expertise, and learning efficient ways to perform complex tasks. It’s a phrase often used in the business world today.

And while this is great for the tribe, it often lies only with one or two people. The problem is – once they leave the tribe – it often goes with them. Same holds true for the business world. Whether due to layoffs or career advancement – company departures often mean the business and technology expertise leaves with the employees. And the company must manually recreate the wheel to find and leverage this information.

Tribal Knowledge is one of the big efficiency killers. After all, your business can’t be successful if all time is spent searching for information. Far too often, time and money are wasted finding knowledge, tracking projects, and zeroing in on bottlenecks. A good content management and automated workflow system changes all that – resulting in the highest levels of efficiency and project success.

To achieve this efficiency and fight complexities of Tribal Knowledge, the best content management and workflow systems will have several key pieces: 1. Central Repository: To securely store all relevant information; 2. Automated Workflow: Tracking projects, bottlenecks and the “weak links” within the organization in real-time; and 3. Powerful Analytics: Offering true insight into business, project and employee performance with a mouse click.

All together, these capabilities will help you gain a better understanding of where knowledge resides – and how you can access it.

So, what do you say? How about we leave the Tribal Knowledge for the jungle. After all, the loincloth look is SO YESTERDAY…