When I first joined The Hatcher Group in 2017, it was a small communications firm with less than 30 staff. Fast forward almost 5 years later, the firm had more than doubled, and the design team quadrupled. A lot of incremental scaling took place throughout that time.
A growing source of frustration from the growing staff was file and knowledge management. Navigating folders, identifying sources of truth, accessing frequently referenced information, and identifying subject matter experts were just a few of the regular causes of confusion, time loss, and duplicated work.
It can be a challenge to commit hours and attention to non-core work without dedicated time and support. Luckily, our staff was split into groups to divide and conquer important internal initiatives and projects. I set out to help solve this problem as a part of my work on the Impact team.
First I audited the firm's main files, identified core information and templates, and surveyed staff from different teams on documents and processes that were crucial to their workflow. This became a list of key documents, which then became a tagged and indexed list of document links sorted by type and with subject matter experts listed.
After applying company branding, adding a quick links section, and creating a linked Monday.com form for staff to submit issues and updates, the knowledge hub 1.o was complete.
It was a centrally located Word doc that staff could bookmark for easier access. However, despite the low-tech approach, it was very successful in reducing staff time searching for things, asking for things, and recreating things. After giving a short presentation during staff meeting and a follow-up email, the system saw heavy use. It cost zero dollars, took minimal time to create, and required almost no staff training.
Plus, it was a solution that could scale. At a future point in time, if the firm needed to upgrade to a full intranet or knowledge management system, the hub could serve as a starting point for the infrastructure and content.
As an added bonus, it was fun to do!