Create Winning Process Docs: Establish an “Ask the Knowledge Base First” Policy
In this Series…
I’m covering the 25 best ways to start documenting your systems and processes in a way that your team will love so your business can grow and scale.
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Step 5: Ask the KB First
As I was scaling my previous business, there came a time when my entire leadership team’s days were filled with answering questions.
Since my team was busy answering questions and being reactive, there was no time for strategic work, and we quickly plateaued.
Even though they didn’t know it, the team members constantly asking questions were developing some seriously bad habits.
People will follow the path of least resistance, and whenever there was a slight roadblock, people simply went to their manager to ask the question.
Over time, this built up and repeated itself, becoming a terrible habit that halted our growth.
Unfortunately, it’s a two-sided habit.
Managers start thinking that their job is to answer the same question repeatedly.
Team members start believing that it’s their job to avoid using problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles.
A self-sustaining system for scaling corporate knowledge.
Here’s a simple description of how this system works:
- Require your team to ask the knowledge base before they ask a human
- If the information cannot be found, then it’s okay to make a knowledge request through the proper channels
- When the answer is received, it’s up to the person asking to add a new entry in the knowledge base
This ensures that when answers are documented, the next person with the question will find the answers without interrupting someone else. Eliminating repeat questions.
When questions are asked, they are done in a structured format so they can be routed to the correct person and not create a ripple effect of, “I don’t know, ask person X.” Who then says, “I don’t know, ask person Y.”
Finally, it ensures the knowledge base grows based on need, not guessing what should be added to it, and it spreads out the burden from one person creating a knowledge base to the full team.
- Build a simple system that puts the KB first in line for questions.
- Empower your team with the right tools for asking questions.
- Give everyone on your team the capabilities to add to the knowledge base so that it’s expanding based on current needs.