The diverse purposes of Knowledge Hub groups

Photo by Cobalt123 on Flickr used under Creative Commons

My adventures in Knowledge Hub promotion and guidance abound! This past month has been packed with meetings with people starting or planning to start new Knowledge Hub groups and until now it never occurred to me how many needs the Knowledge Hub can meet for our colleagues and just how many different scenarios there are out there in people’s working lives. Check out what I’ve come across so far (I plan to blog about some of these in detail later.)

  • The project- Setting up a Knowledge Hub as a resource for people working on a project from the beginning of a project is a good move. The project group I’m working with at the moment is moving hundreds of council staff from many buildings to one in a building rationalisation and work style transformation (moving to increased mobile and flexible working) project. The Knowledge Hub is being piloted as the place where staff who will be affected by the move to the new building a place to share information, frustrations, good practice and to get the final factual word on anything in the rumour mill. There could, for example, be conversations around how people are finding working from home, a forum for setting up carpools, ideas for use of the new building, an area to submit complaints to be responded to by project managers and on and on. The idea is the group will be managed by staff representatives (already built into the project team) and eventually self managed by the wider staff group. As the move is such a big change for people- not to mention getting to grips with new ways of working- a dedicated information and sharing space can be the go to resource for up to date and, most importantly, accurate information.


  • The skills gap- What happens when you have a group of long term professionals who are specialists in their area retiring en masse while there is a hiring freeze on? A knowledge and skill vacuum, that’s what. One group I met recently has a diverse membership of professionals with specialist knowledge built up over many years, however, many of them are on the way out, replacing posts doesn’t happen in a time frame that allows a handover and sometimes tasks or roles are being added to other’s posts meaning the time to learn a specialism is scarce. Using the Knowledge Hub to leave behind documents, contacts, ideas and information is a way this group is looking to help out new colleagues or colleagues with new duties.


  • The intranet connection- Meeting with a group of local authority school business managers gave me good insight into how Knowledge Hub can complement intranets. This group has a dedicated area on their internal website though the CMS functionality doesn’t extend to convenient document management, knowledge management and private business conversations. Why not link off to a Knowledge Hub group? Why not indeed.


  •  The talent pool- A local authority runs a programme of skills development in order to create a pool of people available to work cross-departmentally on various projects. A Knowledge Hub group could be the place for all these people to keep in touch, advertise their suite of expertise and their availability for work or consultation. I’m just getting started with this one but it’s something I’d like to pursue on a bigger scale across the Knowledge Hub. Can the Knowledge Hub have something bigger than a group- maybe an open area- where people note their talents and invite contact for collaboration or consultation on various pieces of work happening over all Knowledge Hub members?

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Former Member 7 Years Ago
Good summary of some of the reasons for using online collaboration. It can be hard, sometimes, when senior managers challenge you to explain why onlone collaboration is better than email. But there are some great answers here that I can draw from.
Leah Lockhart 7 Years Ago
Yes, Alex! Challenge away! I also like to highlight that using the Knowledge Hub means groups have the ability to bypass email for sharing documents and long conversation chains. So if you're sharing giant documents, will have issues with version control and want to have some kind of reassurance that the very important document you circulated isn't squirreled away in someone's crazy filing system, using this platform is ideal. In some local authorities there may be a fee levied by their IT provider for extra space in shared drives or email accounts. Why pay? Keep your information here where everyone can access it from anywhere- for free.
Former Member 7 Years Ago
>> Why pay? Keep your information here where everyone can access it from anywhere- for free. Clause 3 of the Terms and Conditions is a problem here: "We reserve the right to withdraw, suspend or amend access to all or any part of the Knowledge Hub Platform or cease its operation temporarily or permanently at any time without notice. " I dilsike service level agreements as much as anyone, but the confidence they give is that they testify to a contractual obligation which ensures the service won't be withdrawn arbitarily. It's the same as the classic criticsim of facebook, google, or twitter. If you're not paying for the service, you're not the customer. I think there's scope here for a blog post of my own ...
Leah Lockhart 7 Years Ago
It's a fair point, Alex, and something that has been brought up with me by other groups. I can't comment on the likelihood of this term being brought to fruition as we're distanced from the creation of the Ts and Cs but you're right to take notice of this. And kudos for reading the Ts and Cs in the first place! It is indeed a classic criticism of other free to access digital platforms, however, I suppose users who heed this condition could consider a Plan B if the platform did cease to exist overnight. It would be interesting to get a conversation going here: what are teams using free digital channels doing to plan for the cessation of a platform or indeed a change to a fee paying service? What would people do if for example their Facebook engagement and presence was incredible/wonderful/useful/integral in their customer service but Facebook turns up tomorrow demanding £100 a week for using the platform? Facebook is just one example of course.