Building Knowledge Management products

You may want to start by reading part 1 of the series: What is Knowledge Management and why should you care?

Our users are our colleagues. Whether they are working in games, human resources or IT, they require an entire ecosystem of products to help them access the knowledge they need.

What are the products?

We map our products from the user’s perspective. Our products form 4 concentric circles, starting from the user in the centre moving outwards to ‘my team’, ‘my networks’ and the outermost layer ‘the company’.

Me
Tools with information relating to only you.

They help you:
– store personal files
– take online courses
– learn about your work habits
My team
Daily tools to collaborate with an immediate team.

They help you:
– call and chat with your team mates
– document your work
– manage tickets
– share and access team files
My networks
Tools which link different networks of people who have something in common (eg location, profession, interests).

They help you:
– access information related to your office building or studio
– find like-minded people to chat to
– learn about your fields of interest
The company
The platforms and data infrastructure that underpin all the other tools.

They help you
– access company-wide information
– search across and navigate between all the different spaces
– get a personalised experience

They also help our team manage internal tools and platforms.

Combing in-house products with off-the-shelf solutions

The tools we manage aren’t all products that we’ve built internally. In fact it’s about a 50-50 split between products developed in-house and products we’ve bought and implemented within the organisation. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market for internal tools is vast and offers many opportunities to address user needs without investing in our own tools. 

Regardless of your products, the product manager’s role is two-fold:

  • to ensure that we’re providing value to the users and, 
  • to develop a common understanding on what we are (and what we are not) delivering, for the team, our users, partners and stakeholders. 

However, the types of activities our PMs do vary depending on whether they’re managing in-house or SaaS tools.

Different to a classic PM role, PMs working on SaaS tools will closely monitor our vendor’s roadmap and in some cases seek to influence it. They will review new features, working with user researchers to identify how these may impact our users’ experience. They will also consider what integrations with our ecosystem are necessary. They will then collaborate with IT infrastructure teams to manage the release of features and communicate these changes to users. 

Focussing on the employee experience

We want our employees to be able to work more efficiently and produce better quality work. This means we think a lot about the ‘noise’ our products create. We can’t have products competing for our users’ attention. So we make sure that our tools are unobtrusive to avoid distracting them from their daily work. 

That’s why it’s important that we design an ecosystem based on the employee experience and their journeys across our tools. We create our roadmaps based on their needs and within user journeys, rather than focussing on individual products.

Adapting to changing needs

Knowledge Management is a rapidly evolving field. Even in normal times, we’re having to adapt to new user needs and disruptive tools in the market. The recent health crisis has only increased the speed of change. The rapid shift towards working from home in early 2020 meant we had to quickly adapt.

New behaviours and expectations continue to emerge and we’re certainly expecting more change. Therefore we are closely observing our users, as we focus on building a digital workplace where all employees can focus on what’s important because they have the right knowledge at their fingertips.

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