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I am interested in the architecture, methods and software used by your company to capture and store knowledge.

Is the information easily searchable (especially by non-techies) ?

Is it stored in a central repository or in several places ?

Do you find the current implementation adequate ? What could be improved ?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 28 '11 at 16:52

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4 Answers 4

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We use OneNote a lot here and have a large Shared Workbook and it works well.

  1. OneNote has built-in search (it's not bad)
  2. It's stored centrally
  3. It works well. Functionally, OneNote easily integrates office documents/screenshots/can have links to external sources and the like.

It's structured like so:

  • There is one large 'book' called "company name".
  • Each Tab (on the left) is a large topic; the first of which is the 'new hire rampup' which has detailed steps, which are updated by anyone regularly that walk you through your first few weeks. Subsequent tabs are all about the different areas of the product and the different job responsibilities.
  • Pages and subpages within each tab are focused generally on specific tasks

The company/managers budget time in to make sure that the docs are updated and maintained for each task that gets performed.

Non-devs (management, secretaries, etc.) can easily use it without training.

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We use a wiki for information that should be easily updatable by everyone and an SVN repository for slides of talks given in our group.

The wiki is easily searchable and has "links" to the SVN repository where appropriate. So the access to the svn repo (which is not very convenient for searching information) is mainly through the wiki.

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Many companies do not manage knowledge and information.

They do this for one of two reasons:

  1. They feel that they don't have enough time to manage knowledge and information.
  2. They feel that the code is the best arbiter of knowledge and information.

Companies that don't manage knowledge and information must rely on oral history to answer any remaining questions about how the product or application should actually work.

Most veteran software professionals know that this strategy (or lack thereof) will backfire when the employees with the longest tenure leave the company.

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I feel strongly that in the world of Google, Sharepoint, Wiki's and network shares this thinking is out of date. A company knows full well that much of its' value is in its' IP and that must be captured, somewhere. –  JBRWilkinson Mar 28 '11 at 17:55
    
This is all well and good, but you're not answering the question... do you mean to say that your company doesn't manage information? –  Steve Evers Mar 28 '11 at 21:47

We have a separate application to store reusable artifacts, documents, slides, pdf everything. I guess this application was developed by our organization itself. The search feature is excellent.

I personally feel its 100 time worth spending time in creating your application that suits your organization needs to store knowledge.

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