Cloud-based Knowledge Management is a key element of any BCP
Around the world public and private sector organizations are enacting the Business Continuity Plans as a response to the threats imposed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Key among those strategies is social distancing, which for many means working from home for an unknown extended period.
Individuals working from home for a day or so here and there is not unusual, but for many of us and our organizations having the entire staff simultaneously isolated at home is a new phenomenon and it imposes a whole new set of requirements ranging from safe work practices in the home environment to well-documented processes and procedures to ensure work can continue unsupervised.
The current widespread move to working from home exposes a need to have those well-documented processes and procedures captured so that they are instantly accessible by all who need them, regardless of where they are. This is critical if you need to ensure continued and consistent service experience to your customers, compliance with your organization’s regulatory and the general well-being of your staff. The last thing needed in a crisis is for people to be fumbling around looking for instructions.
The key elements of an effective BCP’s knowledge management strategy are:
- Ubiquitous access – by their nature, emergencies are unplanned, so you need to know that your critical knowledge is available wherever people need to access it from. Cloud services provide the required ‘always available from anywhere’ functionality required in a crisis.
- Quick and easy updates – emergencies are often fluid situations that require updates to process and procedures and temporary workarounds, and your knowledge management system needs to support this.
- Alerts and feedback – some knowledge updates are time sensitive, and your knowledge system should be able to alert people to important changes that apply to them. This alerting needs to be role-based so you don’t overwhelm everyone with communications that might only apply to a subset. And because things are fluid, it is often necessary to adjust on the fly based on feedback from your people on the ground, so they must be able to send feedback and be able to track that it has been received and is being acted on.
COVID-19 is going to cause BCPs to be implemented, many for the first time. That’s likely to expose weaknesses that need to be addressed. If you find that your people are not sure how to operate when suddenly required to work from home, then you may have exposed a critical knowledge gap. That’s when you need to review your knowledge management practices and think carefully about implementing a cloud-based service that is quick and easy to update and that allows your home-located staff to collaborate on the knowledge itself.