“Stop Asking Me That Question”
How to Make Social Learning Scale.

Your team’s go-to guru – the subject matter expert with a dozen years’ experience on your systems and a library’s worth of institutional knowledge between their ears – has a favor to ask.

“Stop using me as your de facto trainer and let me actually get some work done.”

Sure they’re happy to help you out. But year after year of being tapped for every new hire onboarding, every SME inquiry, every tap on the shoulder with “just a quick question on how this works” – it’s eating up valuable time.Sharing knowledge by tapping experts on the fly creates two problems for your organization:

  1. It’ll never scale.Your internal experts only have so much time – as your team grows and as more people learn to come to them for questions, they’ll be forced to choose between being a good teammate or being productive. Either way, your team’s output will suffer.
  2. It isn’t permanent.That expertise walks out the door each night – and one day, it won’t come back. If the answers to those simple onboarding questions and repeat issue workarounds aren’t captured somewhere, you’ll be lost the day your expert isn’t there to provide a quick answer.

There’s a solution.

First, document. Not an actual document – no one reads those – but a recording of your internal expert sharing their knowledge. Screenshares, recorded presentations, on-location video shot with a smartphone or a laptop webcam – whatever works, so long as you can record their insight.

Then, share. Add that video to a communal library where every team member can find it and review it whenever the question comes up. As a best practice, use a video library that can search inside the video to make it easier to find granular details.

The result will be your own reference desk, a social learning library that’s always at hand, 24/7/365, ready to help your team find answers to common questions even faster than if they just walked over to the team guru and asked.

That’s exactly what the New York Stock Exchange did (check out the video case study for more!). And it’s how we share ideas and best practices here at Panopto – like this one, on how to diagnose and address SQL Server database deadlocks.

Video-based social learning is the easy way to preserve and scale your institutional knowledge. And if you need help, Panopto makes it easy to record, store, search, and share video, with no new hardware and no special training required. We’ll even get you started with a free 30-day trial.

Published: July 12, 2016

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