We all know about the knowledge cycle
but how many of us actually address the last aspect of that cycle systematically?
Looking back to when I worked in know how within a law firm, I have to admit my approach to retiring knowledge documents was pretty haphazard. There were always so many other matters that had a higher priority and I was always a little worried about deleting stuff that may come in handy.
A few thoughts to help you with retiring documents and knowledge artefacts:
- For all new documents, decide upon realistic review and destruction dates at the outset. Create a standard process and you’ll be more likely to take action.
- Some databases allow you to automatically set a removal date, but many people are wary of automating this.
- Share out responsibility for checking compliance, relevance and usage of documents/artefacts. It won’t be such a burden if it is shared. And some people would far rather edit and review than create something new or run a training session, so you can help them to reach their knowledge activity targets in the way that suits them best.
- Ensure you are compliant with relevant regulations – something may no longer be useful, but are you required to keep it for any reason? Similarly, does this document/artefact comply with GDPR requirements? If not, can you adapt it/consent it, so it complies or should you delete straightaway?
- Breaking the task into smaller/monthly chunks will make it much easier than having a once-a-year clear out.
- Worried someone might need a document/artefact later? Cache it for a while and see what happens. If no one has asked for it a year later, you have your answer!
How do you handle the “destruction” aspect of the knowledge cycle? Any top tips to share?
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