The 5 Steps to Increase the Teamwork

Managing uncertainties

I'll assume that as part of your day to day work as an IT professional you're used to face uncertainties. These may come in different ways:

  • You need to ask for some information but you don't know to whom.
  • Something you need to deliver and you don't know how to proceed.
  • One internal process of the company you need to trigger but is not properly documented.
  • And I could be adding a lot more like the ones above.

The positive point here is that once you overcome one of these uncertainties it stops being as such and, if you properly documented it, become part of your personal knowledge.

This situation may be happening in parallel to different colleagues in the same organization, maybe in the same department and perhaps with the same topic. 

So, what could we do to avoid it?

Action Plan to mitigate it

In this section I'll be listing some actions to be taken by the organization to mitigate as much as possible the situation from the point above. 

I assume that some basic actions like collaborative tools with a shared repository and trainings are already in place, so I'll focus on the actions to be taken that will be adding extra value.

Important tip: It's a key success factor that both the company and the manager try to extend as much as possible between the employees the culture of the knowledge sharing

Before going with the Action Plan, I would like to share something I read few days ago and I think is the soul of this post:

"Coming together is a beginning, 

keeping together is progress,

working together is success"

- Henry Ford - 

Now let's go with the Action Plan:

1. Encourage and foster the right mindset

This first action is directly related with the tip I mentioned above. If the organization and managers are not supporting knowledge sharing activities, this initiative is doomed to failure, so be sure senior management is aligned with this initiative.

2. The Quick-card culture

Is during the process of overcoming the uncertainties, when you enrich yourself by increasing your personal knowledge. This process usually requires time to investigate, check all possible options and once the uncertainty has been solved, usually document it.

Now imagine one colleague needs to follow the same process you faced. For sure he will have to go through a similar process as you did. Is at this point when the Quick-card culture jumps in.

Let's imagine that you created a brief slide deck with 2-3 slides explaining the process (also known as Quick-card) and shared it with your colleagues. In this case, the colleague having to repeat the same process would have checked the slide deck you created and, instead spending hours investigating, would have spent just minutes following the process. 

3. Peer-based coaching

All the teams are formed by different people with different skills. If you manage to identify which of them like to teach and provide training to his colleagues, then you'll be one step closer to achieve the success.

Next step will be just put them together (knowledgeable employee with the new-joiner or someone who requires training) and give them enough time to find their synergies.

Who knows, maybe the new-joiner end up being an excellent trainer too. 

4. Enable space for knowledge sharing

We all know COVID has made things a lot more difficult in several aspects, and one of them is team working. We were used to socialize with the colleagues at work, and these situations were the perfect scenario to let knowledge sharing happen. 

So, in front of the situation above, we need to adapt our management and if these situations can't happen, make as much as possible to facilitate it

Quick example: Schedule a weekly meeting with your colleagues just with the knowledge sharing purpose. This meeting will have open agenda, and everyone attending will be raising his questions/concerns which will be answered/solved by the colleagues attending. If no resolution is achieved, then an action will be taken by the meeting leader to solve it.

5. Let the experts share their knowledge

Identifying the organization-wide subject- matter experts is also one of the key success factors of this action plan. The next step would be letting them attend the spaces you created for knowledge sharing, so by this way their expertise would be shared with the rest of organization.

OK... but what if my team is not following the plan?

This is a very good question and the answer is not that simple as many factors jump in at this moment. It will depend on each team and you may have to manage different scenarios:

  • Team members that will follow the guidelines and will collaborate. These team members will probably be the ones we identified at point 3 (Peer-based coaching).
  • Team members that will be reluctant to follow the guidelines. This may be happening due to different reasons (workload, necessity to feel indispensable for the company). Those cases reluctant because of workload, may be tackled by scheduling a few hours/week session just for knowledge sharing activities. The other case is more sensitive and will require first identifying who is worried about knowledge sharing, and then manage in a case by case basis.

You may have seen that by implementing these actions above, really good synergies could be reached between all of them. Let me give some examples:

  • Many quick-cards may be created as an outcome of one of those Knowledge exchange meetings.
  • You could use one of the spaces you facilitated to let the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) share their knowledge.

So, what about you? Do you thing knowledge sharing culture is fostered enough within your organization? Is there any of these actions already in place? Please, feel free to share with me your thoughts about this topic by adding a comment to this post.

Knowledge sharing
January 10, 2022


Did you like what you read?