Widgets Magazine

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0013 – Can you tell me what you are doing?

Image of Bradford thinking, "Sorry I can't tell you that. It is my secret power."
Last week I talked about losing my notebook but I did not lose my knowledge. This week I want to continue discussing losing knowledge. The challenge is “tribal knowledge” or people who have been at the company and know the processes. The blunt way to put it is, “What happens if you get hit by a bus?” That is pretty extreme. A better example could be what happens if your web architect goes on a cruise and is not reachable and you need to update the website. (Check out what happened when I did that to Tim.) I know how to create a page showing the coverage of InfoComm 2017. The steps are easy

  1. Create Page
  2. Put in the Visual Composer blocks
  3. Set the Filters
  4. Publish
  5. Add to menu

See, easy. I may have simplified a little as I know the process and why things are that way. Let me provide more detail:

  1. Select New Page, not podcast or post
  2. Enter the title
  3. Set the Categories to be “Events” and “InfoComm2017”
  4. Assign a featured image
  5. If don’t have the image you want, upload the media (yes, another subroutine)
  6. Use existing Tags as appropriate
  7. Create Tags as needed (Don’t set a category and a tag to have the same name.)
  8. Insert a Visual Composer row
  9. Insert a Text Block into the row
  10. Enter the text you want in the text box
  11. Don’t forget to put in links as it helps SEO
  12. Create another Visual Composer row
  13. Insert a Post Grid
  14. Set the Post grid to look at Category InfoComm2017 only
  15. The grid should be 3 entries wide with 30px between them
  16. There should be no block animation
  17. Set the style of Box to be Grid Block – “Event Coverage”
  18. Enter the Meta Description for SEO preview and improvement
  19. Change the author to AVNation
  20. Click Save Button – you probably wanted to do it as you went
  21. Click the Preview Button, check your work
  22. Make corrections as needed
  23. Set the publication time as desired

What I think of as five easy steps is a complex set of tasks and decisions.
It is not complete and  doesn’t include why these tasks and values are needed. That I know this unique information is not job security; it is job stagnation. I cannot do other things, such as write this column, if my time is spent doing tasks only I can do. I tell people, “I am more than happy to teach you what I do, that means I can go do something new.”

When someone goes on vacation, do they leave a set of instructions? When a new employee starts how does one teach them what it means to, “label and build cables.” What heat shrink is used? What is the color code for multipair cable? Where do I get labels?

Documenting processes and concepts is important for every company or group. It is not just about consistency, continuity, and disaster recovery. It also allows advancement and vacations without worry. It isn’t about being indispensable, it is about being a leader and advancing. Don’t be afraid to share.

Thanks for reading, I am off to create the infrastructure for next week’s Webinar. I should probably write down the steps…

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