The seventh step in the 12 Steps to KM Success is to define compelling use cases with clear advantages over existing alternatives. Don’t talk about driving adoption or rolling out tools. Instead, talk about the clear advantages of using them over existing alternatives.

For example, you can use COLLABORATION as an acronym that includes 13 use cases that are more specific than just asking people to collaborate.

  1. Communicate: Inform the organization about your activities. plans, and progress; interact with colleagues; solicit input, feedback, advice; or relax, refresh, relieve tension, and laugh
  2. Obtain: Gain assistance from others, find out what others are doing, retrieve information, or receive answers to questions
  3. Locate: Find subject matter experts, documents, credentials, references, sites, official methods, lessons learned, proven practices, or other needed resources
  4. Learn: Become educated on a topic, deepen expertise, or keep current on the latest news
  5. Assist: Respond to a request; respond to a client request for information. proposal, or support; submit a proposal; deliver a product, project, service, or client engagement; or provide expertise
  6. Build: Develop and deliver a presentation or webinar; write a document, or build and deliver a product or service
  7. Offer: Answer questions; provide points of view, proven practices, lessons learned, examples, or official methods; get staffed on a project or client engagement; lead an effort; or praise, recognize, and thank colleagues
  8. Resolve: Identify issues, solve problems, or fix something that is broken
  9. Ask: Ask questions, request advice, or submit a query or request
  10. Transfer: Transfer knowledge; share links, insights, lessons learned, tips, tricks, or techniques; or contribute reusable content
  11. Innovate: Develop new and better ways of serving clients; solicit ideas; manage the innovation process; improve existing products, services, processes, and tools; or invent new products, services, processes, and tools
  12. Onboard: Orient new hires or team members, get oriented as a new hire or team member, or orient new clients
  13. Network: Connect to others with similar interests, work together as part of a team, or connect multiple organizations to deliver services together

Another acronym, SAFARIS, can be used to remember seven key uses for communities and Enterprise Social Networks. Each of these is more effective and efficient that alternative approaches, and that is the strength of offering use cases.

  1. Share a link. “Here is a link to the recording of the most recent Lucidea webinar.”
  2. Ask a question. “Has anyone encountered this problem before, and if so, how was it solved?”
  3. Find a resource. “I’m looking for a specialist in artificial intelligence to help in a project.”
  4. Answer a post. “Here are links to three relevant documents in the knowledge repository.”
  5. Recognize a colleague. “Thanks to Janet Johnson for helping me solve a difficult problem.”
  6. Inform about your activities. “I am working on updating the enterprise taxonomy, so suggested changes are welcome.”
  7. Suggest an idea. “I think we should add a button next to each document in the repository to click on if it was useful.”



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Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield


Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager