Why We Are building a Knowledge Team

Posted 4 months ago by Breno Barreto

Being a journalist, I came to VTEX without knowing exactly where I’d be able to apply my experience. Nine months later, I wonder how the company could grow without an area formed by people dedicated to identifying, organizing, and distributing information. Actually, I know it couldn’t. That’s why we are building a Knowledge team.

We needed to meet a couple of conditions for this movement to begin: the CEO’s vision that this was an essential step for the company and the arrival of a person with extensive experience in product management and corporate knowledge. With that, we now have before us a carpet properly unrolled, which at the same time brings safety and pressure to show results.

But what are these results? And how do we intend to reach them?

Our goal

VTEX has been growing faster and faster, multiplying day by day the platform’s reach and its ability to deliver improvements to the customer. This also increases the amount of information created inside the company about itself and the product. It’s as if every employee made a daily transfer of information from their mind to the company’s knowledge cloud.

This happens whenever a feature is updated (no matter how small this update may be), or whenever our work causes a change in data concerning the company (more employees, more offices, more partners, new ways of getting the work done), or whenever a customer’s doubt is answered.

Such accelerating pace of change is natural and desired? we’re proud to be a company that constantly brings new features to our clients and new numbers to present to the market. However, this also generates the responsibility of preventing this cloud of dynamic and ever-expanding knowledge to dissipate over our heads.

As the company grows in complexity, it increases our need to capture the knowledge inputed by each employee, organize that knowledge into a well-structured repository, and offer it in different formats, designed to reach specific audiences through the most appropriate medium? be that audience formed by employees, customers or the market.

How we intend to get there

The first step towards that goal has been given. By getting detached from the Customer Care team and creating a department dedicated to the company’s knowledge, we are making the overall scope of this work clear: it is not a matter of allocating resources to create a good Help Center and then going back to our jobs; neither it is to focus efforts in creating a certification process and then going back to our jobs. Gathering and delivering knowledge is our job, which should be seen as part of a perennial strategy.

Our effort to build a new Help Center is the first step in that strategy: it is a way to begin organizing our company’s knowledge, never forgetting what we’re actually doing here, which is to index and format that knowledge in a way that it can be used by anyone in the company.

In summary, the organizational change we are proposing looks something like this:

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The blue area is the Knowledge team reach

Previously, the distinction between the work done by Customer Care and that of content generation was intentionally unclear. Generating content was part of the work done by everyone who served customers.

However, this double agenda proved to be difficult to implement. In addition, this strategy narrowed the scope of knowledge to customer support.

Now we propose a shift to a new kind of relationship with Customer Care and all other company areas? a relationship in which these areas will act as clients demanding services from the Knowledge team. No longer needing to meet different kinds of demands, the core of our job is well defined, which makes us free to elaborate strategies and serve all areas with well-structured knowledge.

To do so, some of the steps that lay ahead? considering Customer Care as our first “client” and VTEX Help as the product to be delivered? are as follows:

Once this work is completed, we will have built more than a good self-service channel. And that’s because VTEX Help won’t be the company’s knowledge itself, but one of the possible materializations of that knowledge.

Each of the learning objects applied in VTEX Help will be like a piece of lego, reusable in many other contexts, such as courses for employees and partners, certification exams, training, product releases and creation of institutional material.

And most importantly: we will ensure that the growing volume of information about the company doesn’t become a barrier for employees, customers, and partners, but rather an opportunity for them to broaden their vision on how far e-commerce can lead them.

This post was originally published on Brenos’s Medium profile.

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