The APQC Blog

Capturing Knowledge Leads to Improved Processes

Whenever I meet a person for the first time, invariable, the “what do you do for work” question comes up.  I have tried over the years to succinctly describe what we do at APQC, and what role(s) I play.  However, sometimes my description doesn’t always excite them, so the follow up question, (as they try to figure out how to change the subject to something they can contribute) is, “what is your favorite part about your job?”  Now, that one I can answer.  I love working with my clients. 

We were recently working with a leadership team that is dealing with an common occurrence that we address quite a bit, “we have all this knowledge in our organization, but can’t find it.”  The reasons organizations have a hard time finding this knowledge is that critical knowledge is located in so many places, and  very rarely is it consistent across the enterprise.  Think about it – where is the knowledge that you need to do your job stored? 

  • Our SharePoint site
  • File and folders on a shared drive
  • My local computer
  • In my head/co-workers head

The worst part about all of those locations is that the information isn’t consistent, and it is constantly reinvented, and updated.    

The solution:  Use the PCF as a catalog management tool

The PCF is a bit of a “Swiss Army knife,” but levering the hierarchy to capture process knowledge is one of the most powerful tools that is often overlooked.  By aligning process knowledge to specific processes that are numbered and fall into a “parent/child” structure, once you know the category, you can easily find meaning process information and knowledge. 

The University of North Texas System Administration married their process knowledge with content knowledge and created a centralized repository for documentation.  This allowed for the consolidation of taxonomy across three separate independent sites into one shared services center that spoke the same language. 

At The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), they used the PCF as the basis for the creation of their Process Asset Library (PAL).  PAL ties processes to documents, information, and the individuals that help execute work.  ARDEC realized the need to centrally store the information that people are looking for in order to have one source of the truth, all the time. 


So what are you waiting for?  I know you have knowledge floating around in your organization that you want to capture and put into the flow of work.  Give it a try, and as always, let us know how we can help.