Developing our Core Competences

These are the questions I think we should reflect upon to get a greater understanding each of our information service’s core competences with a view to develop them for the challenges of the future.

Knowledge Management

  • How proactive should we be in seeking out where organisation knowledge is held and perhaps hidden?
  • How do we make tacit organisational knowledge explicit?
  • Who do we need to liaise or negotiate with to access this organisational knowledge?
  • How do we access, hold and share organisational knowledge in SSiD?
  • How do we disseminate the information we are presented with, decode it and present it to staff and students as usable information?
  • What skills do we need to develop to effectively uncover, disseminate and distribute organisational knowledge?
  • How can we expect students to understand some of more opaque procedures when some of us still don’t understand them ourselves?
  • What level of cooperation, collaboration and co-creation with colleagues do we need to engage with to release useful information to students?

Information Management

  • How do we respond to the changing information needs of students?
  • Are key operating procedures documented, available and accessible to staff?
  • Do staff refer to procedures/knowledgebase when delivering services?
  • What are the different systems we use to record and retrieve information?
  • Does the process of recording and retrieving information improve the information quality?
  • What systems do we use to help record, store and share information?
  • How effectively do we use information to respond to enquiry handling?
  • When information issues arise that are not covered by existing policies or procedures, how do we handle them?

Content Management

  • What is content and how is it different from information?
  • What are the stages of the content life cycle?
  • How do we manage the content life cycle?
  • How do we ensure the effective reuse of content?
  • How do we make content appropriate and effective for specific channels?
  • How we repurpose paper publications content for the web, information sheets, posters, social media, emails, etc.?

Communications Management

  • Why are sending information?
  • Who needs what information? 
  • What information needs to flow in and out?
  • When is the information needed?
  • How will the information be formatted?
  • Who will be responsible for transmitting the message?
  • Who will be responsible for providing the information?
  • How do we ensure there is effective feedback to confirm that the message was received and understood?

Service Delivery

  • How do we make sure that existing customers are clear about what they can expect of us?
  • How do we make sure customers are aware of the options available to them?
  • How can make high quality customer service consistent?
  • What areas of service delivery do we regularly monitor?
  • How do we use the service level agreement, customer care policy and customer performance standards to reflect on their service delivery?
  • Do customers understand how they can access ours what they should expect?
  • How do we empower staff to take retrospective action in terms of service recovery?

Service Feedback

  • How should staff respond to negative feedback they receive?
  • How can we empower staff to make sure service recovery takes place?
  • How do we make decisions about which items of feedback to act on?
  • How do we information students about improvements based on their feedback?
  • How do we feedback comments from student about services provided by colleagues?

Service Review

  • Do we have an accurate understanding of customers’ expectations?
  • Do our customers perceive our products/services as meeting or exceeding their expectations?
  • Are there specific standards in place to meet customer expectations?
  • Do our products/services meet or exceed the standards?
  • Is the information communicated to our customers about our products/services accurate?
  • Do we understand the cycle of service for each service we provide?

Service Improvement

  • How do we identify and diagnose existing problems?
  • How do we test changes that we think will solve problems?
  • What changes can we make that will result in improvement?
  • How do we standardise those changes?
  • How do we measure improvement to service?
  • How will we know improvement is a result of the changes we have made?
  • What are we trying to accomplish?

by Scott Castle
31 January 2016
updated 3 March 2017