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Sharing knowledge benefits everyone: the power of Consulting Source 

25 Oct, 2023

How has a colleague approached this issue in the past? What knowledge do other countries have on this subject? Has there been a workshop conducted on this? By sharing knowledge, we enhance our expertise and can serve our clients better and faster. With Consulting Source, we are building an open and accessible platform that allows us to leverage the experiences of others instead of reinventing the wheel ourselves.

Our consultants carry out numerous interesting projects for diverse clients and gain countless insights, experience, and new application knowledge during the implementation of IT solutions. Opportunities are missed if relevant lessons learned are not shared and colleagues can’t apply this knowledge in situations with other clients. The most common question from clients remains: How do others do it?

Breaking down silos

The ability to easily share information with others through a central platform with a standardized structure is invaluable. This applies to consultants with the same specialization, but also to colleagues that work in completely different areas. “We have various service lines, each with its own specialization and a wide variety of knowledge areas. When everyone focuses only on their own confined area, silos emerge,” says Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultant André de Man, owner of the Consulting Source platform.

“That’s a waste, because colleagues from different service lines and knowledge areas are more frequently collaborating on projects.” To encourage knowledge sharing, we built the Consulting Source platform, based on Microsoft SharePoint. “We are also preparing to embrace other technologies that allow us to more effectively apply the knowledge base we are building.” With this platform we are breaking down the silos and making information accessible to everyone within HSO Netherlands, and shortly also for HSO worldwide. Not just for consultants from one specific service line.”

Everything in one place

Andre offers an example: “Imagine that I am specialized in finance, but I want to learn more about logistics processes to help a client. I can consult the page on this subject and find everything we’ve learned about logistics.

It also contains project references from clients, information about work processes, and the content of workshops on the subject. It’s the ideal tool to help you effortlessly expand your knowledge, but more importantly, to adopt an approach that has already been proven in other projects.”

Sharing knowledge internationally

“Populating the platform does takes time,” explains André. “We have a lead consultant for every domain who is responsible for building and maintaining their respective page. We are now assessing how we can free up people to dedicate time to it, for example one day per month. We are continuously looking for ways to give people the support and room they need to be able to contribute to the knowledge base.”

“We want to stimulate people to share their knowledge, but more importantly, to make use of it in their own projects. With help from our domain leads we a forming a better picture of what we don’t know yet, or not well enough.” Currently, Consulting Source is primarily used within HSO Netherlands, but several parts are available internationally. “This way we can also gain insights from colleagues in other countries, and we can better synchronize our international teams. “If our colleagues in Canada run into a subject that is unfamiliar to them, the Dutch team can jump in to assist with their experience and knowledge, and vice-versa. Clients then profit not only from Dutch consultants, but also from our international colleagues and experiences from abroad.”

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