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Knowledge Management Strategies for Seamless IoT Product Development

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Knowledge Management Strategies for Seamless IoT Product Development

Nov 21, 2023   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Amanda Winstead

The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to become a prevalent part of everyday life. People are embracing connected ecosystems of devices to optimize both their personal activities and business practices. This presents some incredible opportunities for companies that develop new IoT products.

But how does knowledge management help you take advantage of these opportunities? Any development project is a combination of multiple moving parts, contributors, and goals. Ensuring that information flows smoothly throughout the project team and the wider organization can boost efficiency and, in some instances, bolster innovation.

Let’s explore some of the ways solid knowledge management strategies can boost your IoT product development.

Create and Document Strong Frameworks

The success of your IoT product development will naturally rely on having a strong network management system as its backbone. By keeping your networks properly organized, you’ll have a stable and secure space for your development team to operate. This tends to include implementing robust firewalls and optimizing the connection speeds of every device on the network. However, on top of creating this framework, you need to produce documentation that helps communicate vital knowledge about it to your team.

This should include a clear diagram of your network topology. Create a visually dynamic map with all the components that are present and how each is connected. Pair each component with relevant data about its related protocols and IP addresses, among other aspects. It’s also wise to produce an active document that outlines key staff members’ ongoing insights into the operation, efficiency, and flaws related to each component of the network.

Sharing knowledge about the framework in this way empowers your IoT development team to make informed decisions about the tools they use during the project. They don’t just see that there’s a secure and practical network in place supporting their actions, but also how they can meaningfully interact with it. Indeed, they may identify areas for improvement that boost the efficiency of your projects.

Streamline Communication Between Dev Teams

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for knowledge management in IoT product development routines is communication. Without solid protocols in place, it’s more difficult to reliably collect and share crucial information.

To address this effectively, examine the common communication challenges in IoT dev teams. From here, you can adopt appropriate measures.

Some of the prevalent issues include:

Remote Team Hurdles

It is not always strictly necessary for all members of an IoT product dev team to operate from the same space. Therefore, there are often opportunities for remote working. Unfortunately, this can present hurdles to the type of communication that supports good knowledge management practices. When everyone is not in the same space, they may find it challenging to openly discuss important aspects of projects or share their observations.

Perhaps the most effective way to address this is to bolster your knowledge management strategy with communication tools for remote or hybrid staff. Give your staff access to software, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, that enables teams to share information in real-time wherever they are. It can also be wise to invest in remote collaboration software, like digital whiteboards, that support asynchronous ideation.

Silos and Cliques

It can be difficult to admit it, but departmental silos and team cliques can often creep into development projects. Aside from being not exactly great for the company culture, this also tends to disrupt solid communication. Additionally, this can mean that small groups — often unintentionally — hoard knowledge that could be useful for other teams and the IoT product project as a whole.

Therefore, it’s vital to create an environment in which such silos and cliques are less likely to arise. This could take the form of arranging vertical office layouts that encourage workers from all departments and levels of seniority to interact. You could also provide training on identifying silos and adopting more inclusive and communicative behaviors.

Make Testing More Visible

Effectively testing your IoT product before launch is essential to its success. Certainly, this helps you to spot design flaws. But it also helps you avoid releasing something that results in poor customer experience and the consequent reputational damage. Within the testing process, develop clear objectives alongside robust test plans that dig deep into the functions of code paths and failure cases.

However, one of the most vital ways to make the most of testing is to enhance its visibility. The knowledge you collect, store, and share from these sessions can influence your dev team’s ability to finetune the product. Adopting good knowledge management practices may make the insights from testing easier to access and action.

You should consider:

●      Involving various development team members in designing and running test sessions. This diversifies the people who both identify what data needs to be captured and can share experiences with their colleagues.

●      Making both raw and interpreted test data openly available. Create shared documents on cloud platforms that all members of the dev teams can access. This can empower your staff to explore the information and respond with their ideas. You’ll usually find this is far more useful than simply informing dev teams what the results are and what they should do about them.

Remember that good knowledge management practices don’t just optimize current information, they also evaluate past data. Make certain that your dev staff has open access to the testing and development logs of previous IoT product projects. You’ll be giving them the tools to avoid mistakes and perhaps even innovate.

Conclusion

Solid knowledge management strategies can be instrumental in supporting your IoT product dev. Between clear network framework documentation and more visible testing processes, you can empower your team to thrive. That said, be mindful that every team has unique needs. Take the time to assess the individual characteristics and challenges of your workforce and identify knowledge management strategies that fit them best.


Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Northwest US area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. She has been following Knowledge Management for several years and it's one of her favorite topics to explore.  Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts.

If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn or check out her portfolio.

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