Running a project ( particularly a maintenance project ) does mean that a lot of the work that comes through is repetitive in nature.

In scenarios like these it does make sense to invest time in capturing any new solutions by team members during the execution of the project. This serves two purposes, the first, allowing you to keep track of new issues that arise and the second, decreasing your reaction time when previously raised issues resurface.

While this is a standard operating procedure for a number of organizations there are many still that do not follow this approach.

Work with your in-house project tools team to either leverage a system that already exists or procure one ( there are a number of free source options out there as well ).

Getting your team involved:

Now that you have this knowledge base up and running you do need to keep in mind that the only way that this grows is by ensuring your team members use this regularly and most importantly, update any new information that they come across.

You can drive this by using either the carrot or stick approach, depending on what kind of project manager you are. I would prefer to do things like sending out mailers once every month mentioning team members and the number of new solutions they've found to promote recognition.

Running informal quiz sessions once a week or once every two weeks is a great way of instilling a feeling of competitiveness and promotes learning as well.

The Benefits:

Over time this approach will help you build a knowledge base that should help you run your application maintenance project a little better.

  • The cost of doing business with you goes down for the client as your team will be able to respond to tickets faster.
  • Your quality and SLA deliverables will improve.
  • Creating an in-house knowledge base that can be used for new team members which would result in a decrease in time spent bring them up to speed.
  • Minimizes your dependence on certain critical team members and thereby your project risk.