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17 Oct

Ask, and your question shall be answered

Datum: 2012-10-17 12:00

Do you want to work as undis­turbed as possible? 

Do you want to be able to del­e­gate tasks with­out hav­ing to have to give a detailed expla­na­tion on how you want it done over and over again? 

Do you want to be less inter­rupt­ed by col­leagues who ask you ques­tions you have answered before and which you frankly do not want to spend any more time answering? 

Then cre­ate your very own FAQ

Answer the ques­tion before it is asked

FAQ” is short for Fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions” and the term orig­i­nat­ed in the vast com­mu­ni­ties of dis­cus­sion-groups online. 

Orig­i­nal­ly, FAQ was sim­ply a list over recur­ring ques­tions and their answers which were pub­lished so that these ques­tions would not have to be posed over and over again by begin­ners in each respec­tive field, and there­by dilute” the con­tent in the discussion. 

If you are fre­quent­ly inter­rupt­ed by col­leagues who just have to ask you some­thing real quick” or if you want to make it eas­i­er for the per­son you have del­e­gat­ed some­thing to, you should con­sid­er cre­at­ing a FAQ

The FAQ can con­tain ques­tions you often get as well as ques­tions you expect to get once the per­son you have del­e­gat­ed to com­mences work­ing on the assignment. 

Allow oth­ers to become inde­pen­dent of you

If your col­leagues (or project-par­tic­i­pants, clients or oth­ers you are involved with) can find the answers to their ques­tions eas­i­ly in a FAQ, they will be less inclined to both­er you and will be able to move on faster with their work when they have run into an obsta­cle.

They will not get slowed down in their work, they will in turn be able to give the cor­rect answers to the client who asked for a response and you will be able to focus on what you want to prioritize. 

Do this

  • A FAQ can in its sim­plest form be a doc­u­ment (such as a Notepad-file, a Word-doc­u­ment or some­thing equiv­a­lent) with each ques­tion as a head­ing and then the answer as the body text below. 
    If you have a ques­tion, this is where you will pri­mar­i­ly search for key-words or –phras­es and with ease find the answer to your ques­tion (if the question/​answer is list­ed, that is). 
  • Add the doc­u­ment to one of the com­mon fold­ers you have where your col­leagues can access it eas­i­ly, such as a page on the intranet or in your doc­u­ment-man­age­ment sys­tem. Or, why not share it with any­one via Drop­box or Google Docs. 
  • If you do not wish to refer your ques­tion­ers to a FAQ which some­times can be per­ceived as imper­son­al, you can use it for your own purposes. 
    You can then cut and paste the ready-made answers to the ques­tions into an e‑mail as an answer to the ques­tion some­one sent you, so that you won’t have to artic­u­late the same answer over and over again. 
  • To increase the util­i­ty and use of your FAQ, add ques­tions as soon as you think of them or some­one asks you some­thing, so that the FAQ becomes a bank of knowl­edge that con­tin­u­ous­ly grows. 

The result is increased efficiency

The instances I have found the answers to my ques­tions in a FAQ are innu­mer­able, and I am equal­ly grate­ful every time for not being kept wait­ing for an answer.
If you cre­ate a FAQ, you are doing your­self and the per­son who will ask you ques­tions, a huge favor. 

What is your way?

How do you help you col­leagues to get answers to their ques­tions quick­ly, so that you get more time to work on the tasks you pri­or­i­tize more? Write a com­ment and spread your knowledge.