Roger Dimant

How long does it take to find the answer to a question?

You are working on a project, and you realize that you do not have a piece of information that you need. So you enter your company’s various platforms to search for the data you need. Maybe you even email one or two people to ask for help. No matter what, finding the answer to your question is a time consuming process.

How long does this process it take? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Simply put, the length of time depends on a few things:

  1. Company Size: The more employees a company has, the longer it may take to find the answer you need. In a large company there are more people, data, and information with which to engage, potentially resulting in a prolonged search process. In a small company, however, the options regarding where to turn for help are limited, which could possibly reduce the amount of time involved.
  2. Proximity to Colleagues: It might be easier to find information when a company is physically concentrated, because coworkers and information are located in one central place. Conversely, when a company has multiple offices and some employees work remotely, it may be harder to get a hold of the person who has the information you need.
  3. Complexity of the Question: If the question itself is multifaceted, then the answer is almost certainly intricate, as well. A complex answer takes time to formulate, as it most likely involves compiling various pieces of information. Alternatively, a simple question that merely requires a factual answer will probably be easy to find.
  4. Quality of Resources: Without good resources, systems, and platforms that help you and your colleagues share knowledge and information, finding answers to your questions will mostly likely take longer than necessary. At the same time, employing too many systems with a variety of functions could also slow down the search process. Therefore, note that high quality tools that centralize knowledge are likely to be beneficial when it comes to quickly finding information.

It is important to understand, though, that none of these are steadfast rules. For instance, a large enterprise may have excellent resources and systems that makes finding answers a breeze, whereas a small company may not a have good knowledge management platform, thus significantly lengthening the search process. There are a number of dependent variables that you must take into account. Each company is different, and you should take the time to analyze what is and is not costing your company time when it comes to searching for information.