What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management is a frame of reference that organizations implement to capture, implement, and maximize the value of knowledge through the development of tools and best practices to effectively share, create, access, and retain knowledge.
What is a Knowledge Management System?
Therefore, knowledge management systems generally refer to technologies that enable businesses to collect, store, organize, search, and share knowledge within their organizations. A knowledge management system can take many forms.
Why Introduce a Knowledge Management System?
Organizations have many reasons to implement a knowledge management system, but often the main goal is to help people access knowledge and use it to do their jobs better. However, knowledge is often undocumented, inaccessible, and in danger of disappearing.
Teams use different applications in the same company, creating silos and fragmented information that is difficult to find when customers or agents need it most. This is why knowledge workers spend 30% of their time searching for or recreating information that already exists.
Without sharing and accessing knowledge, employees waste time reinventing solutions, making mistakes others have made before, not getting the information they need to be productive, and responding over and over again to the same question.
Employees retire or leave the company with decades of knowledge of the company. And even if they train their successors before they leave, leaving employees can never communicate everything they know because some knowledge is tacit. The presence of a process helps capture tacit knowledge that may be lost.
Knowledge stored in email or local drives can be lost due to a system crash or a lost or stolen device. All of these situations are inevitable and underscore the need for a proper knowledge management system.
What are the Benefits of Knowledge Management?
There are several benefits of knowledge management (KM) if it is effectively pursued and maintained. Overall, it can help an organization make optimal use of its gathered knowledge.
Specific benefits of knowledge management include the reduction of wasted resources, increased customer satisfaction, improved ability to compete in the marketplace, and greater effectiveness in planning for the future. Exactly how KM can affect a particular organization depends on whether there is a general approach or if the effort is focused on specific areas such as ecology, technology, or organizational design.
One of the main benefits of knowledge management is a better use of all the resources of an organization. This can include everything from employee knowledge to reports on sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction. By maintaining and using this information effectively, the past experience and current qualifications of the staff can be used in the most efficient way to elevate and advance the organization.
The ability to solve problems by learning from past mistakes is one of the other great benefits of knowledge management. By carefully tracking successes and failures, an organization can create an effective list of best practices. This can help an organization in all areas, from customer satisfaction to productivity improvement.
Another strong benefit of knowledge management is that it provides materials to train staff. Both new and current employees can benefit from an organization’s accumulated knowledge. They can also develop an understanding of the organization as a whole and learn more about its internal functions and how it interacts with the outside world. This includes learning from mistakes and building on past success.
With a centralized database that can be compiled with KM, it is also possible to create better consistency across the organization. It is a resource that can help employees at all levels align with the organization’s core values and best practices for the future. Strong knowledge management can improve communication within and between departments and help unify all employees.
Another benefit of knowledge management is that it can help managers and executives direct work to the right resources in the organization. With detailed information about employee capabilities and records of which efforts have worked and which have not, it may be possible to find the best way to save time and resources. This knowledge can also help an organization avoid hiring or keeping too many staff for its needs.