“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is an illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstinerror.
Organizations are continuously looking for ways to boost their staff productivity and maintain competitiveness. That’s why an efficient knowledge management framework is essential to attaining these objectives.
It involves the collection, organization, and dissemination of information within a company. The proper management of knowledge can improve decision-making and boost the overall performance of the company. However, implementing a successful knowledge management process can be challenging.
In this blog, we will explore the benefits and challenges of knowledge management, including tips to enhance knowledge management strategy. Let’s examine this concept in detail.
Table of Content
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management (KM) is the process where an organization organizes, gathers, analyses, and shares its knowledge in a manner that is accessible to teammates easily. Such knowledge includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), training documents, people skills, and technical resources.
The capability to access the right information at the right time, through efficient Knowledge management systems, stimulates collaboration and innovation and endorses accurate decision-making. As per a report by McKinsey Global Institute – the efficient knowledge management system can lessen data search time by 35% and increase organizational productivity by 20-25%.
For raising the overall knowledge level of the organization and its team, here are the goals needed to achieve:
- Enhancing and streamlining the knowledge environment
- Refining the knowledge capture procedure
- Preserving knowledge as an organizational asset
- Augmenting access to organizational knowledge
How to Implement Knowledge Management in 8 Steps?
Implementing a knowledge management process within your company needs an initial assessment of your prevailing business practices so that the knowledge workers can integrate KM wherever required.
Combining the right KM actions with suitable business processes gives your team access to the knowledge they want to enhance efficiency and make important decisions. The following are the steps taken for implementing the knowledge management process:
Step 1: Create KM Program Goals
Before defining a process, developing workflows, and selecting a tool, visualize and articulate the ultimate output. To create the proper program objectives, classify and document the company-wide problems that require resolution and the business drivers that will deliver force and justification for the execution.
Step 2: Get Prepared for Cultural Change
Knowledge management is not just an application of technology but is an overall cultural change. Employees will have to reconsider the manner in which they share the knowledge they possess and develop.
Implementing a new KM program successfully may require alterations within the organization’s shared values and norms. Such changes might make some people resist or even suppress the adaptation. To curtail the negative influence, prepare to administer and manage cultural change.
Step 3: Describe a High-Level Process as a Basis
Defining a high-level KM process is the main step for its successful implementation. Organizations that loosely define or overlook the KM process will not grasp the complete potential of their KM objectives. Common KM best practices to ruminate in your plan comprise knowledge creation, strategy, classification, identification, capture, transfer, measurement, reporting, and maintenance.
Step 4: Define and Prioritize Technology Requirements
This step requires you to assess what sort of technology will automate and enhance your knowledge management activities. You can define and prioritize your KM technology needs based on your program goals and the process criteria and controls.
Understanding which technologies employees use nowadays and what is working for them. Do not take a quick decision to buy new technology without determining your current technologies are meeting your goals already.
Step 5: Evaluate the Current State
The assessment here must cover the five core KM components – people, technology, processes, culture, and structure. A classic assessment should offer the gaps between the current and desired states, the recommendations for closing those knowledge gaps, and an overview of the current state. These references will be the groundwork for the roadmap in the next step.
Step 6: Form a KM Implementation Roadmap
With the present assessment, it is time to form the roadmap implementation for your KM program. But before doing so, you must sanction the senior’s commitment and support, as well as the capital to devise and maintain the KM program. Devoid of these rudiments, your efforts will go futile.
Having concrete evidence of your company’s shortcomings, through the assessment, should make the urgency rate go up. With time, continue to evaluate and develop the roadmap based upon the altering economic conditions.
Step 7: Implementation of the KM Program
Implementing a KM program and evolving the complete effectiveness of your company will necessitate substantial funding and personnel resources. As long as the benefits and value of forming the program are known, there must be little conflict to continue financing in KM.
As you pass through each step of the said roadmap, ensure that you are attaining your short-term goals. Deprived of them, your KM program may lose the support of key stakeholders and desired momentum.
Step 8: Measure and Enhance the KM Program
With the implementation of KM, how will you understand that these investments are working? Here, you need a method to measure your efficiency and compare expected outcomes.
If possible, create some standard measurements to view the performance before employing the KM program. Then, after the implementation, compare the new outcomes to the old outcomes and observe how your performance has enhanced.
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What are the Benefits of Knowledge Management?
For any business running in any sector, knowledge-sharing practice is just the perfect solution if applied correctly. A notable knowledge management system is sure to make it easy to search and reuse pertinent resources and information across your organization.
- Appropriate document management, data mining, and interactive blog posts together make up a perfect knowledge management solution.
- It also includes community interaction through impressive forums in their enterprise portals.
- To enhance your business support, it becomes important to understand the maximum benefits your organization can grab using the special knowledge management systems and its best practices to follow.
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Team Boosting and Employee Alignment
By adapting content management, the team members or resources must be in perfect communication and collaboration with other members to enhance their business growth, communities of practice, and knowledge sharing processes.
- It leads to easy work for resources’ to remain on the same page to complete the pending or running tasks smoothly and helps to minimize redundancies to a great extent.
- With the help of the knowledge management processes, it becomes quite helpful to the employees to know of their decision-making efforts to enhance the business growth to reach the goals.
- Once knowledge of document management is applied correctly, all your company members will continue to work toward a common objective for impressive outcomes.
Enhance Team Productivity
TSIA survey in 2019 said that approx 72% of the organization believed in improvising their knowledge management practice for business productivity. Out of this, 44% were from non-technical support, 15% from customer success, and 13% from professional services.
By making an appropriate usage of the knowledge management processes, the employees can:
- Quickly access the document management covering the best practices to follow and instruction steps to deal with specific tasks, communities of practice, and other resource factors.
- Make the team collaboration and communication efficient amongst the members in real-time situations.
- Use apt tools and technology with CloudTutorial to reach their primary goals.
- More chances that your team expert can get run out of scope, which leads to losing sight of where they are working and not applying knowledge management practice in your organization.
- So, when you include KM in your business plan, it becomes a perfect roadmap for the employees to provide complete awareness and insight from the lessons learned of the varied tasks and functions from previous projects to perform in the future.
Retain Knowledge Within Your Organization
When a senior employee or a valued person resigns, finding a new employee who takes care of the same role and responsibilities becomes quite challenging.
- The key reason is that they have quite good and impressive support experience dealing with the task or activity area.
- Employee loss creates a significant gap in the organization’s workflow and productivity. And hiring a new employee is quite tedious to reach the former employee’s productivity for at least a year—and maybe more.
How to overcome such issues?
- Effective knowledge management process offers knowledge transfer or knowledge storage functionality to minimize the damage and fill the workflow gaps affecting your business when an employee leaves.
- KM also makes employee onboarding easy.
- KM allows the employees to quickly grab the advantage to know the next recurring steps to follow.
- Finally, it can be more tedious to capture the proper tacit knowledge; it can easily document it “in action.”
- All the previous employees’ interactive data, including video demos, impressive portfolios, and other knowledge-based activities, possess tacit knowledge to be taken into consideration.
Offering Added Value and Enhancing Customer Experience
The customers can avail themselves of the advantage of knowledge management in two ways. The creation and delivery of the articles specifically for self-service purposes work typically as customer-facing knowledge.
- It helps them navigate any service or product pages without any team member’s assistance to improve customers and enhance business growth.
- KM handles customer inquiries and makes it easy for the customer to grab any knowledge about their queries.
- It leads to spreading happiness among the customers by spending less friction during these engagements within the organization.
These two benefits usually help the employee in the following ways as mentioned below:
- As the customers can quickly resolve any smaller topics independently, thereby leading to fewer supporting tickets for the same.
- They usually have additional time and energy to invest in solving complex problems requiring a more practical approach on their end.
Only your customers who ultimately finalize it to grab benefits from your knowledge management efforts for any such cases are the real contributors.
Continual Growth Based on Knowledge
Nowadays, almost all organizations focus primarily on gaining business growth in delivering the best product or service to their leading clients in this competitive world. So, it becomes apparent that your business should be more prioritized on knowledge support, thereby enhancing your team members to opt for better results.
What are the Challenges in the Knowledge Management Process?
When talking about a knowledge management system, it’s essential to understand its critical steps during business operations.
- Knowledge Discovery & Detection
- Knowledge Organization
- Knowledge Assessment
- Knowledge Sharing
- Knowledge Reuse
- Knowledge Creation
- Knowledge Acquisition
Now, let us highlight the main challenges that any business faces when knowledge management comes into action.
Your data is essential to your organization, and it needs an ample amount of security to ensure confidentiality.
- It helps your customers build their trust in your brand and stay loyal to you without any fear of leaking data that occurs by mistake.
- Using knowledge management tools and procedures, your data is safe and secure and helps you create a higher brand value, keep your data safe, and ensure that customers stay loyal to your business process.
Improving Organizational Culture
Office politics is a common thing that hinders growth and productivity in many corporations. It leads to hoarding of data, and the flow of sharing knowledge breaks too within the organization.
- Managers often face this type of resistance in their teams or resources when setting up better knowledge management operations.
- To prevent this from happening, managers want to develop a company culture statement of learning, growth, and knowledge sharing.
- If a team can quickly adapt to a change, then they will be able to adjust to new activities and tools too.
Accuracy and Reliability
Ensuring tools and information are up-to-date and accurate is a significant challenge when maintaining a knowledge repository.
- If a crucial data point is inaccurate, it will be problematic for everyone to access the tools for sharing knowledge.
- To ensure accuracy, you will need to keep a check on the knowledge base articles, and as the number of data increases, you might even require a person to keep a check on the same full-time.
- However, in the initial steps, you can set up regular reminders and tools to ensure that everything is in place.
Staying Ahead with Management Technology
No matter what tools or technologies you use, you should expect regular updates or new versions. However, it might be challenging to keep up with all the support tools and constant new updates.
- You need to remember that updates usually come in when there is something better in store.
- These tools will help you achieve more and do things better than you were doing before.
Boosting People Morale
The core challenges they face are getting all the workers working in the same department to run them on the same track for any organization.
- It becomes quite tedious for individuals to calculate a measurement to handle the operation to store and share the data.
- Usually, people, especially developers, find it quite cumbersome to handle the application building’s complete coding structure.
- They demand to share the code with other employees to enhance team motivation and efficiency of the project.
- It works well if we apply for proper training on knowledge strategy, creation, knowledge transfer, maintenance, reporting, and exchanges between the users.
Calculating Knowledge Contribution
Knowledge is a vital asset in everyone’s life. It entirely depends on the human relationship and expertise level that how you apply knowledge. Sometimes, it becomes quite challenging to match the expectation of one person with another.
- For any organization, knowledge sharing must be kept open for all employees.
- In other words, a co-worker should impart his or her knowledge to other workers of the team as needed.
- Here, the motive is to share the greater purpose instead of just waiting for the probable consequences.
So, these were the challenges that occur during the development of the effective knowledge management processes.
Tips to Enhance Knowledge Management Strategy
KM is crucial in framing a strategy for answering the pain points of a company. The preliminary step in the direction of leveraging knowledge within a company is to describe an outstanding knowledge management strategy that is precisely tailored to the requirements of your team members.
For enhancing this KM strategy, below-mentioned are some of the tips to incorporate:
Set Monthly Benchmarks
Setting up milestones and benchmarks help in evaluating short-term accomplishments, but their ultimate efficacy is contingent on their alliance with the whole strategy.
Divide Your Information
Segmenting your information as per task, product or service, and department can make retrieving, accessing information, and content navigation quicker for your team using KMS.
Keep Your Training Process Simple
Onboarding new workforces and training them can be a laborious job for the management irrespective of how long they have been practising the same pattern. To save time and effort and foster intranet adoption rate, the best exercise is to keep your KMS updated from where they can access info quickly.
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Facilitate Active Search Feature
Improving search is all about holding correct archiving standards. Whenever you upload a document or file to your KMS, it should be attached and tagged to precise search terms.
Leverage Social Elements
KMS is an enabler of knowledge culture throughout the company. Contemporary KMS are the driving force of information which are social networks leveraging your worker’s experience and skills by boosting them to create, manage, and organize the content.
Form a Content Creation Framework
Creating a content creation framework can streamline its process by aligning it to a standard layout. It also ensures consistency in the organizational memory. Also, this will assist your teammates with a treasure of information to collaborate and engage smoothly.
- Databases are used to store and organize knowledge
- Collaboration software such as SharePoint, Confluence, and Slack are used to facilitate communication
- Search engines are used to quickly locate relevant information
- Artificial intelligence, including machine learning and natural language processing, can be used to draw conclusions from data and make predictions
- Protcter and Gamble
- Explicit knowledge: Knowledge that is easily articulated and understood and transferred to others.
- Tacit knowledge: Knowledge that is difficult to neatly vivid, package, and transfer to other members.
- Personal knowledge: It is the information that is owned by a person alone and is not shared with anybody else.
- Shared knowledge: Knowledge that is used and shared by a group or community.
- Organizational knowledge: Knowledge that belongs to the entire organization.
Which process suits the best for your business to adopt knowledge management?
A right knowledge management system captures all the relevant aspects of knowledge management with appropriate detail. As organizational needs vary, you must choose the right knowledge management model and right tools to not waste time and resources in capturing irrelevant data.
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