Knowledge Management in a nutshell

Jan 16, 2022
  • operations
  • IT
  • OpenText
  • Microsoft

Knowledge is the new gold. For any organisation to thrive, it is key to adopt a solid knowledge management practice. What is knowledge management exactly?

Knowledge management is the capturing, storing, sharing, and effectively managing the knowledge and experience within an organisation to increase the workforce's overall knowledge. The primary goal is to improve efficiency, productivity while retaining critical information and intellect capital. It is important because it boosts an organization’s decision-making ability. 

Knowledge management cycle

Flow of the knowledge management cycle

1. Creation

The knowledge management cycle starts with the creation of knowledge. The most common form of knowledge in an organisation are explicit knowledge. Often captured in reports, manual and guides. They are normally in digital format from an email thread, PDF or a PowerPoint deck. While seemingly straightforward, most overlook the basic best practices such as standardising a naming convention and taxonomy. The lack of proper standardisation and enforcement would result in an adverse affect on how these information would be retrieved down the road.

2. Storage & organisation

With the vast amount of knowledge across an organisation, they must be stored and organised in a deliberate manner. This is a critical process of the knowledge management cycle, without it, it will be difficult or even impossible to retrieve the knowledge in the future.

A system can be created that is mapped and categorised, where the knowledge becomes more accessible manner, aligning to the organizational structure. This can include scanning physical documents, adding metadata to documents and indexing.

3. Sharing

The discovery and exchange of knowledge is the crux of knowledge management cycle. Knowledge can be acquired or enhanced through exchanges and discussions with other employees within an organisation.  By implementing a standardised taxonomy and structure, users would be able to locate their intended materials efficiently. 

A good knowledge management practice also takes into consideration security and privacy. Certain information might be classified to certain individuals and therefore be restricted on a need-to-know basis. Taking security one step further, there are existing solutions which allow an organisations to capture personnel access history of certain documents.

4. Disposal

The final step of the knowledge management cycle is the disposal of said knowledge. To ensure that knowledge centres are kept relevant and up-to-date, information which can be scheduled to be archived or deleted according to the needs of the organisation. 

How knowledge management add value to organisations?

When an organisation can easily access, share, and update relevant business knowledge, it can become more productive and cost-efficient. Accessing the proper knowledge at the right time via a robust knowledge management system allows for higher precision when making decisions. It stimulates collaboration and innovation within an organisation.

Benefits of knowledge management

As employees within an organisation shares knowledge and information effectively and efficiency, the business is also bound to see enhanced performance. The many benefits of knowledge management includes:

  • Faster decision-making
  • Ease of access to knowledge and information
  • Increased likelihood of collaboration and ideation
  • Improved quality of information and data
  • Enhanced communication throughout an organisation
  • Increased security management
  • Optimised employee training
knowledge management can reduce information search time by as much as 35% and increase organisation-wide productivity by up to 25%
- McKinsey Global Institute Report

In conclusion

With the best knowledge management practice in place, an organisation is on its way to building a smarter workforce which is more able to make quick, informed decisions that benefit the organisations.

It would greatly cultivate an innovative culture within organisations, where their customers stand to benefit from increased access to best practices and a reduced employee turnover.

The importance of knowledge management is growing. As the marketplace becomes more competitive, one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to build your organisation in an intelligent, flexible manner.

Exploring knowledge management solution in your organisation?

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