What is Knowledge Management? – Types, Methods, Process, and Tools
Everyone must have heard the cliché “knowledge is power”. But what is the use of knowledge if it is trapped inside the head of your employees?
Did you know?
of employees were looking for a new job as of August 2021
An average of
of employees quit their job in 2021
baby boomers retire every day in the U.S. alone
Source: CNBC, PwC Survey, Visier, Research and MarketsConsider how many times your organization has lost valuable knowledge, assets, and expertise when an employee leaves or retires? Also, most employees are working in remote or hybrid work settings, creating a workforce dependent on shared information. For the same reason, collecting and managing information throughout the organization is critical to business success.
Read to explore:
- What is knowledge management?
- Types of knowledge management system
- Why is a knowledge management system important?
- What are the benefits of knowledge management?
- What is the knowledge management process?
- How does knowledge management help organizations?
- Top knowledge management tools to make work life easy
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is knowledge management?
Knowledge management is a process of defining, capturing, organizing, evaluating, sharing, and retaining all the information assets of the organization. The assets include documents, policies, databases, expertise, and the experience of employees. The primary goal of knowledge management in business is to facilitate the connection of the team looking for enterprise content or information with the people who have the right expertise and knowledge.
With the right knowledge management practices in place, organizations can raise the expertise of teams to improve organizational efficiency. The captured information under knowledge management can include:
Information captured in knowledge management
Types of knowledge management system
1. Explicit knowledge
This kind of information and knowledge can be easily taught and codified, such as SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), mathematical equations, and how to change the toner in the printer.
2. Implicit knowledge
This knowledge explains the process of implementing explicit knowledge. For example, discussion of tasks with an experienced colleague. The experienced employees utilize and share their implicit knowledge to improve the way of operating the team.
3. Tacit knowledge
This knowledge is gained through experience. Therefore, it is not extremely easy to share with others. Some examples of tacit knowledge include “know-how.”
Why is a knowledge management system important?
According to Research and Markets, the global knowledge management market will reach $1.1 trillion by 2026. Clearly, enterprise knowledge management is critical in today’s digital business landscape. It creates an environment where employees can create, learn, share, and leverage their expertise for the common benefit of the organization.
By ensuring that all the employees have access to the required information and expertise, a smarter workforce is built that can make more informed decisions and benefits the entire organization. On the contrary, the failure to store knowledge results in lost productivity, repeated mistakes, wasted time, and dissatisfaction among employees.
What are the benefits of knowledge management?
Every organization can reap the benefits of knowledge management by creating, sharing, reusing, collaborating, and learning information. Implementing relevant knowledge management techniques in your business can lead to diverse benefits:
1. Improves decision-making process
When employees have full access to the knowledge of the organization, employees have access to the knowledge of the entire organization; employees can attain better work quality and enhance their speed of decision-making process. They can easily access the enterprise collaboration tools to facilitate the access to expertise and opinions of subject matter experts with different viewpoints, which can contribute to fresh perspectives and better decisions.
2. Better customer satisfaction
Cross-collaboration and seamless sharing of knowledge help increase the value to the customers. For example, when the team members are prepared, customers will feel more confident about the service and products of the organization. Moreover, the employees can give answers faster and shorten the time to improve the products or services.
3. Promote innovation and cultural change
A knowledge management solution encourages the sharing of ideas, collaboration, and access to relevant information. This access also allows employees to leverage the key findings from other team members and avoid repeating mistakes. Individuals can easily stimulate innovation and cultural changes required to meet dynamic business needs.
4. Speed up access to knowledge and information
An effective knowledge management strategy simplifies the operations of finding the right information, or the people with specific information. A knowledge management portal allows employees to work productively and reduces the time to reinvent the wheel.
Are you looking for a full-fledged knowledge sharing solution that opens the door to a host of benefits? Watch this video to learn 10 practices to explore must-have knowledge sharing best practices and tools.
5. Avoid redundant efforts
No one prefers to spend time doing the same thing repeatedly. However, many employees must do it for many reasons. The avoidance of effort duplication can save a lot of money and time for the organization. In addition, it motivates the employees and streamlines the business processes as well.
6. Accelerated customer delivery
The execution speed is one of the key benefits of knowledge management. When enterprise knowledge management is shared effectively, the company can deliver sooner than others. By sharing internal innovation, employees can significantly reduce the time to provide products, services, or even proposals. It translates to new customers, increased win rates, and business growth.
What is the knowledge management process?
Implementing knowledge management in organizations requires the incorporation of multiple processes. There is a specific way to uncover the existing knowledge, spread the information to provide additional valueand plan the strategy in action.
Knowledge can be collected from multiple sources including people, data, and records. It could be the skillset of employees, expertise and experience developed on the job, or hard drives of data that can affect the business positively. This process can be simplified by understanding the flow of knowledge across the organization.
The collection of available knowledge creates the foundation for future processes. It is important to audit the existing staff expertise, external sources of knowledge, and documentation. A modern intranet offers a range of digitalization tools including surveys, metadata, and advanced search to collect the data efficiently. Post-implementation, the internal processes need to be redefined to make capturing enterprise knowledge management a part of everyday processes.
This process involves an in-depth analysis of collected knowledge. The data needs to be evaluated and organized in a searchable, structured, and accessible manner. It ensures that the shared information is up to date, accurate, and offers value. Utilizing the right knowledge management platform simplifies the process by allowing employees to organize, evaluate, and store a comprehensive knowledge database.
The primary purpose of knowledge management in organizations is to provide employees with the relevant information and expertise they need to do their job in the best manner. Once the foundation of knowledge is ready, the next step is to find out a way to share knowledge. See some examples of sharing information across the organization.
- Internal social networking platforms
- Cross-department training
- Digital bulletin boards
- Company news and announcements
- Document management system
- Informative learning material
In this step, you can start reaping the knowledge management rewards. Discovering, storing, and sharing knowledge is just the start. When employees start utilizing the acquired knowledge and expertise in their everyday processes, it brings enormous benefits in accuracy, productivity, innovation, and decision-making of employees
This final stage of the knowledge management process is to create more knowledge. The knowledge management best practices should never be stopped as a single roll-out will not deliver the expected business results. It is important to consider knowledge creation as a continuous process to leverage productivity and performance benefits.
How does knowledge management help organizations?
Knowledge continues to be a key differentiator when it comes to driving organizational performance. With knowledge management in place, organizations can spread relevant information to raise the level of expertise and improve overall efficiency. When a knowledge management solution is used effectively, it helps reduce time wasted, enable customer self-support, increase cost-efficiency, and provide the required information to create groundbreaking strategies.
Every business needs profound knowledge management tools to manage their information and reduce manual efforts and redundancies. The key purpose of knowledge management tools is to create techniques, systems, and frameworks to put all the information to effective use while ensuring that it aligns with the business strategy. Here are some top knowledge management tools you should use:
Top knowledge management tools to make work life easy
The key purpose of knowledge management tools is to create techniques, systems, and frameworks to put all the information to effective use while ensuring that it aligns with the business strategy. Clearly, every business needs great knowledge management tools to manage their information and reduce manual efforts and redundancies. Here are some top knowledge management tools you should use:
1. Internal knowledge base or “Wikis”
This acts as an internal knowledge hub for your employees. It is packed with internal articles that outline the company procedures. It also has links to relevant wiki articles and shared documents. Some of the shared knowledge base documents include email templates, new hire training documents, company memos, and SOPs for repetitive processes.
2. Document management system
These are centralized digital storage systems for corporate documents. It makes creating, editing, and retrieving the documents easier while managing the approvals and regulatory compliance. When the document management system is backed by Microsoft 365, it is enhanced with backup and password procedures and provides advanced security.
3. Automation system
As automation has become a buzzword and transforming many industries, knowledge management software also leverages its core benefits. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation tools are doing wonders in so many ways, knowledge management can also change the game radically. Here, the automation system of BizPortals 365 shines. You can set predefined triggers and actions that take various manual efforts off your plate. It automatically updates when the task status is changed, notifies when the task is created or assigned, and much more.
4. Collaboration and social networking
Well, it is not necessary to hoard maximum knowledge, but it is more about getting the word out to the team, vendors, customers, and stakeholders. An effective knowledge management portal works most effectively when specific actions are taken based on the gained knowledge. Collaboration and social networking tools contribute information, discuss issues, transfer knowledge, and connect across teams.
The foundation of BizPortals 365 rests on social and collaboration systems. It is not only easy to create, retrieve, and share knowledge with the platform but you can also notify the task updates to the team members. It also integrates with Microsoft Teams to provide instant messaging and video conferencing to add another layer of networking and collaboration.
5. Project management
Most of the team members spent considerable time managing customer demands. Maintaining customer relationships is important for a successful business. But is there a plan for business innovation, and providing immense value for your customers? That is where the project management tool comes into play. Managing projects effectively with BizPortals 365 ensures complete visibility of projects and greater success possibilities.
What is the importance of knowledge management in organizations?
Knowledge management systematizes the acquired knowledge to increase collective learning within the organization. It allows teams to communicate vital information, helping them find the information they need quickly to increase productivity. To organize this process effectively, you will need a knowledge management solution that allows you to:
- Keep the documents and knowledge structured and easy to find
- Standardize organizational processes
- Save the time of employees
- Organize the training material and make it accessible
- Mitigate the risks of knowledge management when employees are having vacation or leaving the organization.
What are knowledge management best practices?
The best practices of knowledge management can help streamline the way of capturing, creating, storing, organizing, securing, and distributing information within the organization. These knowledge management best practices can set a strong foundation for business success
1. Investigate the organizational culture
The first step is to consider the underlying challenges faced by employees. Instead of managing knowledge separately with isolated tasks, knowledge management practices should be integrated within existing business processes and activities
2. Measure the metrics
Measure the knowledge management performance with the help of key performance indicators (KPIs) of the organization.
3. Exploit knowledge
Knowledge management in organizations should be designed to utilize the captured knowledge effectively rather than just managing it.
4. Make knowledge consumable
Instead of dumping knowledge in conventional written formats, present your knowledge in a user-friendly manner. Adopt a standard and actionable format for the documentation to make it easier for employees to find the information they need quickly.
5. Scale your knowledge sharing
Develop the processes that can be adopted by employees in their routine. Incentivizing knowledge sharing also helps in improving the capacity to learn and improve efficiently.
What is the role of knowledge management?
Knowledge management helps in capturing the acquired knowledge, often involving documents, data, and manuals. The key role of knowledge management in organizations is to prevent the knowledge from being forgotten or lost and focuses on embedding knowledge sharing culture. The accumulation, storage and effective utilization of knowledge allows you to create a culture that can enhance employee happiness and improve organizational efficiency.
Knowledge management software is much more than just storing documents and retrieving knowledge. BizPortals 365 sets the stage for doing more with all the information and insights of the organization.