Knowledge management is a collaborative process that enables the retention and sharing of expertise in an organization. It aims to maximize the productivity of an organization through sharing success stories and best practices. Tapping in on that knowledge can cut the repetition of mistakes.
Why is Knowledge Management Important?
Your organization’s best practices and resources are its greatest assets. These lend the organization the edge over competitors. The amount of data organizations see on a day to day basis continues to grow in tremendous numbers by the day. Having a knowledge management system can help navigate this data better and leverage it to improve your organization’s well-being.
A successful knowledge management process can improve efficiency and productivity, while cultivating the space for innovative thinking and collaboration among employees. This can push their performance to greater levels.
It also minimizes the halting impact of knowledge loss when subject matter experts move on from your business.
Launching your Knowledge Management Process
Here are five tips to launch a successful knowledge management process within your organization.
The first step towards establishing an effective knowledge management process is to identify the knowledge that needs to be captured. As an organization, you will obtain all sorts of data from all sorts of sources. Your efforts during this step will ripple across the rest of the steps so it’s important to spend as much time and attention to detail as possible here.
Determine where and how information is lost within an organization. Understand where the most indispensable information lies. Where can you gather information about the business’s best practices.
Then, decide on the tools you will be using. Courses and content can be created and then shared on your Learning Management System (LMS). Or use authoring tools like Easygenerator, which enables Employee-generated Learning (EGL), a collaborative approach to learning.
Seasoned learning professionals call on the importance of collaboration in knowledge management. It empowers employees to partake in knowledge sharing.
Apart from this, EGL can prove to be a powerful approach as it is rapidly scalable. It draws data from the biggest data source possible – your employees. Quality can be maintained efficiently. It taps into real-life knowledge and expertise within your organization rather than the perspective of third-party vendors.
The next step is to determine how you will store and maintain the knowledge you have deemed necessary. Your knowledge management system has to group and record information in the most proficient way possible so that your employees can benefit from the information. As mentioned before, EGL empowers employees. Through EGL, experts on the subject matter can share their knowledge, taking the burden off L&D.
While identifying the knowledge that needs to be captured and having a systematic method to achieve that is important, a poorly planned system in disseminating the knowledge can deem this whole process futile. Reflect on who stands to benefit from the knowledge the most. From there, you can determine what would be the best and quickest way for that group of individuals to access it.
A knowledge management system is a process; it needs to be on-going rather than left as something done once and never replicated or reviewed. Consistent reviews, revisions, and evaluations need to be made to keep it at the optimal level. The knowledge you capture can inform the policies and procedures you structure for your organization as well.
Furthermore, it will encourage a culture where knowledge is emphasized, and employees feel encouraged to make a difference. A best practice here would be to allow time, or better yet, establish it as the company’s policy to regularly schedule this in a working week