What is a knowledge Management System?
Knowledge management includes the collection, analysis, dissemination, and general management of all information that is possessed by an organization. A KMS carries out these functions and follows best practices to deliver optimal results for the organization using it in an efficient and effective manner.
By definition, a Knowledge Management System (KMS) is a system for applying and using knowledge management principles to typically enable employees and customers to create, share and find relevant information quickly. A KMS is a valuable tool for any business operating in our data-driven digital world, particularly those that sell products and/or provide services.
Functionally, an IT backed knowledge management system will collect, store, and retrieve knowledge, find sources of knowledge, monitor and mine repositories for hidden information. It helps automate the knowledge management process and creates efficiencies by providing key players with more time to spend learning from and applying data insights, information, and knowledge.
A successful KMS implementation will:
- Manage and capture knowledge
- Search for and retrieve existing knowledge
- Disseminate knowledge, data, and information to those who need it, and
- Facilitate collaboration within and across teams
Each organization that utilizes a KMS has a different approach to knowledge management and therefore they are often applied differently to achieve the various goals and objectives of organizations across different industries.
Knowledge Management is Not a Technology Solution in Itself. Whilst a KMS is a technology solution and the overall task of knowledge management is facilitated by technology, knowledge management itself is not a technology discipline, knowledge management as a process has been around for decades, emerging long before the internet and even computers themselves.
It is correct that a modern KMS is heavily reliant on IT systems, however, the task of knowledge management itself incorporates several other factors such as organizational processes and its people.
A KMS simply supplements the knowledge management process by providing data capture functionality, configurable processes, and the means to analyze, monitor, and share data, information, and organizational knowledge.
For any company irrespective of size and industry the utilization of a robust KMS is critically important for ongoing success, particularly for organizations that rely on data, knowledge, and information as part of their day-to-day operations.
Benefits of Utilizing a Knowledge Management System
Knowledge management is something that any business operating in our data-driven world should be undertaking. It is widely accepted that knowledge management, when done properly, can provide organizations with a competitive advantage and add overall value, through improved employee efficiency.
Providing a basic starting point for measurement of growth and progress, knowledge management stops employees and other organizational key players from being inefficient through knowledge sharing, helps manage large volumes of valuable data and information, and helps client-orientated firms provide a better service.
In addition to this, knowledge management helps organizations to:
- Promote collaboration within and between teams,
- Focus on and make human capital more efficient, and
- Create an environment for knowledge sharing.
Knowledge management requires a coming together of people, processes and technology, therefore it is almost always more efficient for organizations to utilize a knowledge management system (KMS) to automate the knowledge management process.
Benefits of Utilizing a Knowledge Management System
There are several key benefits associated with the adoption of a KMS for both your organization and your customers or clients.
1. Quickly and widely disseminate knowledge, information, and data
In organizations that collect and process a lot of knowledge, it is not always easy for employees to access, search, and use it. With a KMS in place alongside a robust knowledge management strategy, information can easily be accessed and acted upon by employees, leading to optimized workflows and the sharing of information between teams.
2. Higher adoption of self-service activities
Self-service activities can efficiently and effectively solve a vast range of issues. Whilst this benefits your organization, the true value is the impression it will leave on your customers, clients, and stakeholders through simplified processes and a higher delivered value.
3. Faster, better, and more efficient delivery to customers
KMS provide your employees with additional knowledge by providing efficient tacit knowledge capture, giving them the opportunity to engage with your customers and clients on a wider range of issues. Not only does this help improve your organization’s reputation by impressing your customers and clients, but it increases employee productivity too.
For example, employees working in customer a ticket-based customer service environment can easily optimize their workflow with a KMS as they will spend less time searching for solutions and more time providing them.
The Above Are Just Three Examples…
… there are many, many more. Organizations are increasingly adopting KMSs and benefitting hugely from their effective utilization alongside a proven knowledge management strategy.
What is Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management, by definition, is “the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.” It is the systematic handling of all the information, data, and knowledge assets held by an organization with the purpose of creating value and meeting both strategic and tactical goals and targets.
With the rise of the internet and the digital age, knowledge management has gone from something that was barely considered important to something that is used every day by organizations all around the world, even though some don’t label it as Knowledge Management. After all, the internet itself is a bastion of valuable information that can be tapped into by any person or organization with a connection to it.
What is the Point of Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management as a discipline seeks to accomplish many different things. Whilst not all of these are applicable to every organization, value can be found in knowledge management no matter what your industry or vertical market.
1. Improved and open communication
When knowledge management is adopted by an organization, it creates the environment for improved and more open communications between individuals and departments. When employees and other key people within an organization are more informed, people naturally feel more empowered and are open to enhanced communication.
2. It makes finding relevant information easier
Organizations face many and varying challenges; the need to respond quickly and accurately to customers, solve internal business problems, analyze data and trends, watch the competition and plan strategically for the future. Knowledge management helps by making it easier to find relevant, impactful information efficiently and with relative ease.
3. It eliminates recurrent mistakes
If organizations do not learn from their mistakes, the same mistakes can be made over and over again, which can be costly and make it far less likely the organisation will survive and prosper. Knowledge management enables the sharing of both successes and failures, providing a reference point from which organisations and employees can learn and develop.
4. It helps differentiate you from the competition
It is important to differentiate your organization from others within your industry, particularly in a crowded and saturated marketplace. Demonstrating to your customers and clients that you have vast expertise helps to convince them that you are a leader within your industry and are worthy of their business ahead of your competitors.
Knowledge Management is a Growing Trend
As more and more organizations realize the benefits of applying knowledge management to their operations, it is becoming a more widely used and understood trend that will only grow more relevant as time goes by.