What is knowledge management?
Let’s start by looking at the definition of knowledge management. Knowledge management is about how knowledge is created, shared, used, and managed within an organization. The goal is to use the knowledge and resources within an organization optimally, so employees can work in the best way possible and meet their team’s or organization’s objectives.
One of the greatest benefits of successful knowledge management is that it can improve efficiency and productivity while cultivating innovative thinking and collaboration among employees. This can push employees’ performance to higher levels. It also minimizes the halting impact of knowledge loss when employees move on from your business.
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.
The 9 most important knowledge management process steps
The amount of data organizations see daily grows and grows. Knowledge management can help navigate this data better and leverage it to improve your organization’s well-being.
The first step towards establishing an effective knowledge management process is identifying the knowledge that needs to be captured. Determine where and how you lose data and information within your organization. Understand where the most indispensable information lies and where you can gather information about the business’s best practices.
Your efforts during this step will ripple across the rest of the steps, so it’s essential to spend as much time and attention to detail as possible here.
2. Brace your organization for change
It’s impossible to successfully implement a knowledge management process if stakeholders and employees are not on board. Ensure they are ready to participate and believe in the benefits it has for the organization and its employees. You may have to jump some hurdles to get your stakeholders there. Try to overcome barriers by pointing out the benefits of knowledge management.
Recruit employees who are willing to set an example and are good at encouraging their colleagues to share their knowledge. When they do, reward them, so everyone in your organization sees that it’s fun and engaging to participate in knowledge sharing. And most importantly, that there is something in it for them.
3. Define knowledge management objectives
It’s important to know where and how you lose knowledge within your organization, and what information or practical knowledge employees need to execute their tasks. Think about what the ideal situation for your organization would be. Based on that, define and document both short- and long-term objectives. These help you address your organization’s challenges and solve them.
Specifically, short term objectives enable you to check in and validate whether your process is getting you where you want to go. With long term objectives, you can create and communicate the big picture within your organization. Both help you to get to the next step: outlining a knowledge management process.
4. Outline your knowledge management process and strategy
Your objectives are not the only things that help you realize the implementation of knowledge sharing in your organization. Along with that, it’s important to outline your knowledge management process and strategy. These two things help you to make necessary improvements and aid you in getting where you want to go.
Also, a solid knowledge management process and strategy are crucial things to have in order to get funding from stakeholders within your company. And to make sure that all stakeholders who will be involved are on board and kept up to date. The success of sharing knowledge depends on them, too. Relevant subjects that can be a part of your process and strategy are the identification, classification, capturing, creation, validation, sharing, maintenance, and measurement of shared knowledge.
5. Pick the right knowledge management tool
Tools, systems, and platforms facilitate the process of knowledge management. It is critical to choose the right one for your company. Roughly put, there are closed and open knowledge sharing tools. Closed tools are great for creating and sharing files, but if you want your employees to capture and share their knowledge, they aren’t ideal. Open knowledge sharing tools are a great solution because employees can capture and share knowledge themselves, and access resources anytime, anywhere.
Our authoring tool enables Employee-generated Learning, a collaborative approach to sharing knowledge. It empowers employees to partake in knowledge sharing. Apart from this, Employee-generated Learning has proven to be a powerful approach as it is rapidly scalable. It draws data from the most significant 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.
6. Capture relevant and meaningful knowledge
Suppose you pick Employee-generated Learning as an approach for your knowledge management process and have chosen a tool that employees can easily use. In that case, they can start capturing and sharing their knowledge. The next step is to determine how you will manage capturing and maintaining the knowledge you have deemed necessary. Your knowledge management system must group and record information in the most proficient way possible so that your employees can benefit.
7. Capture relevant and meaningful knowledge
While it’s essential to identify the necessary knowledge and have a systematic method to achieve that, a poorly planned system in disseminating the knowledge can make this process futile. Reflect on who stands to benefit from the knowledge the most. From there, you can determine the best and quickest way for that group of individuals to access it.
8. Measure the performance of knowledge sharing
There is only one way of knowing whether your efforts are paying off: collecting qualitative and quantitative data. These give you balanced insights into what is working and what isn’t. Examples of qualitative and quantitative data are the number of courses made, the number of courses completed, the number of new users, how often courses are shared, NPS, and outcomes of surveys. Based on your collected data, you can take the necessary steps to improve compliance, performance, quality, and value gaps to improve your knowledge management effectiveness.
9. Measure the performance of knowledge sharing
Knowledge management is a process; it needs to be ongoing. 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 employees feel encouraged to make a difference. A good knowledge management example here would be to allow time or, better yet, establish it as the company’s policy to schedule this in a working week regularly.