Knowledge management can be referred to as a concerted process to outline, structure, retain and distribute information, techniques, business protocols. Knowledge as such is a multi-layered effort in increasing the efficiency and the turnover rates of an organisation that would eventually help them in outmatching all market competition.
It is imperative for an organisation to undertake a conscious process of organising and disseminating said information about its internal workings in order to streamline corporate information. This in return will benefit not only the employees with a growth mindset, but also help customers in better understanding their positions and how to maximise benefit for themselves and the company in question, simultaneously.
There are majorly three important areas of knowledge management:
This is the part of the process where the effort is focused on gathering the various kinds of collective knowledge the organisation has at its disposal and quantity of information gains precedence over quality, as the organisation aims to create an overarching database of knowledge that could help answer a multitude of questions for employees and customers at various levels of the firm.
During the process of storing whatever information has been gathered through accumulation as mentioned above, formatting information on the basis of quality is the prime focus at this stage. It would be more inconvenient than having to go through rows of out-of-context- information to get to the parts that are urgently required; which brings us to the final part,
Having quantitatively acquired and qualitatively stored, the organisation would now need to find ways to share this knowledge with its entire base of employees or customers on a periodic and on-demand basis. It goes without saying that all the collective knowledge of the organisation, and even of the world, would be rendered of no value if it is not made readily accessible at least temporally, if not spatially.
One of the best methods to stay, not just afloat but, well above market competition is to facilitate a learning culture within the organisation and incentivise climbing up the growth curve which in turn encourages sharing of common knowledge. However, it is somewhat redundant to discuss knowledge management if one does not first delineate the kinds of knowledge that exist under the scope of knowledge management. These would be, namely, Tacit knowledge and Explicit knowledge.
Tacit knowledge is more of an intuitive variety. This kind of knowledge is seen to be somewhat harder to share with a broad base of employee considering it involves ingenuity, innovation, novel perspectives and the likes. Employees can be trained to inculcate methods to help enhance their creativity, however, it cannot be handed on a platter to them as structured knowledge they can emulate or make use of practically.
Explicit knowledge is way more structured in the sense that it can be precisely described, codified and taught to a multitude of employees. This naturally implies that the user can put it into practical use readily and does not have to employ a great deal of personal ingenuity to decipher and apply this knowledge as and when required; which means it could include topics ranging from business practices to rapid troubleshooting and the likes.
Businesses stand to extract a lot of benefit from standardised knowledge management protocols. A list could be made of endless possibilities that arise out such structured programs to keep a business relevant and cutting edge, however for purposes of managing knowledge efficiently at the moment we need to truncate it to the most relevant benefits that organisations stand to gain.
For any business to create a visible market impact and to create a brand value, it needs to not only structure but also organise and store collective knowledge such as trade secrets, market practices that have worked so far. This information is essential for employee onboarding so they are familiar with the brand’s ecosystem and morals. Employees need to be taught all the available information relevant to that corporate level to avoid practices that do not shell out desired results. Uninformed employees or half-informed agents are a curse to a business which will reflect financial loses and will harm a prospective legacy-building operation.
The only way to stay ahead of the curve, both organisationally and individually, is to engage in a constant process of learning. Knowledge management at its core makes a multitude of information readily available to those who require it and whenever they do. An employee facing an obstructive issue can look up past instances of a similar problem occurring and will know how it was solved to eventually temper said solution to aid in resolving the issue at hand. This takes the load off the help desk and supervisors involved to attend to more crucial tasks and facilitates a wholistic growth of the business. In any case, without a proper repository of relevant knowledge at one's disposal in today's information age - any serious employee or business is bound to fall behind in the market competition.
A business stands to gain a lot if the overall burden of work is shared between employees at the various level. Employees at the front end would not require waiting for assistance from an already overburdened help-desk. A workforce that is well versed in not only collecting and organising information, but also timely resolution of various problems has multifaceted benefits. It not only (a) frees up human and technological resources to deal with, both, ongoing internal and unforeseen crises but also (b) enables the employee who knows the issue facing them better than someone in a second hand position to solve it in a timely manner; thus eventually taking a stride toward skyrocketing rates of productivity.
The importance of a commonly accessible knowledge management system lies in how readily it is available to the customers. Employing a Chatbot would ease this process. A bot will scout through the knowledge base faster than agents and will offer readymade solutions to the customers when they raise a ticket. In case the bot fails to neutralize the situation, it will engage the customer until the next agent is available. This would not only make solving an issue easier for the said employees that are involved but now the business in question has an entirely new perspective to solving a problem added to its inventory.
Stemming in part from the point stated above, novel ways of connecting information does not happen in a mere mechanical way. Thus, several knowledge bases like our CZ Guide, come with a segmentation feature. It allows decision makers to dissect and categorise information for better usability. This categorization makes intra-organisational communication easier than before, ensuring that all departments remain equally informed thus, facilitating enhanced teamwork.
To conclude, a knowledge management system benefits not only individual employees or specific departments in an organisation but most importantly, the business as a whole. The benefits lie in elimination of functional inconsistencies, eradication of repetitive instructions and creates a self-reliant environment for the customers.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.