Why you should think
about Knowledge management
Knowledge management, in the most general sense, is finding ways to create, identify and store knowledge in the organization (wherever that knowledge is – in databases, information systems, on paper, or in people’s minds) and its distribution to people and teams who need it and would create added value by using it.
“What is knowledge?” is perhaps also a logical question… In the context of the organization, we accept that knowledge, according to one of the leaders in Ernst & Young, is what people need to know to be able to do their work.
Our work related to knowledge management in the organization is to find a way to turn data and information into usable and useful knowledge and, accordingly, to distribute it to the people who need it.
How do we know that the time has come to think about a knowledge management system?
Without a unified information system, we cannot have a unified message to the client. This is especially true for large organizations. When we notice that:
- the organization lacks quick access to up-to-date information;
- email communication begins to be “overexploited”;
- organization’s management finds it difficult to communicate changes in real time,
…we can conclude that the time is ripe for a knowledge management platform.
We can mark some of the questions related to knowledge management, that could be asked by different departments in the organization:
- For example, in the HR and Training Department, questions such as: What are the training needs of the organization? What additional skills and knowledge are needed and for which people? Which skills and knowledge are related to storing, sharing, and managing knowledge?
- The IT department is likely to have questions such as: Who and what information does the organization need? Or: How to preserve knowledge (and intellectual property) in the organization? What systems and tools are needed and would support the knowledge management process?
- Businesses would probably ask: How do we allocate our resources and how to provide up-to-date and timely information to the entire organization? How to stimulate the generation and sharing of knowledge? What is the structure of our organization, and does it need to be adapted to the processes of knowledge management?
We can combine all these questions into one major question:
How to develop strategic knowledge that will bring added value to our customers and partners, and of course, to our organization?
Тhe 4-Step Plan: Where to start when we are about to implement a knowledge management system?
- I would advise companies to start building a strategy and overall vision for the transformation of the organization to active management of (digital) knowledge. Add “knowledge sharing” to your list of core values and communicate it with the entire organization.
- Develop a holistic approach and plan for implementing this strategy. Take the time to design your knowledge management processes, along with support systems, roles, tools, and metrics (KPIs).
- Start implementing the developed plan by applying its various components – roles, people, processes and supporting technologies that support and design those already listed. If possible, identify milestones and quick-wins and communicate them with all stakeholders.
- Try working “Agile”. Do not wait too long to deliver the first versions of processes and tools. Define and deliver the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as early as possible, gather feedback and continue with Continual Improvement.
It would be a mistake to try to implement Knowledge management as a short-term project with immediate benefits. Instead, it is good to see this as a long-term strategy for the entire organization. Remember, knowledge management is first and foremost a process that covers the entire organization, and software is just the tool that supports the process.
Knowledge management reflects the dynamics of the company’s development. If the company is dynamic and we strive to respond quickly and adequately to market needs, this often leads to rethinking and restructuring the types of information and processes that we submit to the entire organization.
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Cloud Solutions, Microsoft
Bojil is a software architect helping companies in their digital transformation journey. He has deep knowledge and practical experience in cloud adoption strategy, digital collaboration and agile analytics.