Poor knowledge management costs large US organizations between $2.7 million and $265 million every year. When employees have to wait for answers and direction, it slows down their workflow and costs companies more than just time.
So, it comes as no surprise that companies with great knowledge management grow revenue 58% faster, and are 72% more profitable than competitors without organizational alignment. With a system that promotes the collection and sharing of an organization’s information, team members are better educated and equipped to solve problems on their own.
It can increase your company’s revenue, employee productivity, and satisfaction. If you want to benefit from the power of knowledge management, first, you need to know the basics. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to implement knowledge management in 2023.
- Good knowledge management increases efficiency and productivity, enables educated decision making, reduces outdated information, prevents company silos, and more
- There are 5 main types of knowledge: explicit, implicit, tactic, declarative, and procedural
- The process consists of 3 main steps: knowledge creation, storage, and sharing
- It's made possible with tools like component content management systems, databases, intranets, and more
Knowledge management allows organizations to capture, store, and share company knowledge with users, maximizing efficiency and productivity.
What Is It?
Knowledge management is how many organizations organize, create, share, and use “knowledge”. When we talk about knowledge, it takes a few different forms:
- Explicit: knowledge that is easily written and shared
- Implicit: “know-how” knowledge, or applied knowledge that has not been documented
- Tactic: knowledge gained through personal experiences
- Declarative: static knowledge that is topic-specific
- Procedural: knowledge that focuses on “how”
These types of knowledge can also appear in several formats, like:
- Documentation (handbooks, benefits breakdowns, holiday calendars, product FAQs)
- Team Data (strategies, competitor briefs, best practices, timelines, presentation tools)
- Organizational Data (individual contact information, org charts, brand information)
- Organizational News (media mentions, IT updates, future promotions)
Knowledge management maintains an organization’s knowledge, regardless of its type, where it is easily accessible to creators and users.
Why Is It Important?
Knowledge management is one of the few ways organizations can truly improve the efficiency of operations. It streamlines company knowledge, makes it accessible to all members, and enables effortless sharing.
By adopting it, organizations can:
- Increase efficiency and productivity. Sifting through emails, chats, and documents for the right piece of information is time-consuming. Knowledge management systems serve as a reliable source of information where everyone has access. This helps organizations maximize efficiency, and employees become more productive.
- Make informed decisions. With transparency provided by knowledge management, employees work towards the same goals, using the same information. This ensures that teams can make educated decisions.
- Reduce duplication and outdated information. Even when you finally find the information you’ve been searching for, there isn’t always a way to verify its accuracy. With a single source of truth, provided by knowledge management, companies can ensure reliable information.
- Prevent company silos. Organizations can build transparent communities with open communication. Companies can prevent information silos when everyone has access to common knowledge and goals.
Benefits of Knowledge Management
There’s no denying that organizations run smoothly when companies share accurate information efficiently. More specifically, good knowledge management allows companies to:
- Make good decisions quickly
- Streamline access to accurate information
- Collaborate on idea generation
- Communicate consistently
- Increase security
- Optimize training processes
Reaping the benefits of knowledge management becomes possible with knowledge management tools, like component content management systems.
Knowledge Management Processes
An effective knowledge management system cycles through 3 main steps:
- Creation. During the creation of knowledge, creators define and document new and existing knowledge they want to be accessible across the organization.
- Storage. To store knowledge, an information technology system is used to hold and organize knowledge for sharing. Depending on the system used, knowledge may need to be formatted in a specific manner.
- Sharing. During knowledge sharing, information is distributed across an organization. This is when knowledge is enhanced or acquired through communication with users.
From creation to sharing, each step of the process works together to promote clarity and collaboration within an organization.
Knowledge Management Tools
These tools are what make knowledge creation, storage, and sharing possible. There are several tools that can be used to manage your organization’s knowledge, like:
- Component Content Management Systems (CCMS). Component content management systems organize web content so creators and users can edit and publish company content. CMS supports digital documents (like PDFs), images, video, audio, word processing files, and other types of media.
- Document Management Systems (DMS). This type of knowledge management tool is similar to a CMS, but instead, it specializes in supporting digital documents. Although some media types, like video and audio, are not supported by DMS, they are useful for easy retrieval of documents, like onboarding guides.
- Intranets. Intranets are only accessible to members of an organization, serving as a private network that allows users to share tools and processes. These can be more expensive and time-consuming to maintain but are effective in providing groupware services.
- Wikis. Wikis as a knowledge management tool are popular because users can effortlessly upload and update information. Although, this level of simplicity can lead to inaccurate information.
- Databases. This tool allows organizations to capture, organize, analyze, and use data. Information in databases can be made widely accessible and secure. Although a high level of skill is needed to use and maintain databases, they serve as very effective tools for knowledge management.
Choosing the best knowledge management tool for your organization can maximize performance, innovation, and organizational learning.
Get Started Today
Good knowledge management has the power to maximize your organization’s efficiency and user satisfaction. Companies that use knowledge management tools make educated decisions quickly, streamline communication, and optimize their organizations' processes.
Are you ready to get started? Heretto Deploy makes creating consistent, positive user experiences simple. Start implementing knowledge management today by booking a demo, or visit Heretto’s deploy portal to learn more!