Short on Time Summary

Adopting a knowledge management system will allow you to document and manage the information your business collects in a centralised location. Improve the findability of both explicit and implicit knowledge so your employees can utilise it in their daily activities. Provide the tools needed to independently solve problems, collaborate with the team and make more accurate decisions.

What is effective knowledge management?

Implementing a knowledge management system will enable you to securely capture, store and organise the collective knowledge your business has accumulated. Harnessing the historical information that’s already available within your organisation to strengthen decision making, collaboration, problem solving and more.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses is improving access to their crucial knowledge. Employees need to be able to easily find the information for it to be usable. Too much time is wasted searching for siloed information with around one hour and 40 minutes every day spent searching for information needed to successfully complete tasks. This information is also often incomplete or outdated.

We hosted a webinar on how to use Microsoft’s knowledge management application Viva Topics to capture, organise and utilise your company’s knowledge resource. Watch it here.

When knowledge is not easily accessible, employees become frustrated and distracted, and progress stalls. In our article, we discuss the opportunities introducing standardised knowledge management processes can bring to your business.

Promote independence 

A strong knowledge management strategy will improve employee engagement, enabling your people to work autonomously. Equip them with a well-maintained knowledge base and document library and encourage them to try self-resolving their problems first. 

This can also provide more structure to the onboarding experience. Using the tools and resources available, new employees can independently complete impactful tasks early in their tenure and quickly begin to feel a sense of achievement.

Inefficient knowledge management reduces productivity by interrupting task flow. Projects become delayed as employees waste time searching multiple locations for a document or waiting for other team members to respond before they can continue with a task.

If everyone understands how knowledge is managed, and where to find the resources they need, efficiency will increase. Employees can independently search for answers or contact the relevant person for deeper insight on a topic. Knowledge experts such as helpdesk workers will have more time to dedicate to their own workload if they’re no longer overwhelmed with information requests. Projects reach completion faster and time to market is reduced. Quality of work will also be higher if employees are able to work without splitting their attention.

Capture implicit knowledge

Employee expertise is one of your most important assets. Implicit or tacit knowledge is information held by individuals but not explicitly documented. It’s shared through informal communication and is therefore often lost in conversations. Other employees can significantly benefit from their colleagues’ unique skillsets and perspectives. However, not everyone can access it when they need it because it isn’t written down anywhere.

Critical undocumented knowledge is lost when employees leave the company or transition roles. By adopting a system for replicating and documenting implicit knowledge, you can retain valuable information and maintain consistency across business activities.

Implicit knowledge improves the accuracy of decision making, prevents common mistakes and frees up time for creativity and innovation. Time can be used more efficiently instead of on duplicate tasks or problems that have already been solved. Provide learning opportunities for new employees to familiarise themselves with old projects and understand what was learnt from previous trial and error, even if the team members involved have left the organisation.

Create a culture of knowledge sharing 

Establishing a knowledge management system will help you build a culture of continuous learning and development. Create standardised process to encourage your employees to freely share their expertise and celebrate successes together. Everyone can contribute to the knowledge base, to support organisational growth and reach targets faster.

Regularly participating in idea exchanges will enhance problem solving and decision making. It also promotes a better employee experience focused on creating a sense of belonging and fostering connection. Employees can learn together while completing their usual daily work activities.

Collaboration fuels innovation which will enable your organisation to stay competitive and become more successful. A knowledge management system facilitates knowledge sharing across variable work schedules and different locations around the world. You can ask questions, obtain feedback and communicate in forums.

Strengthen decision making

You can utilise contextual knowledge to make decisions with confidence. When knowledge is stored in a central location, all departments will be working cohesively using the same up-to-date information. Decisions will benefit from the organisation’s collective expertise, not just one team or department. Decision makers can perform better and act faster when they have access to all the information they need in one place.

A knowledge management system also supports people to seek out implicit knowledge. Enhance decision-making by considering colleagues’ previous experiences and evaluating previous decisions and results of problem solving . By easily identifying the most current version of the data, you are also able to conduct stronger analysis and use it to inform your decisions.

Knowledge management technology can support your people to share and use knowledge effectively to meet business goals faster. Organise information to maximise its potential for data analysis, decision making, onboarding and more.

If you would like to find easier ways to share knowledge internally, book a call with one of our expert consultants. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and  subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest insights on improving business processes.