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Capturing Knowledge for Organizational Development

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Capturing Knowledge for Organizational Development

Dec 08, 2020   |  By
Ekta Sachania, KMI Guest Blogger

The effective knowledge harvesting, utilization, and sharing are pivotal to competitive advantage for any organization. As Sir Francis Bacon quoted “knowledge is power”. The channeled knowledge through the Knowledge Management (KM) system helps bridge the skills gap, allowing people to make better decisions and provide efficient and productive results, ultimately leading to time and costs savings.   

Knowledge can be broadly divided into two categories: explicit and tacit.  explicit knowledge can be easily codified and retained by the organization via manuals, documents, eLearning courses, etc. However, tacit or intangible knowledge that comes with people’s experiences and expertise can only be retained and channelized as explicit knowledge via the network of KM communities. This knowledge leads to better decisions and outcomes benefitting not only the people but the organization as a whole.

Below given are some of the most effective knowledge management practices to capture tacit knowledge and setting KM framework in any organization.

1. New Joiner program – A highly effective means of getting a new team member up to speed in a team is the new joiner program. This initiation process includes providing playbook, resource guide, manuals of common tools, processes, procedures, important contacts, etc. for effective knowledge transfer to the new joiner.

2. Exit Program – When an employee leaves the organization or team, he or she takes away all the tacit knowledge. It is vital to have in place a robust exit interview process ensuring the capturing of all the relevant learnings from the employee: including key job responsibilities, location of documented processes, positive and negative experiences, key contacts, etc. This knowledge should be wisely used for the on-boarding of new employees ultimately leading to over organizational development.

3. Sharing Best Practices - In layman terms, “best practices” is a technique that through experience produces better and tangible results compared to other tried methods. Capturing and sharing of best practices should be a critical component while setting up the KM framework to get the maximum possible benefits of shared experiences and knowledge.

4. Setting up Knowledge Repositories – Setting up a knowledge base and SME directory that can be easily accessed by all employees for best practices, thought leaderships, processes, and procedures can be an extremely effective cost and time-saving tool leading to greater productivity.

5. Collaboration and Communities – Collaboration and KM Communities are the building blocks of a KM framework. Collaboration allows people to connect with the other practitioners to share information, best practices, and breakthrough ideas for Innovation. Collaboration can be facilitated effectively using social network tools used in your organization, be it chat, blogs, wikis, live stream, panel discussion, audio/video conferencing. These powerful technologies are highly effective to promote collaboration in scenarios where the audience is globally dispersed or works virtually. Communities are a platform that can be used to capture the tacit knowledge shared by the collaborators into explicit knowledge that can be then accessed by employees globally.

6. Metrics Analysis – To measure the impact of the KM framework, measuring KM activities via metrics is of critical importance. The direct impact of KM on productivity, operational efficiency, cost reduction can be achieved by analysis of ROI metrics. The regular analysis of KM tools and initiatives can be also critical while upgrading the KM framework.

The purpose of the KM efforts is to make accessible the right knowledge to the right person at the right time. The above-mentioned practices are not exhaustive and certainly vary depending on your organization’s goals and priorities, however, they form the basis of effective KM.

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Ekta Sachania is an experienced Knowledge and Content Manager based in India.  

View Ekta's LinkedIn Profile here...
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