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The Relevance of Knowledge Management to Organizations

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The Relevance of Knowledge Management to Organizations

Aug 11, 2022   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Eric Harris

Knowledge management is an important process and corporations can take advantage of to maximize their potential. Many organizations have a well of knowledge at their disposal, but they can't readily tap into it because it's not well managed and distributed. Insights become difficult to track or gain because trends from past employees, processes, and departments are not properly stored for future use.

Having the right management structure in place will ensure that knowledge becomes easily accessible throughout the organization.

This article discusses what knowledge management entails, the importance, benefits, and more.

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management (KM) refers to the process of collecting, retaining, managing, and sharing knowledge and information within an organization. It typically involves a multidisciplinary approach to achieve company objectives by utilizing the available information within an organization.

More often than not, the knowledge and experience of employees (past and present) can help to tackle future projects. But when such information isn't kept and managed efficiently, the necessary insight will not be available to solve the problem at hand. Then, the organization will have to work on the solution from scratch instead of simply using a copy/paste approach. In short, KM can make an organization faster and more efficient in problem-solving and decision-making.

KM aims to make information and institutional knowledge readily available to staff or whoever needs it.

KM is broken down into three stages:

  • Knowledge acquisition (or creation)
  • Knowledge Storing
  • Knowledge Sharing

By gathering and storing employees' knowledge, organizations retain what has made them successful in earlier times. In addition, sharing this information can help other staff boost performance, thereby improving the entire organization.

The importance of Knowledge Management

The importance of KM to organizations is that it makes them more efficient and aids decision-making.

Decision-making becomes faster since insights from past successes and staff knowledge are available.

Note that the use of KM is not exclusive to executives. Employees looking for information on how to execute a task will have access to the entire institutional knowledge. The result is that the overall expertise of every staff within the organization is at the disposal of each employee. The workforce becomes smarter.

In addition, innovation can grow within the organization since old practices can be identified and built upon.

In essence, KM is a way to share expertise within an organization.

Benefits of Knowledge Management

Some of the common benefits of KM include:

●      Sharing of expertise

●      Quicker problem solving

●      Quicker decision making

●      Reduced time to find information

●      Employee growth and development are fostered

●      The staff becomes more competent faster

●      Improved business processes

●      More innovation

●      Overall time savings

●      Overall organizational agility

Worthy of note is that how well the knowledge is managed plays a role in how much benefit is realized. Therefore, it becomes critical to design and implement an efficient infrastructure to make information readily accessible to every staff within the organization.

Thanks to cloud-based services, anyone can access information from their devices, right from their workstation, without moving an inch. You'd most likely need a managed IT services team to set up and maintain your network infrastructure, manage cloud configurations, and move data to the cloud. Managed service provider definition comprises many tech-related services, so you would have to make a clear agreement based on your unique needs.

Types of Organizational Knowledge

Three types of knowledge flow within an organization:

1.    Explicit knowledge

This is any information that can be easily put in systematic or mathematical form, written, taught, and shared. For example, how to set up billing/invoice, FAQs, instructions, etc. It's a formalized documentation of knowledge that can be used to make decisions, execute a job, or educate an audience.

2.    Implicit Knowledge

Implicit knowledge is gained by applying (or implying) explicit knowledge to a given situation. For instance, you can review FAQs and mathematical formulas to gain insight into the best approach to solve a new challenge. Other examples of implicit knowledge include an employee's ability to prioritize tasks and beat deadlines.

Most times, implicit knowledge has to do with the experience of implicit knowledge.

3.    Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge is intangible and difficult to explain or codify -- it is experience built over time. It usually involves things that we can understand without being said. While tacit knowledge may be challenging to capture and implement, having appropriate structures in place can facilitate sharing experiences between old/retired staff and younger/newer ones.

The Bottom Line

Employees will retire, and some will move on to other ventures. It wouldn't be best to allow their experience and expertise to go out the door with them. With KM, you can share all relevant information organization-wide. So whether staff gets promoted, retired, or transferred, their knowledge can help new replacements easily fill those roles.

At the end of the day, your organization becomes smarter, agile, and more efficient.

~~~

Author bio:  Eric Harris has been working as a junior content writer with OutreachMonks for the past two years. Harris has four year of professional experience in business and technical writing and likes to educate his audience on the latest facts and development in the respective fields. When not writing, he loves to play the Guitar.
 

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