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Successes and Failures of Knowledge Management

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Successes and Failures of Knowledge Management

Sep 28, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Wonda Lafond

Knowledge management is by far one of the most important tools in the inventory of a successful business. In other words, having a knowledge management strategy can directly impact the way your business functions and how well it performs in different aspects.

However, there’s also a different side to knowledge management. If used incorrectly, knowledge management can be harmful to your business.

Read on to find out about the successes and failures of knowledge management and how you can use it in your own business.

What Is Knowledge Management?

At its core, knowledge management is an approach to organizing and sharing knowledge within an organization or company. It’s a highly systematic approach that helps you convert expertise into value within your business. A knowledge management system (known as KMS) is a tool that will be useful to businesses of all types and sizes, no matter what your industry or niche is.

Knowledge management might seem like a fairly recent invention, but it actually has its roots in the 1980s. In fact, the term itself was coined in 1987. Management consultants were the pioneers of knowledge management at the time as they realized how important capturing, organizing, and sharing knowledge within an organization was. When businesses started transitioning to a more digital-based setup, knowledge management gained more traction.

To put it simply, businesses realized that the new tech they were integrating into their systems could be used to connect different departments as well as new and veteran employees. By using databases, wikis, and intranets among other things, businesses were able to share knowledge and information easier to build better business infrastructure.

But even though knowledge management might seem like a solution to all of your business problems, it’s not that simple. There are many challenges to using knowledge management and many ways how everything could go wrong if you use knowledge management incorrectly.

Successes of Knowledge Management

Obviously, it’s worth starting from the successes or advantages of knowledge management. Here are just a few major ones:

  • Better Organization: First and foremost, knowledge management can help you get better organization within your business, both in terms of processes and the way you manage data. It will be easier to find and recycle or reuse resources and information which will lead you to…
  • Structured Business Processes: More relevant information and resources will help you create better products and services and maybe even outperform your competitors.
  • Informed Decision-Making: By using your knowledge correctly, you can perform more informed decision-making. This will lead you to develop a better strategy for your business.
  • Faster Problem-Solving: By making informed decisions, you can solve problems much faster. In other words, you can increase productivity as well as operational efficiency of your teams and individual employees.
  • Easier Sharing of Expertise: Knowledge management allows you to share expertise easier between your employees. This will help them grow and develop while fully utilizing your intellectual capital.
  • More Innovation: Using knowledge management means using all the skills, resources, and information you have which can indirectly lead to more innovation in your business. Besides, you could even predict market trends before your competitors.
  • Improved Communication: As you share knowledge within your business, you will improve communication and collaboration between your different departments. This can diversify the opinions you get in discussions and can lead you to even better decision-making (and increased profitability).

Whether you want to improve your email marketing by helping your customer service and marketing departments work closer or you want to make your onboarding process for new employees run smoother, knowledge management could be the tool you need. That being said, there are still some things to consider before you get started.

Failures of Knowledge Management

Undeniably, knowledge management has many benefits, but it also has failures or disadvantages you shouldn’t forget about. Here are some major issues you can encounter:

  • Aligning Knowledge Management with Business Strategy: Perhaps the biggest challenge for any business when getting started with knowledge management is trying to align it with your existing business strategy. You already have goals and objectives which could be difficult to pursue when you set knowledge management aims that may go counter to them. This is why it is important to consider your existing strategy before you start thinking about objectives for your knowledge management plan.
  • Difficulty Finding Information and Resources: Another major challenge on your way will be actually finding information and resources. It may sound easy at first, but you will be surprised just how much knowledge and expertise within your business is taken for granted or even hidden from you. This knowledge is valuable and needs to be detected which is why you need to put together a clear set of rules and guidelines for capturing, recording, and sharing knowledge within your business.
  • Absence of Efficient Knowledge Capturing Methods: To use knowledge management effectively, you will need to define the methods you will use to capture the said knowledge. It’s not enough to simply find it – you should also be able to capture it, store it, process it, analyze it, and share it. To do this, you will need to consider the budget, tools, and training necessary to execute your knowledge management strategy.
  • Choosing and Integrating Knowledge Management Tech: One challenge you might not expect is choosing and integrating appropriate knowledge management tech. As mentioned above, you will need to have the right tools to execute your knowledge management strategy. If you have a tight budget, you will need to carefully consider it before you decide on any particular tech you choose to use for your knowledge management.
  • Motivating Employees to Use Knowledge Management: While you might not expect it, you might get some pushback from your employees when you start trying to integrate knowledge management into your company. This is why you need to explain why your business needs knowledge management and then start nurturing a corporate culture that values knowledge above all else.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, knowledge management definitely has many benefits, but it needs to be applied correctly. If you misuse knowledge management, it could end up harming your business instead of helping it succeed. Therefore, use the tips in this article to aid you with your knowledge management strategy.


Wanda Lafond is a professional writer. She writes for different news portals and thematic blog custom writers that help her stay at the heart of the programming and technology news. She also provides consultations and creates expert writing materials for the best writing service reviews.


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