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Writing Knowledge Management Rules: 6 Essential Steps

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Writing Knowledge Management Rules: 6 Essential Steps

Apr 29, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger, Jessica Fender

Knowledge management is the practice of creating, capturing, storing, and making accessible all the information that helps an organization achieve its directives. The resulting knowledge base then becomes a priceless resource to people at every layer in the management structure. At least it will if there’s a disciplined approach. A good approach to knowledge management should be rules-based, so the following is accomplished:

●      Destruction of information silos.

●      New knowledge is propagated across the organization.

●      Processes are maintained and created according to up-to-date information.

●      Your team can relate to customers by using a clear and accurate understanding of their needs.

●      Recently hired, promoted, or transferred employees are onboarded properly.

Ultimately, a variety of people will be using and contributing to your knowledge base. Without some rules, things will become chaotic. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow for creating and maintaining your knowledge management system. Each action item is accompanied by a rule to ensure the step can be executed successfully.

1.   Identify Your Objectives

What is it that you want to accomplish with knowledge management? Imagine that your efforts are flawless, and you get everything that you want. What would the results be? They might include:

●      Ensuring that knowledge stays with the company despite personnel or organizational changes.

●      Empowering customer service agents to quickly provide accurate advice and insights.

●      Reduce turnover due to frustration over poor onboarding and training.

●      Identify inconsistencies in information across the organization.

●      Provide stakeholders with the opportunity to share or request information from all business areas.

●      Improve productivity, reduce errors, and increase efficiencies.

●      Eliminate redundancies.

Rule: All knowledge management changes should directly reflect an established business goal.

2.   Get Management Educated And on Board

An information base is only valuable if it is used, and if the people who have the knowledge are willing to share it. If managers don’t see the value in it or understand how it works, you are sunk. Not only that, but it is the managers who know where the existing information is. You need them to adopt knowledge management and to encourage their team members to do the same.

Rule: Managers must undergo training to ensure they have a full understanding of the knowledge management process and its benefits. They must also facilitate sharing of knowledge from their business area to others.

3.   Audit Your Current Knowledge Base

Even if your company is entirely new to the concept of knowledge management, you likely have something of a knowledge base already. Now that you have management on board, you’ll need to rely on them to conduct a current state analysis. You want to know what information exists, how it’s being used, and whether it’s accurate. Here’s a list of questions you might propose:

●      Where are your user manuals, policies, and other documents located?

●      When were they last modified?

●      Where do you obtain information to assist customers, employees, or other departments?

●      How do you request information from other business areas?

●      Are there roadblocks to getting the information you need?

●      What intrinsic knowledge exists within your department?

●      What are the gaps in understanding you see in other business areas?

Rule: An initial audit is important to understand the current state. However, that will need to be repeated over time to ensure the integrity of knowledge.

4.   Build And Organize The Knowledge Base

You may discover that the initial efforts to put together a knowledge management system are less about creating new repositories of information, and more about centralizing existing ones. Using the information gathered during the audit, it’s time to make some decisions about the design of the knowledge base, how it will be centralized, and the means that people will use to search it for information.

An essential part of this process is ensuring that information is communicated clearly and effectively. Readability is key. Consider the fact that the base understanding of the people who originally create or acquire knowledge may not be the same as that of other departments. Writing quality may not be up to par either. It may be worthwhile to use a business or technical writer from Essay Republic to ensure that all knowledge base documents are accurate and easy to read.

Rule: The way that information is organized, and its accessibility are as important as the information itself. Steps must be taken to assure anyone who needs to access company knowledge is able too easily.

5.   Provide Appropriate Training to Team Members

The purpose of a knowledge base is to create a centralized place where information can be accessed to allow for better problem-solving, customer service, and efficiency. This only works if employees know this exists and how to use it. They must also understand their role in the maintenance of company knowledge.

Rule: Knowledge is a company asset that must be shared by employees. To do this, adequate training must be provided by department heads.

6.   Create a Plan For Adding to And Updating The Knowledge Management System

Knowledge is never stagnant. There is information that is part of a company’s repository of knowledge that will become outdated and incorrect. New knowledge is being constantly acquired from a wide range of sources within the organization. There must be a way to facilitate adding and updating information.

On the other hand, the process for doing this must be disciplined. If not, the potential for disseminating bad or contradicting information is too great. There should be a formal process of submitting new information, along with a clear approval process.

Rule: Everyone within the organization can contribute to the company’s knowledge repository. A formal approval process will ensure that all information is accurate and consistent.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing more important to any organization than its knowledge. This is the information used to make products or deliver services. It ensures that customers are given accurate service and that employees know how to handle the challenges they encounter. With knowledge management, all the different types of understanding within the organization can be appropriately captured, organized, and accessed.

~~~

Author’s bio.


Jessica Fender
is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.
 

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