Knowledge Management Introduction - Best Practices

  • Created Date04 Mar, 2014
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The appropriate implementation of a knowledge management initiative can offer many benefits to an organization. It can help in cost-cutting, build better relationships with vendors and partners, improve customer satisfaction, increase productivity, and boost sales, etc. all of this is possible due to quick and correct knowledge management systems. These systems delivered long-lasting value when deployed and designed using best practices.

Best practices of Knowledge Management

Define objectives, be realistic and start small. Successful knowledge management initiatives are premeditated, have well-defined goals that are not exceedingly optimistic. Attempts at knowledge management can cause more harm than good if not done carefully. Identify one department that would be the most acceptable to the introduction of new changes. Starting small will minimize risk and will allow the project to be more easily operated. If the first project is successful, it will be a valuable learning experience to improve future rollouts. The practices which work out for the best of the organization becomes a role model for other departments and companies’ future adoption of the new techniques.

Knowledge Availability and Structure

The most effective knowledge management practice is having a high capability of collecting and expanding the information from many different sources. A centralized knowledge center exists at the core of the knowledge management system (KMS) which comprises valuable information. This information can be from various sources such as databases, documents, and other existing sources. The KMS pulls out information of use and value by individuals seeking answers. The proper taxonomy of information is important. It enables the system to present the correct information at the correct time and help users get what they’re looking for. Organization of content in order to increase its usability and findability is key. The architecture of KM should be one that provides accurate information in a clear way. This will offer more information to allow the development of a more knowledgable and comprehensive answer for the end user.

Content Should Be Meaningful and Concise

The opposite party simply understands meaningful content. Content is considered when a comprehensive and accurate answer can be constructed from a small volume of information. This is established after striking a right balance between volume, quality and quantity of information are struck. If there is too much written on a particular topic, time is wasted in sorting the useful information and useless information out of it. Also, if there is too little information given, the desired answer may not be received, be too vague or not be there at all.

Maintaining and Expanding Knowledge

A knowledge management initiative is not something which can be implemented and then left alone. In order to make it effective, it must be constantly updated, maintained and expanded according to the demand of time. Current content should be checked, new content must be added, for errors, room for improvements must be determined, and unused/obsolete elements should be removed. All of it should be done on a regular basis to ensure the validity and quality of a knowledge base. Effective KMS should be able to generate an accurate solution to inquiries of the users. Missing parts and incomplete, inaccurate answers are recorded and saved by the system to be later improved upon. It is most efficient most of the times to rework on things to solve the problem, other times it is better to create something entirely new to correct a problem.

More than Just Technology

There is much more behind an effective, successful knowledge management system than just the technology implementation. When a KM plan is put into action, it is equally important to choose the right tools and technology and ensuring the right cultural change.

 

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