Knowledge management, whilst having a range of definitions, is generally regarded as the practices and procedures to identify, capture, conserve and disseminate the knowledge and experiences held within an organisation and by the individuals that contribute to that organisation. It is widely accepted that knowledge management has the ability to make organisations more efficient and productive and gives a competitive advantage in a increasingly competitive business environment. Some examples of knowledge that might be captured and documented are; processes involved with performing day to day tasks, the knowledge of what goes wrong with a particular type of product or tool and how to fix it; or something as diverse as the quantity of stock that needs to be held at particular times of the year.
Implementing a knowledge management system can help introduce a culture of continuous improvement in your workplace, limit repetition of effort and reduce the time it takes for new employees to become proficient. It can also be seen as a risk minimisation strategy which averts any adverse consequences from the loss of staff and reduces any inconsistent approach to tasks and processes.
A lot of workplaces get bogged down with trying to make their knowledge management system see all things and do all things, and at the same time utilise cutting edge technology. KM is not about the technology, it’s about the people and processes that make up the system. The technology is secondary and really unimportant until your KM system has matured. A KM system can be as simple as a series of hand-written notes. Obviously you will want to find a way to protect these notes and be able to distribute the information, but having the notes is an important first step.
There is no set strategy of how to implement KM in your organisation in the same way that no two KM solutions will be exactly the same. The methods you use and the timelines that are needed will vary greatly and be dependent on the culture and the requirements at your organisation.
For assistance in developing your knowledge management system please get in touch for a complimentary discussion on developing a solution to fit your organisation.