Every day, your business generates information. From sales reports and new policies to client feedback and everything in between. Creating, gathering and managing this knowledge are the foundations of productive online teamwork and a low-overhead operation – and it calls for some well-considered strategy to get it right.
In our digital world, most companies have some kind of software for team communications and productivity tools, as well as other knowledge management technology. Some use Google Drive, for example, to store large amounts of documents and sheets, others use PDFs, emails, Slack chats, corporate blog posts, and internal Facebook groups. While they’re all valid, they’re not optimal and can leave things a bit scattered.
Dispersed knowledge is difficult to collect and organize – and this is costly for both ROI and productivity. This kind of disorganization almost always results in massive financial losses for businesses.
Companies with a significant amount of information to handle should employ a quality knowledge management platform and devote resources to knowledge management.
Enterprise Knowledge Management: What Is It?
Enterprise knowledge management (EKM) is the practice of documenting a company’s accumulated information so that it can be easily accessed and distributed to employees. EKM often employs technology that can arrange data in a way that’s easily accessible to different personnel.
Knowledge silos may impede a team from operating cohesively and efficiently, but effective EKM can help you tear them down. By removing the barriers that prevent information from circulating freely throughout your company, you can be certain that knowledge is being shared openly rather than hoarded by individuals.
Types of Enterprise Knowledge
Generally speaking, there are three distinct categories of information that a company can generate, all of which are relevant to knowledge management. What separates them from one another is the method through which data is captured.
Implicit knowledge is the kind of information that we know but don’t consciously think about. This type of knowledge includes our basic skills and abilities (e.g., how to ride a bike), our mental processes (e.g., the ability to automatically read or write), and our general attitudes towards things (e.g., whether something is good or bad).
Explicit knowledge is the explicit details of how something works. It’s the “how” part of “How it Works”. It is all of the information you can access and use in your application.
Explicit knowledge is often information that is structured and based on facts. This kind of knowledge may be found in a number of publications, such as reports, white papers, case studies, manuals, and databases.
Tacit knowledge can only be learned the hard way via experience and then grasped instinctively. It can be anything from an intimate memory to a shared cultural practice. Tacit knowledge is difficult to impart. It includes abilities like effective meeting facilitation and public speaking. Soft skills is a good way to describe them.
Benefits Your Company Can Expect from Enterprise Knowledge Management
If your firm needs help to keep track of important data, then implementing a centralised Knowledge management system can help. Here are some of its most prominent benefits:
#1 Facilitates Collaboration and Improves Productivity in Organizations
Enterprise knowledge management provides a central hub where employees can share and gain new ideas, perspectives and experiences. Because of this, workers are better able to share and build upon knowledge management data. The efficiency of a team and the synergy between its many components increase when members share their knowledge.
#2 Easy Access to Information
Knowledge management thrives when information is readily available. Your company generates explicit and tacit knowledge every day, all of which need to be recorded and put to good use. Your teams can easily solve the majority of issues in your company, but because they don’t document their solutions, employees have no idea who to ask for help.
Many employees prefer anonymous questioning to avoid seeming inept or unprepared. Utilise a user-anonymous knowledge management system to increase participation across the board. If one employee has a question, others will likely do as well.
#3 Improves Decision-Making Speed and Quality
Concurrent processes and teams often rely heavily on information sharing to run efficiently. Also, from a cultural standpoint, this form of interdependence is crucial.
When it comes to the intersection of human needs and business objectives, information management and sharing are the cornerstones of trust. Access to several data sources helps speed up corporate executives’ decision-making process. Mid-level employees, on the other hand, can get a better chance of having their suggestions and concerns heard by higher-ups and acting upon them as soon as possible once an issue arises.
#4 Useful in Reducing Overlap of Efforts
It’s a significant waste of time when work is done twice. Repetition of previously completed tasks wastes time that may be better spent on other, more productive endeavours. Knowledge management facilitates a more efficient workplace by allowing workers to learn about the projects being undertaken by their colleagues and spot potential areas for cooperation.
#5 Eliminates Data Silos
It’s only natural for workers to form relationships with others in their workplace who may directly influence their work, such as those in the same department or field. However, information becomes siloed when there is limited communication with others outside of their sphere of influence. As a result, there is less information exchange inside the company, and staff members don’t know who to go to for help if they need it.
By centralising and organising the workplace’s body of knowledge, knowledge management platforms make it easier for professionals and others seeking their expertise to communicate.
#6 Helps to Prevent Knowledge Loss
Employees are a company’s most valuable resource because they possess the majority of the company’s institutional knowledge. When an employee leaves, they take with them all of the knowledge they have gained while working for the firm.
Fortunately, this can be countered by implementing an enterprise knowledge management system. It encourages workers to frequently record their expertise in a certain field for use after an employee’s departure.
Get started with enterprise knowledge management
Knowledge management could be the answer to your company’s problems if you want to make it more robust or bring your employees closer together on a social and procedural level. Businesses must have an integrated network, not only in terms of technology but also in terms of the workers’ ability to communicate and exchange information. The scale advantages of being an enterprise are fully realised when workers can access information from anywhere in the firm and communicate with specialists in their fields.