Companies today run on a set of operations, teams and information to drive organizational success. However, many organizations still struggle with the knowledge management process, allowing a significant amount of information to slip through the cracks. According to a Deloitte study, an average of 55% of enterprise data goes unused.
The advancement of technology has created new ways that knowledge should be used and transferred among teams, calling for an urgent need to develop an efficient knowledge management strategy to drive productivity in this area.
The benefits of having a knowledge management process
At its core, Knowledge Management (KM) is the process of creating, storing, using, sharing and maintaining information among a company’s employees. In today’s modern business world, knowledge management is imperative to organizational success – driving processes across a largely digital-led workplace.
Driving success in a digital workplace
With globalization, the increase in worker mobility and digital communications, the need for an efficient knowledge management process is more apparent today than ever. Fast-evolving and mobile workforces require up-to-date information readily accessible at any time for teams to collaborate and seamlessly run processes. A knowledge management process that relies on innovative technology can automate the flow of knowledge through a centralized database to maximize productivity through the distribution of information.
Having a knowledge management process enables teams to develop working relationships through proper communication. This system also avoids the phenomenon of siloed departments and incurring resource wastage.
Taking care of employees
By establishing an environment where teams can easily leverage critical information, organizations are able to satisfy key business drivers – their employees. Every year, employers spend up to $40,000 onboarding new hires and $1,252 on training per employee. Onboarding and training costs are always essential to every organization, since it equips hires with the right skills and information for business success. On the flip side, the cost of a bad hire can cost employers up to 30% of their first-year earnings.
With these astronomical costs, it is important that organizations provide sufficient employee support through the right tools and processes. A well-crafted knowledge management process will foster collaboration among teams and avoid tedious knowledge-sharing that can lead to frustration or burnouts. New and existing employees can quickly familiarize themselves with critical information and seamlessly manage the flow of knowledge.
The 7-Step cycle of a knowledge management process
For organizations looking to manage their exponential flow of data, it can be a challenging task, especially if the organizations have not previously leveraged on a knowledge management process. Creating a good knowledge management process requires careful thought and strategic planning, along with team efforts to make it work. Generally, it can be condensed into 7 steps:
Step 1: Knowledge creation
The development of a knowledge management process first begins with knowledge creation. Knowledge creation is a strategic step to build a foundation for the type of information that goes into the database. Team leaders and managers should work alongside teams to decide on the critical knowledge that is required for the organization’s process. It is important to ask questions like: what information is crucial to running operations? Does this need to be updated?
Step 2: Knowledge discovery
Knowledge discovery is the process of extracting useful information through structured and unstructured sources. Through this, organizations are able to discover new explicit knowledge or existing knowledge through a combination of techniques, such as through data mining or prior knowledge from employees. This discovery happens largely through socialization and communication, as well as collection and analyzing of data. To extract knowledge from employees, it can be useful to do a run through of all essential processes with team members to create frameworks and gain new perspectives that can be used later.
Step 3: Knowledge collection
The collection of knowledge is the process of gathering important files, documents, articles and reports to set up the knowledge database. This step focuses on systemizing the knowledge and preparing it in a way that is easily understandable for the user. Some common document types for organizations are: contact lists, onboarding SOPs, how-to guides and Frequently Asked Questions. For ease of understanding, these documents should be written clearly and focus on the key points of the task so as to avoid confusion.
Step 4: Knowledge organization
One of the benefits of having a knowledge management process is that teams are able to retrieve knowledge quickly. After you have collected all the relevant data that is required to run processes, it is important to organize the files for easy access. Knowledge organization is an intellectual approach to data that helps classify, index and describe them according to their content. This step promotes an accurate representation of data and knowledge order by standardizing file names, creating folders and sorting of files.
Step 5: Knowledge review
After you have set up the knowledge base, it can be worth going back to see if anything has fallen through the steps. To do this, managers and teams can review and assess the knowledge base, through cross-referencing or trial of daily operations. Through this, teams are able to get a closer look on how the knowledge base can be helpful to them and if there are any cracks in the system that need to be rectified. Knowledge review is also essential for maintenance. Kipwise enables teams to constantly update and review knowledge through set reminders with their content review flow, so that information is always accurate throughout the business life cycle.
Step 6: Knowledge sharing
A component of knowledge management is the accessibility and distribution of knowledge among employees of an organization. It is important to note that not all knowledge should be available to every member of the company. Often, departments have access to classified material that may be detrimental to operations if leaked. The process of knowledge sharing allows leaders to limit private and confidential information. Most modern knowledge management tools like Kipwise support permissions settings so you can grant teammates permissions to different parts of the internal knowledge base based on their roles.
Step 7: Knowledge use
The last step of the knowledge management process is to implement the plan and take the appropriate action steps. This is where the knowledge management process is supported with the right software to enable efficient knowledge sharing and maintenance. With features like the real-time collaborative editor and rich embedding options, teams can work on tasks in real-time through a digital channel, which is useful even for remote teams. On Kipwise, employees can save and retrieve knowledge easily and collaborate seamlessly through the platform’s integration with other essential business tools.
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