What is a Knowledge Management System
A knowledge management system is any software or application that supports the strategic measure of knowledge management within a company. It does this by collecting, storing and processing information on a centralized system that controls the access and distribution to employees within the organization. These functions work together, using knowledge principles to maximize efficiency and effectiveness to deliver optimal results.
Why You Need a Knowledge Management System for Your Business
In a data-led environment, it is important for businesses to automate the flow and communication of knowledge to ensure optimal output and efficiency. It also creates a common area to store knowledge and sources of knowledge that departments and teams can easily have access to. Having an internal knowledge base also provides a platform where employees can collaborate on, within and across teams.
When companies grow and expand, they may lose track of critical knowledge if they do not properly handle the initial knowledge. This IT support system also allows employees to quickly access accurate information to conduct activities, such as SOPs and customer data. For organizations with multiple functions, having a company wiki will allow useful integration across applications so that this does not have to be manually processed.
Across industries and companies, the approach to knowledge flow and management can vary. A robust and effective knowledge management system will allow businesses to tailor the software according to their strategies to achieve objectives.
How to Choose a Knowledge Management System
Any successful business works on setting clear goals that can be achieved through the appropriate action steps. When firms have a target objective to work towards, then they will be able to craft out the implementation. Whether an organization wants to better serve their customers, or boost efficiency in internal teams, this has to be communicated before considering the solutions to use.
To ensure buy-in from your teammates, consider including them in the buying process so that you can choose a knowledge base softwares that fits the different use cases for your different functional teams.
Front-line employees that work closely with customers can benefit from a robust KMS to deliver exceptional customer experiences. The knowledge base stores information that is relevant to customer support, such as best practices, troubleshooting guides and FAQs. It is also important that customer activity is tracked and processed to make informed decisions to improve customer service. Read more about the sample use cases for customer support teams.
When it comes to sales, time is of the essence. Businesses that tend to experience dragged out sales journeys can lose important customers to a lack of interest or being beat out by competition. A KMS stores information that empower sales teams with what they need to quickly and successfully close deals. Knowledge management systems allow quick access to information such as sales collateral and playbooks to decrease lead time and handle inquiries. Read more about the sample use cases for sales teams.
Businesses nowadays rely heavily on consistency to deliver a brand voice and message. Marketing teams can easily collaborate on a platform to plan for campaigns and store content and creative briefs. It is also vital for KMS to be able to track metrics so that teams can analyze and better plan future marketing activity. See sample templates for marketing teams.
For any business, a product strategy can help understand what makes a product great. From development to testing, and launch and bug reporting, a KMS stores critical past information and templates for current and future employees to generate reports and make informed decisions. See sample templates for product teams.
An engineering KMS is driven by manufacturing processes and challenges in an organization. Engineering teams that have a reliable KMS can improve decision-making and skills for future activities.
Design KMS helps designers in a company follow a standardized design through style guides, best practices and guidelines to ensure consistency and excellence. Teams can also benefit from documenting test results to refine and tweak design strategy based on past data.
Also check out our blog post Top 10 Confluence Alternatives for some examples of modern knowledge management systems that might be useful for your team.
Developing a Knowledge Management Implementation Plan
A knowledge management implementation plan works on knowledge principles to create a structure that can increase satisfaction, boost efficiency and cut down on costs. The initial transition may be complex and disruptive, especially for organizations that do not have a prior knowledge management strategy. However, successfully managing this change will lead to increased ROIs and achievement.
To begin, it is crucial to pick the right knowledge management system to serve your company’s needs. This is to avoid having the wrong software that can cause confusion and rejection, especially when employees fail to see the value. It is imperative to successful change management that employees are aware of the need and reasons for change: senior leaders can start by promoting discussion.
Your organization also has to possess the right knowledge and skills to build a strong foundation that can fuel growth. Knowledge management systems providers should conduct training that can familiarize and facilitate the use of the new application. By having the right skills and information, teams will be more equipped to take on new challenges and ease into the initiatives you have set.
In the long term, it is vital to keep the momentum going by ensuring that the benefits and usage of the knowledge management strategy and systems are communicated to new hires. Organizations should also keep their plans under review and conduct frequent reports to measure and track productivity and set new targets.
Start your knowledge management plan with Kipwise
Kipwise is a knowledge management tool for businesses to achieve objectives through collaboration and management of their knowledge base. With integrations and built-in collaborative workflows, Kipwise KMS is a one-stop knowledge hub that organizations need to propel to success. Speak to us about our solutions today.