“Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.” – Gartner Group.
The above is perhaps the most frequently cited definition of what Knowledge Management is – and very comprehensive and helpful it is, too. The problem with this and any other definition is that it’s usually followed by the question: “Great – but how do I actually do that?”
Julie Auletta, Solutions Director here at Bamboo® describes the core of Knowledge Management in a business context as:
“Surfacing and centralizing knowledge and expertise across all divisions and levels of the organization, making knowledge and knowledge experts readily available; and, ultimately, reducing costs due to organizational fragmentation.”
On a more abstract note, good knowledge management also makes research and learning a matter of routine within an organization, while encouraging decision-making. All of which is also a matter of dealing with the threat of information overload, of enabling ways to quickly target, search, and find what is needed.
But, once again, all this is easier said and understood than actually achieved. As an example, how do we:
1. Improve staff productivity, by decreasing wasted time searching for knowledge and information across different sites and external file shares?
2. Reduce inbound customer support by providing centralized access to knowledge and knowledge experts so users can easily find answers to their problems?
3. Make knowledge experts available by providing users the ability to submit questions directly to the experts?
4. Eliminate staff training time by making policies, procedures, and training materials available in an easy-to-navigate knowledge base?
5. Automate processes via graphical workflows so knowledge can be reviewed and disseminated in an efficient and effective fashion?
A key part of question two refers to “knowledge experts”. This is key because the desire to know the real answers to the above questions ultimately means searching for experts who’ve asked all those questions themselves and developed answers into viable solutions.
One viable knowledge management solution is Knowledge Base, which provides a centralized, searchable, and secure knowledge management system that can be set up in minutes, with seamless SharePoint® integration.
Once you’ve seen how advanced knowledge management has become, all you have to do is think about what your knowledge management requirements are now and what they may become in the future.
Making the right investment for your needs and getting up and running simply and quickly can be achieved quite easily.