How to navigate the information age with organized wisdom (aka, knowledge management).
Last year, 74% of global companies interviewed by Gartner said implementing knowledge management was a top priority. Considering the consequences organizations experience when leadership, employees, or customers can’t find information when they need it, the numbers make sense. As businesses grow, technology continues to evolve, and the volume of information accumulates increases, so too does the need to successfully manage knowledge. Effective knowledge management results in productivity, more innovation, and a seamless decision-making process.
However, for individuals to successfully self-serve, they need quick, easy access to your knowledge resources. If your organization is struggling to provide access, implementing a knowledge management (KM) plan and centralizing informational sources can help create this optimal environment.
Below, we’ll highlight five things to help create an effective KM plan and how it can benefit your organization.
1. Manage Knowledge Access
Similar to other workplace applications, it’s crucial to safeguard the platform against cybersecurity threats or misuse. You’ll want to ensure your knowledge management platform is equipped with modern security measures such as multi-factor authentication, role-based permissions, and security certificates like ISO27001:2013.
Role-based permissions are particularly useful as the capability ensures that only authorized users are accessing and viewing company information. Permissions can be as granular as user roles, so lower-level employees are unable to access information meant only for leadership—all without impacting accessibility.
How One Company Benefitted from Secure Knowledge Access
Said Kevin Zollinger, Senior Modern Work Specialist at JourneyTEAM: “The very first Microsoft Implementation I helped with at JourneyTEAM, the Chief Legal Officer stopped me after the kick-off meeting and said: ‘I can't tell you how excited I am to have a common location to store and collaborate on documents. We usually end up with a dozen copies of a proposed contract and no one knows which was the final version. Everything just got more simple.’ The most important part of any knowledge management effort is making sure only those authorized can view and/or edit documents. Next in importance is establishing "one version of the truth" by storing documents in the right location and editing them from there. If there is only one version of a document there is zero question about which one was the "official" version.”
2. Knowledge Capture and Documentation
Valuable insights and experiences often arise during the course of projects, collaborations, and problem-solving endeavors. To capture knowledge shared during these sessions, it’s essential to capture and document these insights. This can be accomplished through post-project debriefs, lessons-learned sessions, and the creation of detailed documentation. By systematically capturing knowledge, businesses can build a repository of institutional wisdom that benefits both current and future business endeavors.
3. Promote a Knowledge Sharing Culture
A critical driver for growth and innovation is growing a culture of knowledge sharing within an organization. As part of your knowledge management initiative, incentive and empower employees to share their expertise, insights, and experiences with their colleagues and leadership teams. Holding regular knowledge-sharing sessions, and workshops, or creating a platform for discussions and ideas is an ideal place to start. By enabling knowledge to flow freely, it not only amplifies collective business intelligence but also nurtures a sense of unity and purpose among team members.
4. Create Centralized Knowledge Repositories
Arguably the most important part of effective KM is establishing centralized knowledge repositories. These repositories act as digital warehouses where information, data, documents, and best practices are stored, organized, and easily accessible to employees across the organization. The accessibility of company knowledge promotes collaboration, reduces redundancy, and accelerates problem-solving.
However, it’s important when creating centralized knowledge hubs you use the right tool. Look for platforms such as document management systems, intranets, or knowledge bases that provide a single point of access for all company information. This helps to create a hub for employees where they can access information swiftly and contribute to the repository’s growth.
5. Drive Technology Adoption and Innovation
Effective knowledge management cannot be done without incorporating technology. Automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics are all tools that can assist with categorizing, indexing, and retrieving information efficiently. Additionally, technology-enabled tools provide personalized user recommendations based on user preferences and historical data, making knowledge discovery even more effective.
Why Knowledge Management?
Bringing an effective KM strategy to your organization yields a number of benefits—from streamlining problem-solving to preserving organizational knowledge. Additional benefits include:
Enhanced decision-making: Rather than making decisions based on gut feelings or guesses, employees can make decisions based on real data. This results in better business outcomes, fewer risks, and faster growth.
Increased innovation and problem-solving: A key benefit to KM is it fosters company-wide knowledge-sharing and collaboration. By providing employees with a centralized pool of knowledge, expertise, and past experiences, they can leverage a number of perspectives to create innovative solutions and effectively solve problems.
Fosters continuous learning and skill development: To create employees who are agile and flexible, they need continuous opportunities for skill development. Effective knowledge management provides these opportunities by offering training, professional development opportunities, and resources in a centralized location.
Increased productivity and efficiency: Knowledge management shares and transfers knowledge throughout the enterprise. Employees can then access critical information or best practices to accelerate work processes, which results in more productivity, fewer errors, and streamlined workflows.
Retention of company knowledge: Capturing and codifying KM data ensures that critical information or expertise is retained and accessible to current and new employees. This reduces the chance of valuable knowledge being lost and can also minimize the negative impacts of employee turnover.
Enhanced customer satisfaction: Enabling employees to access a wealth of information regarding products or services, company policies or procedures, and customer preferences improves the customer experience.
How JourneyTEAM Works Improve Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is a critical part of any organization. It maximizes efficiency, maintains a company’s competitive edge, and fosters innovation and growth. Following the best practices outlined above will empower your organization to execute with confidence.
Yet, with any implementation process, you’re bound to have questions—JourneyTEAM fills in those gaps. Together, we’ll create a KM implementation plan and execution strategy that ensures your employees, customers, and partners have easy access to all company and customer data. How do we do it? By tailoring Microsoft products and services to your specific needs.
Ready to get started? Contact JourneyTEAM today!