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3 Tips to Simplify Knowledge Management

Knowledge is a valuable and strategic asset of any enterprise. Salespeople need extensive product knowledge to sell their products. Support staff who know how to deal with the most challenging clients are able to provide positive support experiences to their clients and improve customer retention. Top management personnel make better business decisions when they know the status of their enterprise and how the competition is performing.

Knowledge is a resource that must be sourced and organized. Information is available externally and internally. Managing and securing the significant amounts of information that most organizations produce is critical.

For that, your enterprise must have a knowledge management system in place. It enables your knowledge managers to gain full visibility and control over all your data, automate all related processes, and present them in ways that are easily accessed and digested by users.

Knowledge management systems in business will remain a critical fixture in the years to come. As technologies make business processes faster and smarter, immediate access to reliable knowledge in real-time becomes more crucial than ever. Therefore, it is imperative for every business organization to make knowledge management simple and efficient. Speaking of simplifying knowledge management, here are some tips from the experts themselves.

two men consulting with a laptop

1. Incorporate Social Elements

Outdated library or knowledge management solutions make it difficult for many employees, and external users, to search knowledge bases or catalogs to find the information they need. Instead, most workers consult their fellow employees, supervisors or managers for the information. This is an inefficient and costly way to source information.

Why should Peter waste precious time finding and understanding a manual on the product they are selling when he can send a private message to John, the resident expert?

Knowledge sharing is not just limited to chat and private messages. It also results from:

  • Posting articles and videos on the community board.
  • Sending updates of the company’s policies to network members.
  • Providing tips to new users.

This type of information should always be added to your library or knowledge management system with access secured appropriately.

Social media marketing expert Ash Natesh of Criterion Conferences encourages knowledge managers and their organizations to blend social media elements with their knowledge management system software. A study by research firm McKinsey revealed companies that also leverage social media platforms for business communications reported a 20 to 25 percent increase in workplace productivity.

Social media actions are second nature to most people and most organizations have a social media profile. By integrating them with your organization’s knowledge management processes, searching, accessing, and requesting for knowledge becomes more engaging, interactive, and intuitive.

Most major organizations also have their own intranet where a vibrant social community of employees thrives. Social media is an interactive tool. Employees are more inclined to use their organization’s knowledge management tools when information is captured, offered, and shared.

2. Automate KM Processes with AI

When people think of knowledge management, they probably imagine workers tasked with the less than critical responsibility of updating the company wiki. However, knowledge management involves more than just keeping the company wikis and knowledge bases reliable and up to date.

There are reasons why knowledge professionals are valued from an enterprise’s perspective. They can turn any seemingly unimportant piece of information into a highly actionable intellectual asset that adds great value to the organization.

With knowledge management software, these professionals can streamline their tasks and deliver services in a more efficient, cost effective way. Imagine what they can do when artificial intelligence enters the picture.

Artificial intelligence is not a new technology. It is increasingly essential and will become a standard in the knowledge management industry in the near future. In fact, it has already made its presence known in the knowledge management field.

With artificial intelligence, knowledge management staff can address and tackle common problems in their domain. For instance, monitoring and updating corporate repositories can be daunting if done manually.

Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, knowledge management systems will be able to scan text in a fraction of a second and automatically select, parse, classify, and categorize knowledge. They will scan thousands of documents, which can be run against a list of grammar checker tools as well to ensure the knowledge gathered is free of errors.

Advances in machine learning and natural language processing will enable AI-powered knowledge management applications to identify the context. They will recognize meaning from handwritten documents and audio recordings.

Many tools with AI capabilities come with big data functionalities, including data security measures to secure all knowledge processed by the software. AI is in its infancy and as such still has many issues to address. Nevertheless, in this big data era, it will be a critical tool for knowledge managers and their organizations in the near future.

Aside from capturing, categorizing and storing knowledge, KM solutions accelerate the sharing and distribution of knowledge. This means people who need it will receive it almost instantaneously.

For example, a customer service agent assisting a client will automatically receive a list of recommended knowledge base articles determined by their conversation with that particular client. Staff in the organization’s library or knowledge center will source and direct information to the staff based on a history of their requirements. This saves time and enables the provision of higher-quality service and support.

frustrated man viewing laptop

3. Integrate KM Software with Enterprise LMS

While external customers and users need to be provided with a great knowledge management system, so too do an organization’s employees. They are your greatest assets. They need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge if they are to be of value to your organization and your customers.

Employees will benefit from learning management systems (LMS). More businesses are providing the tools and applications needed to create and manage content for learning and development, monitor the learning progress of their employees and evaluate their performance, to identify areas of learning where they struggle.

However, a lot of HR departments still spend a significant amount of time and effort determining, evaluating, and prioritizing documents and deciding what to convey to whom and how. They also have to manage other issues, including access rights, permissions, limitations, and file updates.

To address these issues, Marisa Keramida, a highly qualified education professional and e-learning designer, suggests integrating knowledge management software with corporate learning systems. In her article on the benefits of knowledge management-learning management integration, Marisa pointed out that such a combination would simplify and streamline the updating of files, eliminate duplicates, and greatly increase the reusability of resources.

HR managers and knowledge workers can collaborate on multiple aspects of both corporate learning and knowledge management. Working together, they can decide what knowledge to share and present. They also have control over who can access what type of knowledge.

Another benefit of knowledge management-learning management software integration is the centralization and securing of training materials (articles, manuals, best practices, videos, and more). Employees do not have to look far for more knowledge when everything they could ever need is in their learning management platform.

Make Access to Knowledge Easier, Faster

Knowledge takes many forms, from the personal expertise and skills acquired by your employees from years of experience and practice, the explicit knowledge articulated in documents, contracts, and manuals, embedded knowledge that is deeply rooted within your organization’s culture from codes of conduct, organizational ethics, to best practices.

Your organization’s knowledge professionals are the ones responsible for converting data into valuable and actionable pieces of knowledge. People at the management level should collaborate with knowledge workers in a constant quest to make the knowledge not only readily accessible, but easily comprehensible to those who require it, be they internal or, if applicable, external users. A good KM system that provides staff with knowledge, while a powerful and flexible library management system provides access to invaluable data.

Knowledge is indeed power. Value it and ensure you have the knowledge specialists who will manage it the way it deserves to be. It is the fuel that moves your enterprise. Knowledge utilized inefficiently is like driving a car to a destination for which you have no map.