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Knowledge Management Blog Posts
In today’s economy, businesses are always looking for the edge or competitive advantage. However, most businesses don’t have to look any further than the wealth of knowledge existing within their organization. Knowledge can be defined as the fluid mixture of framed experiences, contextual information, values, and expert insight used as the framework for incorporating and evaluating new information and experiences. In any case, a business’s value has a growing dependence on it’s “intangible assets”, which are found in gargantuan databases, various documents, and in the minds of their employees. The goal is to effectively harness this asset, organize it, and pass it on, which is knowledge management.
For example, if a customer is having a problem connecting to the internet, the knowledge from previous experiences can be used to troubleshoot the problem instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Simply put, organizations would be highly inefficient if every problem and experience had to be addressed as a new one.
What is a Knowledge Management System?
The definition of knowledge management are the tools and systems responsible for storing and retrieving organizational knowledge. A knowledge management system effectively improves collaboration, centralizes organizational knowledge, and even mines repositories for hidden and lesser known knowledge. By gathering and storing this knowledge, it can be easily passed on to others in the organization through training and seminars.
Knowledge management tools are excellent at helping users extract and create new knowledge to enhance, transfer, and leverage new outcomes of knowledge. As one of the premier ways to improve business process performance, knowledge management tools are commonly used in business applications, such as information systems, computer science, general management, business administration, and public policy.
Why are Knowledge Management Systems Important?
The entire notion of knowledge management systems hinges on the ability to enable employees to have access to various solutions, sources of information, and documented facts. For example, your knowledge management software could host information on tutorials for using the database or troubleshooting information. In any case, the use of knowledge management systems leads to the effective dissemination of information and creation of new ideas for further improvements. Knowledge management tools allow you to organize your information, make sure all of your employees are on the same page, and ensure everyone is using the latest practices with the best information.
What are the Goals of Knowledge Management Tools?
Knowledge management software and systems can have several goals. However, the most common goals are:
- Promote the use of other people’s knowledge.
- Make sure everyone can easily find the right resources and documents useful to their cause.
- Help your staff quickly and easily answer common and more complex questions.
- Make sure your senior staff has the best information to make the most sensible business decisions.
Knowledge Management Concepts
Most knowledge management systems encompass two different types of knowledge: tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Understanding and being able to categorize the type of knowledge you are looking to work with is essential in you choosing the right knowledge management system.
This type of knowledge includes technical skills or know-how as well as cognitive skills, such as beliefs, perspectives, mental models, and images.
- Tacit knowledge is the type of knowledge that is difficult to articulate, such as best practices, intuitions, and hands-on skills.
- Tacit knowledge is responsible for ensuring tasks are performed in the most effective manner.
- It makes room for creativity because insight and intuition can solve problems that would be otherwise inconceivable. Typically, this type of knowledge is transferred through on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
Explicit knowledge is more objective and rational. This type of knowledge is easily expressed in numbers, words, sentences, or formulas regardless of the context, such as manuals, databases, or theoretical approaches.
- Explicit knowledge is essential in creating standard operating procedures, routines, and the infrastructure of data.
- Explicit knowledge allows for organizations to have a particular level of control and operational efficiency.
- This type of knowledge enforces consistent and equable organizational responses.
Today, organizations must effectively adopt knowledge management systems that combines both explicit and tacit knowledge at all organizational levels.
Types of Knowledge Management Software and Systems
The goal of knowledge management systems is to help your staff connect with the appropriate resources when they need them. When you are considering the most effective knowledge management system, it’s important to consider a wide variety of needs and factors. In any case, your knowledge management systems can exist in a wide variety of forms.
Expert systems are knowledge management systems used to help representatives make the best decision and diagnose problems. These types of systems are most commonly used to assist in answering complex questions that are asked repeatedly.
Groupware or Shared Project Files
This type of knowledge management system facilitates collaboration between your employees. Groupware can help workers collaborate their calendars or send messages between them. Essentially, everyone on a team would be able to upload and comment on the work performed by others. Examples of this type of system are Google Groups, Listserve, or Outlook.
Document or Content Management Systems
Document management systems allow users to do amazing things with documents, like store, share, and perform edits and created different versions. Best of all, knowledge management systems allow these various documents to be indexed by keywords, author, edit date, and much more, which enables them to be searched more efficiently. Examples of this type of system are Lessonly and ZenDesk.
Decision Support Systems
Decision support systems are a type of knowledge base software that allows users, specifically upper management, to make the most informed decisions as easily as possible.
Database Management Systems
Database management systems are a type of knowledge base software that aids in the compilation and management of data stored within a database. Essentially, these systems make retrieval much more simple.
Simulation knowledge management tools model real world scenarios. This type of system allows your to test scenarios that wouldn’t be economical or safe to test in the real world environment.
With the feedback knowledge base software, a company could house all feedback from employees and customer to communicate this information to research and development and design teams. Common examples of feedback databases are Zoomerang or SurveyMonkey.