What is Knowledge Management?
The knowledge management definition: the collection of knowledge throughout an organization that is then used to improve that organization’s performance and competitive advantage through sharing, learning, and innovating.
Considered an expert system, companies will often use the combination of knowledge management systems and software to assist in more efficient progress of processes and product. The system is a business’s approach to knowledge management whereas the software is the tool used to assist in that approach.[/vc_column_text]
Knowledge Management Systems and Software
Types of knowledge management systems are often understood as synonyms of knowledge management but are really just different versions of it. The most common types are:
- Content management systems: A focused knowledge management system that helps writers and designers simply create, edit, publish, and distribute content. The content management process is a more focused type of knowledge management.
- Information management system: This is a general term for knowledge management software that’s used to record and relay messages and processing in an organization.
- Business intelligence system: A system in which large amounts of an organization’s raw data is organized and analyzed to assist in the knowledge management process.
Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice
Knowledge management, in theory, seems simple. You might think, “Systems and software? I don’t need that! All it takes is good communication and a few folders!”
In fact, it would be a bit ironic to say that. Knowledge management systems and software exist to more easily communicate, organize, share, and store information. The importance of km processes in practice is much more complicated, but we’ll take it slow and start with the knowledge management cycle.
Knowledge Management Cycle
The knowledge management cycle is broken up into three sections: people, manage and apply. Then, these sections consist of two factors. People are essential for the entire process, but particularly for the creation and learning of information. The creation of information begins the cycle, whereas learning the information comes in as the last part of the cycle.
For example, everyone at Lessonly is a creator and learner. Some departments use lessons to create informative information to share with the rest of the company. Then, if someone from another department has an idea, they can suggest it to the department, and the department can then implement it. This is an extremely small example. Most companies do this, but on a significantly larger scale.
Acquiring and organizing information is the management part, and that requires systems and software to help store and organize every piece of information.
Applying information consists of sharing and learning with the people at your organization. As people share and discuss these insights, it leads to further improvements and innovations; the knowledge management cycle begins again with creation.