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Articles What is Knowledge Management and Why It's Crucial for Your Organization?

What is Knowledge Management and Why It's Crucial for Your Organization?

Project Management Teamwork
Bitrix24 Team
13 min
2024
Updated: April 25, 2024
Bitrix24 Team
Updated: April 25, 2024
What is Knowledge Management and Why It's Crucial for Your Organization?

Successful companies are comprised of the diverse talents, skills, and knowledge of their workforce. Their leaders, managers, and trainers bear the responsibility of recognizing, harnessing, collecting, and storing these assets for future utilization. This includes ensuring that knowledge, in particular, is stored and maintained securely and reliably, while also being readily available for anyone who may require it.

The consolidation of all of these is what makes up knowledge management. It’s a comprehensive undertaking that everyone in the company is ultimately accountable for. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the term, you’re reading the article written just for you. We will define what knowledge management is and illuminate the many reasons why it’s crucial for your organization.

Read on if you want to understand more about knowledge management or if you’re planning to implement it. By the time you reach the end, you won’t be left wondering which of the following statements about knowledge management is true.

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management encompasses the steps and procedures businesses undertake to manage and process knowledge. It involves sorting, producing, utilizing, and sharing the company’s most valuable asset—collective knowledge. Effective and efficient content and knowledge management involves maintaining information in central storage formats such as a team drive, company knowledge base, or intranet for optimal organization and accessibility. It then becomes essential that any practical understanding of pertinent subjects is enhanced, updated, and shared. To accomplish this successfully, following the knowledge management process flow outlined below can be helpful:

  • Creation – This is the part where knowledge is acquired from a number of sources, sometimes depending on the information that you are hoping to collect. After acquisition, the purpose or use of the knowledge should be determined.

  • Organization – Here is when all the information and facts are sorted, arranged, and structured in knowledge management systems. These systems are not only meticulously cataloged, but they are also protected from unauthorized access, editing, and deletion. This part of the process is important because, without order or structure, the knowledge that you require may be rendered unusable.

  • Sharing – The acquisition, structuring, and securing are all done and all that’s left to do is open the knowledge management system for use. Here, employees can look into facts and information very much like how one would use a library.

Keep Your Company's Knowledge Accessible and Secure

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The benefits of knowledge management

Implementing effective knowledge management not only enhances organizational efficiency but also yields numerous benefits. Here are some of the key advantages

  • Lower costs – You cut down on costs for training and retraining your team as well as information when you have smart people in your employ, a well-structured knowledge management system, and comprehensive references and guidelines. You may need to spend money when acquiring knowledge-sharing tools or knowledge-base software but their function, usability, and efficiency more than make up for it.

  • Information is easily obtained – When you don’t have to waste your time and energy looking for answers, you’re more empowered, customers are happy and your job becomes enjoyable.

  • Keep burnout at bay – Knowledge sharing in companies often aims to enhance various aspects of organizational performance, including revenue generation. At the same time, it helps a lot with the employees’ well-being, chiefly with avoiding brain drain and burnout. It’s all about knowing that although you may be assigned a project solo, you’re not entirely alone because you have your entire company’s knowledge management systems to use, the job is a lot easier to complete.

  • Faster turnaround times – Delivering exceptional service and care to customers, clients and even your fellow employees will be easier and all the faster to complete when organizational learning is possible and information-sharing practices are encouraged.

  • Operating procedures are standardized – The most tiresome thing in any company is the need to always look over your shoulder to make sure that everyone is doing everything that they’re supposed to be doing. With knowledge management strategies in place, you can rest assured your employees will always be aware of how things should be carried out in the workplace.

Why is knowledge management crucial to your organization?

Let's delve into several pivotal reasons that underscore the importance of knowledge management in streamlining operations, empowering decision-making, and ensuring long-term competitiveness.

Enhances decision-making

When one does not have all the information or all the facts, they’re unable to negotiate, explain anything, or seek resolutions effectively. It’s very much like feeling around, trying to find your way in a dark room when you don’t have all the pertinent information that can help you make sound judgments.

Knowledge management provides access to vast pools of information and expertise, enabling better and more informed decision-making processes. People are more confident, unfazed, and, most importantly, highly decisive when they have all the facts about a topic at their fingertips. When a company has a knowledge base software, its employees have ready access to every piece of information they may require to get their jobs done at any given time.

Knowledge Management

Boosts productivity and efficiency

Observe the timeliness of the work output when you don’t have a knowledge management system. You can tell people are often inching slowly towards completion, hesitantly and apprehensively at times. Deadlines are often missed because your team is unsure how to go about their tasks and are unable to ask questions which can sometimes get them stuck, pushing deadlines even further.

By streamlining access to information and resources, knowledge management plans and programs reduce time spent searching for information, significantly improving productivity and operational efficiency. Your team will have no problem sticking to the project timelines and finishing their tasks because you empower them with all the knowledge they will ever need to do so.

Fosters innovation and learning

Things change – this is a universally known fact and it includes facts along with other theoretical and practical understanding you may have acquired over time. Therefore, continuous learning should always be encouraged in the workplace. Training and retraining your staff regularly seems like a good workaround, but it can get counter-productive after some time.

Knowledge management creates an environment that inspires the sharing of knowledge and ideas, leading to innovation and continuous learning within the organization. When there are no barriers between colleagues, brainstorming sessions are more fruitful, and you can trust that your knowledge base is consistently improved. Problems are approached in an exciting, creative, and innovative manner and you’ll find that your team is always coming up with new solutions.

Improves customer satisfaction

A few things can be more frustrating for a customer than when you’re faced with a supposed “expert” who is obviously out of their depth and unable to help. Customer-facing staff sometimes have problems coming up with resolutions to concerns because they do not have all the resources available to them. Even the best agents forget things from time to time as well. Having a place employees can come back to every now and then for answers, guidelines, and other sources will help a great deal. This will not only galvanize your employees to be better but make customers happier at the same moment.

With comprehensive knowledge at their fingertips, employees can provide higher quality service and support, leading to maximized customer satisfaction and loyalty. Staff, especially those who deal with customers on a daily basis, will be more motivated to perform well because they know they can always tap into your knowledge management vault for information and guidance.

You have the chance to empower your customers in the same manner. Let’s say you ship internationally and you have customers from all over the world. However, you do not (yet!) have the capabilities to offer 24/7 assistance to consumers and prospects alike. Never fear! You also make your knowledge base software and contact center work together where self-service answers and guides are pulled from your systems.

Facilitates better communication

Communication brings people together, builds a brand’s reputation, and provides a smooth and easy flow of revenue into the company. If you combine constant and reliable communication with a well-maintained knowledge management structure, you have a sure shot at success in the industry. Especially in what we call the digital age, bridging the gap to make communication and knowledge management meet is highly doable and beneficial.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management promotes a culture of open communication and collaboration, breaking down silos and embracing teamwork across the organization. Here are a few steps that you can take to make communication help in improving your knowledge management arsenal and vice versa:

  • Keep your ear on the ground – Metaphorically, of course. Listening to conversations going on around you can be an invaluable practice. There’s no way of knowing what you can be missing out on. There are a lot of helpful tidbits you can pick out from customer calls, live chat transcripts, and even email.

  • Invite feedback – Ask people what they think or if they have anything to add. You’ll be surprised at the kind of ideas you’ll end up mining. These can be used to make your respective communication and knowledge management setups a lot better.

  • Advocate for continuous learning – Making your knowledge base system more robust is much easier when you have a company culture that’s conducive to constant learning. When there are no barriers, communicating knowledge is a seamless activity on a regular basis.

  • Use communication tools – Different people prefer to communicate using different avenues at their convenience. Find a communication software that gives you a license to use all of the modes you’ll need, whether it’s email, live chats, or phone calls.

  • Have a dialogue – Let your employees have discussions, especially when issues arise or when you notice a blockade or something in the SOP is not working as it should. Embolden your teams to bounce ideas off of each other.

  • Innovate and create – Challenge your team to take a closer look at your current processes and procedures to see if they can create a better way. Present them with problems that you’ve grappled with in the past and get them to innovate a solution.

Preserves organizational knowledge

Organizational knowledge is all the knowledge within a company that is of value to the business. This involves customer information, sales funnels, marketing campaigns, and employee profiles, to name a few, all kept safe in intellectual capital management receptacles. Organizational knowledge is broken down into four main types. They are:

  • Tacit – Skills or abilities that are not easily explained or taught

  • Explicit – Information captured in documents and other similar forms of media

  • Individual – Skills, abilities, learning, and communication preferences particular to a specific person in the company

  • Collective – The manner in which knowledge is collected, disseminated, and preserved within an organization

Knowledge management ensures that valuable knowledge and expertise are captured and documented, preventing knowledge loss due to employee turnover or retirement.

Supports compliance and risk management

No project is safe or free from risks. However, with a robust system in place, understanding where and how these risks originate through the use of knowledge management is the most effective means of managing or eliminating them completely. This is one of the reasons why the upkeep of any company’s knowledge management framework is important.

Risk management processes are connected and, therefore, can be aided by knowledge management in the following ways:

  • Data – Information and data knowledge management can highlight solutions as soon as issues and problem areas are perceived

  • Processes – Sharing of learning, processes, and lessons picked up are useful in mitigating risks

  • Policies – The search for problems and solutions using knowledge management of current policies enables your teams to make adjustments so much more easily

In the same vein, by managing and centralizing knowledge, organizations can more easily comply with regulations and manage risks associated with information mismanagement.

Enables faster problem-solving

When you’re faced with a problem, whether big or small, you’ll find that you’re more able to arrive at a solution once you have all the information on hand. It’s important to look at all the angles and be able to weigh the pros vs the cons. The key to problem solving is understanding and it all becomes easier when you have a robust knowledge management scheme.

Access to a centralized knowledge base allows for quicker identification of solutions to problems, reducing downtime and improving service levels. Having a knowledge management system also means that companies have a way of documenting events so future teams can always look into the archives when researching historical issues and their respective workaround.

Optimize training and onboarding

Businesses tend to put a lot of time and money towards talent acquisition, training, and development. The best hiring strategy is to match the need of the hire meaning, you hire the person best suited for the post based on their experience, skills, and knowledge. Another way to go about it is to update your knowledge management contents from time to time so you can direct your trainees to search there should they need answers or guides.

Knowledge management systems can streamline the training and onboarding process, making it easier for new employees to get up to speed and become productive members of the team. You can also include them in future brainstorming sessions so you can learn from them and exchange ideas as one group.

Strengthens competitive advantage

Knowledge is essential to gaining and sustaining a competitive edge. If you want to carve a niche in your chosen industry, your company will be more successful if you have employees who are able to learn quickly and apply their acquired knowledge more effectively and efficiently compared to competitors. As a business, you should also be able to improve your existing skills while also mastering new ones. There’s no way you can’t succeed if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’ve stopped learning new things on the job.

By leveraging organizational knowledge effectively, companies can innovate faster, adapt to changes more swiftly, and maintain a competitive edge in their industry. Make sure you also encourage your employees to make contributions to the development of new strategies, the creation of innovative solutions to existing and anticipated issues, and the enrichment of relationships with colleagues, clients, and/or customers.

Achieve your knowledge management goals with the right tools

Corporate memory enhancements can only go so far without the proper tools. In addition to gadgets and gizmos, you'll need ample storage and a reliable service provider. Enter Bitrix24 and its comprehensive suite of well-built tools tailored to meet your knowledge management needs.

We've got you covered in storage, task management, dependable team drives, communication tools, knowledge base setup, and more. Try it out today. Sign up for Bitrix24 and elevate your knowledge management journey.

Keep Your Company's Knowledge Accessible and Secure

Experience rapid problem-solving and elevate your customer satisfaction levels with Bitrix24. A template-based Knowledge Base with configurable access permissions to keep your team ahead of the curve

Try Now

FAQs

What are the key components of an effective knowledge management system?

The key components of an effective knowledge management system are:

  • People: Individuals who create, share, and use knowledge.

  • Process: Procedures and workflows for managing knowledge.

  • Content: The knowledge assets and information within the system.

  • IT: Technologies and tools facilitating storage, retrieval, and access to knowledge.

  • Strategy: Overarching goals guiding knowledge management efforts.

How does knowledge management benefit organizational performance?

Knowledge management benefits organizational performance by:

  • Makes learning and innovation easily possible

  • Expedites decision-making

  • Boosts customer service and satisfaction

  • Minimizes knowledge loss

  • Strengthens collaboration and knowledge sharing

What strategies can organizations use to improve knowledge management?

Organizations can use the following strategies to improve knowledge management:

  • Establish a central storage

  • Get and use a knowledge base software

  • Encourage teams to get involved

  • Listen to employees, customers, and competitors

  • Gauge usage and success

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Table of Content
What is knowledge management? The benefits of knowledge management Why is knowledge management crucial to your organization? Enhances decision-making Boosts productivity and efficiency Fosters innovation and learning Improves customer satisfaction Facilitates better communication Preserves organizational knowledge Supports compliance and risk management Enables faster problem-solving Optimize training and onboarding Strengthens competitive advantage Achieve your knowledge management goals with the right tools FAQs
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