The Key Objectives of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is a key ingredient in an organization’s ability to operate and innovate with factual or reliable information. In the beginning, there was the earth, then came man, and then knowledge.

Knowledge is more important to our lives than many of us realize.

Knowledge is the reason why we drive cars instead of riding horses. It is the reason why most of us now travel by airplane for long distances instead of relying on the train. Knowledge is defined as awareness or familiarity gained from the experience of a situation.

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes”. Peter F. Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author

What Constitutes as Knowledge?

Here is a list of what knowledge is.

  1. Facts
  2. Information
  3. Skills acquired through education or experience
  4. Understanding of a subject
  5. Awareness
  6. Familiarity of a fact or situation

So What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is the process of gathering, developing, sharing, and the efficient handling of information within an organization. Knowledge management is often associated with information technology but it is an integral part of many organizations.

In one-way or another, to improve efficiency and increase productivity, many use knowledge management. The purpose of knowledge management is to ensure that the right information is available to the right people.

Knowledge management, also referred to as KM, ensures that organizations can learn and retrieve their knowledge assets when they are needed. Organizations use KM to remain beneficial and maintain a competitive advantage.

Being able to access information whenever it is needed, keeps employees informed, and can encourage innovation. Maintaining a knowledge base can give you access to data that may be useful for identifying new product opportunities.

KM is a learning enabler for most and is often part of an organization’s overall strategy.

The Objectives of Knowledge Management

The goal of knowledge management is to provide reliable and secure information, as well as make it available throughout your organization’s lifecycle. There are three main objectives of KM and they are:

  1. Enable an organization to be more effective
  2. Ensure all employees have clear and common understanding
  3. Provide complete and accurate information when needed, at any given point in time

The Four Stages of Knowledge Management

KM is typically displayed in the following structure.

Data – This is raw data or facts that are available to you. When this data is processed, it becomes information that can be distributed to members of your team.

Information – Information is the outcome of processed raw data. To create information, data has to answer the five W’s, “who, what, where, when, and why”.

Knowledge – Information becomes knowledge after it is analyzed while taking your own experiences into account. At this stage, knowledge can be used to make decisions.

Wisdom – When you have acquired knowledge, you can use it in conjunction with your experiences, expertise, and personal judgments to form wisdom.

To fully understand KM, it is important that these four stages are understood.

Benefits of Knowledge Management

KM is an opportunity for many organizations to improve their teams, provide better service, and innovate. There are several benefits to implementing a KM system.

Save on Training Costs

KM can reduce the time that it takes to train employees. This is because accurate information will be accessible in the knowledge base, providing a means for your team to learn. Your team will require fewer training sessions in order for them to continue meeting organizational goals and expectations.

Reduce Employee Errors

Ensuring that your teams are equipped with the right knowledge will reduce costly mistakes at work. Mistakes may still be a necessary part of learning but the implementation of KM can significantly reduce the number of mistakes that occur at work.

It Presents an Opportunity to Improve Service

When everyone in your team has access to the same knowledge, you can improve the quality of service and maintain a uniform service. It also less likely that processing steps will be performed incorrectly or repeated during the customer service process.

Solve Problems Faster

Organizations that share and manage information through a KM system may have fewer unresolved customer complaints. This is due to the availability of information to their employees.

Since everyone has access to the same information, employees can answer customer questions without necessarily needing the assistance of upper-level management.

KM can make organizations more effective and efficient. KM systems empower employees to solve customer problems.

It is also a resource for internal innovation and in some cases, external innovation. Raw data becomes information after it is processed and information becomes knowledge once it can answer the five W’s, “who, what, where, when, and why”.

What Do You Do To Improve Internal Knowledge Management?

What are you doing to improve the leadership and knowledge exchange within your office?  Let us know in the comments below.