knowledge Management

Knowledge is key for today's organizations. Every organization pays employees for the knowledge they possess and the ability to put that knowledge to use. Yet, most organizations are not providing these "knowledge workers" with a way to collect, manage and share their knowledge with the rest of the organization.

What these organizations often don't realize is the benefits of implementing a Knowledge Management System that gives knowledge workers a place to shine. Companies sometimes do this because they're not sure what a knowledge management system is supposed to be or how it works to improve employee productivity.

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Some of the tangible benefits of using KM SYSTEM include:

  • Improved distribution of knowledge - Knowledge that previously resided with one individual is now made available on-demand for the rest of your organization.
  • Greater information accuracy and consistency - When everyone in an organization can access and contribute to a comprehensive internal knowledge base, the quality of information improves.
  • Increased employee satisfaction - Knowledge workers want to share their knowledge and be recognized for it. KMS with gamification reward users for participating and lead to improved employee satisfaction.
  • Less time spent looking for answers - A comprehensive internal knowledge base with powerful search functions saves employees time when searching for answers to their questions and also reduces interruptions and distractions.
  • Faster on-boarding of new employees - New employees have a wealth of information at their fingertips to immediately start finding answers to the many questions they have.
  • Retention of knowledge when employees leave - Capture the knowledge you pay your employees for and keep it, even if they move on to another position or organization.

failure factors

Building upon all this, and incorporating previously discussed elements, failure factors of knowledge management systems are as follows:

  • Inadequate support: managerial and technical, during both implementation and use.
  • Expecting that the technology is a KM solution in itself.
  • Failure to understand exactly what the firm needs (whether technologically or otherwise).
  • Not understanding the specific function and limitation of each individual system. Lack of organizational acceptance, and assuming that if you build it, they will come – lack of appropriate organizational culture.
  • Inadequate quality measures (e.g. lack of content management).
  • Lack of organizational/departmental/etc fit - does it make working in the organization. easier? Is a system appropriate in one area of the firm but not another? Does it actually disrupt existing processes?
  • Lack of understanding of knowledge dynamics and the inherent difficulty in transferring tacit knowledge with IT based systems (see segment on tacit knowledge under knowledge sharing).
  • Lack of a separate budget.