The most powerful wizard of all time, Albus Dumbledore, once said: “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed”. And that’s how J. K. Rowling, totally by accident, summed up the essence of Knowledge Management on pages of one of the bestselling books about adventures of a young wizard.
Business management strategies have been a subject of constant change over the years. The use of knowledge resources is considered the most important part of a path to success. What are the best practices of Knowledge Management and how to implement them effectively? You find the answers to both of these questions in our tutorial “How to become a master of Knowledge Management”. Enjoy the lecture.
- Step 1. Learn What Knowledge Management Really Is
- Step 2. Find Out What Is The Role Of KM System In The Enterprise
- Step 3. Learn About Knowlege Management Best Practices
- Step 4. Find the best Knowledge Base for you
- Step 5. Implement a Knowledge Management system
- Step 6. Become a Knowledge Management master
Step 1. Learn What Knowledge Management Really Is
First of all, one should properly understand what Knowledge Management (KM) is. Generally, it is a set of tasks whose purpose is to identify, maintain, implement, and use of knowledge – both general and company’s one. Sole term ‘knowledge’ should be understood as the most important piece in the modern era of information.
It can also be compared to fortune-telling of some sort. You surely wonder ‘how come’, since the future cannot be predicted. However, when you do have the knowledge, generate it skillfully, and make use of the information about the organization and the market you operate in – you can make good choices and decisions. This way you can predict where your decisions will lead you to.
The whole field of knowledge management goes far beyond mere knowledge storing. It is also about the skillful operation and knowledge management. Because of the growing importance of KM, being familiar with Knowledge Management best practices is simply crucial to a company’s thrive to success.
Step 2. Find Out What Is The Role Of KM System In The Enterprise
The next step is about understanding how big is the role of Knowledge Management system in the enterprise. It is without a doubt one of the most important factors in building an advantage on the market.
Years go by and the customer is becoming more and more significant to the company. Hence the companies have to become more creative to remain competitive, e.g. by introducing new products. Not to mention the time pressure and deadlines which are an endless hassle to all enterprises out there. Only swift analysis and implementation of the best Knowledge Management practices can bring expected results – understanding of customer’s needs, cost reduction, and efficiency increase.
Apart from being part of company’s development and growth KM gives an opportunity to develop employees’ competencies and to increase their efficiency. These factors play a big role in employees’ self-realization and, as a result, an increase in their value on the job market.
I’m sure you can see by now that proper Knowledge Management gives an opportunity to develop on many different levels. This is why it is so important to learn and implement Knowledge Management best practices in your company.
Step 3. Learn About Knowlege Management Best Practices
Before we list Knowledge Management best practices, we will present ready-made models of knowledge management. You should see the models as a structured process of creating KM that is unique for each company. Despite each model having a different approach and view on KM, we can highlight 4 stages of information lifecycle: capture, storage, customization, and use.
WIIG Knowledge Management Tool
To quote Wiig, “the most important is to make the organization work smart by facilitating the creation, storage, customization and use of high-quality knowledge.”
Nonaka & Takeuchi Management Model
The most popular model was created by Japanese theoretics who believe that Knowledge Management is a spiral of repetitive cycles. The most important aspect is thriving to sort knowledge into two categories: explicit and tacit knowledge.
You can find more details here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02730/full
ZACK Knowledge Management Model
This model focuses on the peculiarity of IT products which concept of information includes knowledge.
I know this is lots of information to process and you need to do even more to have satisfactory results. Of course, you are more than welcome to make use of already available models and resources. There is no harm in them being an inspiration. If you want to develop KM for your company on your own here is a bunch of best practices to help you with that. Implementing them will for sure make a lot of things easier for you.
Prepare your KM strategy
The first step in developing a Knowledge Management system is preparing a strong strategy. Nothing lets you spread your wings better than a good action plan. It should come after proper analysis of the organization, market research, setting priorities of action, and support from all company’s departments.
Prepare your leadership plan
One of the stages of establishing a proper strategy is also choosing a proper leader. A good leader will successfully take care of the processes, end to end. Like on a real-life battlefield.
Adjust the culture of your organization
Lack of proper support from different sectors of the organization can result in a negative attitude towards the entire KM. Misunderstanding of how the mechanisms work may result from improper preparation of human resources towards the change that is happening. Only by correct raise of awareness can you achieve your company’s goals.
Develop processes to support KM
Knowledge management should go hand in hand with the right choice of supporting processes. Let’s image the clock – for it to show the correct time all elements should work equally fine.
Choose the right technology
The last link in the Knowledge Management value chain is technology. Knowledge is a huge amount of information, hard to imagine. This is why one of the best practices in choosing the right technological support. Luckily there is a lot of software designed to manage company’s knowledge.
Now that you know best KM practices it is time for you to learn about Knowledge Base Software. The next step is all about them.
Step 4. Find the best Knowledge Base for you
As it was mentioned in the previous step, choosing the right tool to help you properly manage an organization’s knowledge is one of the most crucial elements when building Knowledge Management.
There is a lot of Knowledge Base software on the market that was created for entities that want to improve their Knowledge Management. Below is the list of my choices of the best software for that purpose.
WordPress is a recommended open-source platform. Why should one use it as a Knowledge Base software? Because the user has full control. Moreover, the platform evolves with the user. There are many plugins you can install with ease and use their full potential. You can find some suggestions in the official WordPress repository. Using WordPress can be easy and affordable – it all comes down to what you need.
When you decide on WordPress remember to pick the right theme to satisfy your needs. (we highly recommend LearnMore or KnowAll themes).
Why should one use pre-made themes? First of all, it saves time. You don’t need to spend your resources on proper tool customization. If you want to read more, we recommend our article about the best WordPress Knowledge Base themes.
Progressive, intuitive, and very high-quality software. That’s how HelpJuice can be described. The platform has many built-in tools that will make the making of your Knowledge Base very easy.
It is a very good solution for organizations that look for a tool that enables hassle-free cooperation. Numerous users can work on HelpJuice at the same time. HelpJuice is paid software.
Confluence is a proposal from Atlassian. We recommend it especially to those who already use the Jira solution. This Knowledge Base is a free option. This is without any doubt a tool that will allow you to analyze, store, and access your company’s knowledge.
We have highlighted just 3 Knowledge Base Software. These are some of the best available ones on the market and are very popular. Naturally, there are plenty more of them. If you are interested in the subject, feel free to read a bit more extensive article about the best Knowledge Base software.
Step 5. Implement a Knowledge Management system
Implementing a Knowledge Management system is a multi-stage process that will take some time. Don’t expect the change to happen in an instant and the effect to come the very next day. Gradually introduce the strategy you have prepared earlier. Develop proper handling of your online knowledge management. This will save you a lot of stress. When prepared like this you can patiently wait for the fruits of your effort.
Step 6. Become a Knowledge Management master
Congratulations! You’ve just learned what it takes to become a real Knowledge Management master. A very interesting adventure and big responsibility await you. Remember to make use of Knowledge Management best practices. The fun has just begun.
In those final words, we would like to add, that Knowledge Management is a very complex subject. It is worth to take a solid moment or two in order to learn more about it. Especially if you care about being successful or if you want to systematize certain matters in your organization.
That’s all for now. I wish you all the luck in the world!