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Article

Benefits of Knowledge Management By @TaylorsJim | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Knowledge management refers to saving, developing, sharing, and effectively using knowledge for the benefit of organization

Importance and Benefits of Knowledge Management

Scientia potentia est (Latin proverb meaning "knowledge is power") attributed to 16th century philosopher Sir Francis Bacon is nowadays more valid than ever. Knowledge is power and knowledge management is the key to success.

Knowledge management, in business terms, refers to saving, developing, sharing, and effectively using knowledge for the benefit of organization. It refers to a multi-disciplined approach of achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge.

In order to manage knowledge, one should be aware of different types of it: explicit (codified knowledge, found in documents), tacit (non codified, personal/experience-based knowledge and embedded knowledge (within people and processes).

Explicit knowledge a type of knowledge which is easily transferred to someone else by teaching it or putting it into a database or a book: for example - company's safety protocols which are easily demonstrated to a new employee.

It is formalized and codified. Knowledge management systems arrange storage, retrieval, and modification of documents and texts but also ensure that knowledge is accessible, reviewed, updated, or discarded.

Explicit knowledge is found in: databases, memos, notes, documents, etc.

While explicit knowledge is clear and straightforward, implicit knowledge refers to intuitive processes based on experience which lead to the result: offering a small discount for your regular customer or arranging the vegetarian snack for your biggest investor. This type of knowledge is often context dependent, personal in nature and requires action, commitment, and involvement.

It is difficult for knowledge management systems to obtain this type of knowledge but it can be encouraged and promoted by systems of knowledge management: supporting collaboration within company through knowledge networks or searching for advice or expert in professional networks.

Tacit knowledge is found in the mind of the people. It refers to cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models, skills, capabilities and expertise an individual can have. The essence of tacit knowledge is intuition and experience.

Embedded knowledge is acquired through various processes, products, culture, routines. The management integrates way of handling problems into the company's procedures. This is dynamic, contextual and dispersed knowledge which manages interaction.

Embedded knowledge is found in: rules, processes, manuals, organizational culture, codes of conduct, ethics, products, etc. Although it can be written it is not explicit because it is not immediately apparent why doing something in a certain way is beneficial to the organization.

 

Online knowledge management

With knowledge management, the main company resource becomes the knowledge itself: company's documents, employees and procedures. In order to use full potential of company's knowledge, an intelligent system is required.

Technology tools that support knowledge management are called knowware. Most knowledge management software packages include one or more of the following tools: collaborative computing tools, knowledge servers, enterprise knowledge portals, electronic document management systems, knowledge harvesting tools, search engines, and knowledge management suites. The most effective are online platforms, for example Tally Fox, can be set up in 60 seconds.

Online knowledge systems deal with different types of knowledge which ensures numerous benefits for any company:

Explicit knowledge: Once an online platform is established, databases and company documents are no longer office limited. Keeping papers in folders in endless drawers is a thing of a past. Your online storage space is not only practically unlimited but it is far easier to handle document search and editing. While working on a project all the files are kept in one central location, and everyone works off of one central copy.  Furthermore, it is less complicated to merge and obtain new databases. Two companies' databases can be adjoined with just a few clicks.

Implicit knowledge: Social interaction initiates experience exchange. Tacit knowledge is based on experience.  Workers within the company have various means to communicate while using online platforms: instant messaging, file sharing even video conferencing. If an urgent problem occurs, the person in charge can be contacted and access the data within seconds even if he or she is not in the same room or even in the same continent. Internet has enabled easy access to people with the right skills within the company but also around the world. Employers can hire experts with specific knowledge needed, searching through professional networks. Having all the right people connected and gathered within one system makes the job easier done. In addition, cultural change and innovation are achieved.

Embedded knowledge: All the company knowledge is actually embedded within knowledge management online platform. Information, relevant for the company and how it is handled by employees in problem solving tasks is stored and kept on one place and available to whom it may concern. Managing and controlling the knowledge is easier to achieve and executives have a wider range of options.

Knowledge management seeks to make the best use of the knowledge because knowledge is power but only when shared and properly used.

More Stories By Jim Taylor

Jim Taylor has been a writer and a business content developer since 2008. He mostly writes about business strategy and technology.