What Kind of Knowledge Management Does Your Organization Need?
4 Steps to Find Out
The knowledge of employees is a valuable resource that is of enormous importance for the success and profit increase of a company. If this wealth of knowledge remains hidden, capital is wasted. With the right approach, you can unlock the treasure trove of experience and competence of employees and colleagues to draw from the full potential to achieve company goals faster.
The optimized use of knowledge is the invisible motor that drives projects forward. Every team and department in a company forms an extensive pool of knowledge from which ideas and projects are generated. But have you ever asked yourself where the acquired know-how of employees has its origin? In learning-by-doing? A sophisticated corporate structure? Or self-study?
If you know where the knowledge comes from, you can use it to target your goals more effectively and solve problems. To do this, it should be clear what type of knowledge management is prevalent in your own company. There are two main types of knowledge management:
Organizational knowledge management is based on positioning the knowledge carriers in teams in a targeted and networked manner. In this way, the transfer of information accelerates, and hidden capital is put to practical use. A variation of this method is to make the relevant information accessible to all employees through tools and wikis.
An alternative approach is personal knowledge management. The support of individual talents requires team leaders to know the strengths of colleagues and to integrate these into project developments and realizations. Putting the right people in the right positions saves time and maximizes output.
The type of knowledge management that is most effective varies according to the size of the company. To find out which type seems appropriate, you should necessarily take stock of the current situation.
#1Identify Challenges and Problems
People make mistakes. This fact is an undeniable source of problems concerning the transfer of knowledge. It becomes most visible when new employees join the team. Their level of experience is limited at this time. They need input to understand the processes in the company and to be able to integrate them into their work. It only works if the team equips them with the right tools.
In this case, the question must be whether the essential elements of knowledge transfer work. Are wikis available? Can long-standing employees pass on their knowledge, or are there any obstacles? The reason could be that they want to protect their sovereign knowledge, for the wrong reasons. Is the transfer of communication generally guaranteed, or are there problems at specific points?
Problem analysis can provide information about where knowledge is stuck in the true sense of the word. Use this knowledge to optimize the transfer of knowledge.
The problem analysis is considered the most challenging step to identify how knowledge management in the company can be improved. Both, in an organizational and personal way: First and foremost, all those involved must be aware of the treasures resting in each person. It’s about discovering and retrieving the possibilities!
A certain flexibility is a mandatory requirement for this. Fixed structures hinder the flow of information and the achievement of objectives. It is necessary to adapt to the circumstances, which may lead to different people taking on new roles. Hierarchical thinking must be eliminated when dealing with knowledge. Whether this involves the responsibility of a company’s internal wiki or obligations based on expertise is irrelevant.
#3Make Assessments in Terms of the Company’s Goals
Once you have identified the problems and opportunities, the next task is to channel everything into a suitable form. A wiki can produce faster processes for selected companies than a project group that is in constant exchange. In the end, the knowledge of individual persons is subject to classification or categorization to find the best possible channel.
That also includes requesting specific know-how. It is not about making all employee knowledge available at once but filtering particular details at the right time. In practice, this means taking responsibility for team members with the right skills or creating selected areas in internal wikis. In certain situations, less but richer data is more important for achieving goals.
#4Select Implementation According to Suitable Strategies
The analysis of the resources will ultimately lead to a decision that again calls for flexibility. Strategic use is the keyword to describe the individual sub-steps of projects. When it comes to research and the gathering of information, a generally accessible knowledge pool is essential. If the implementation of a project is imminent, deploy team members according to personal strength.
Those responsible should be aware that external sources, such as customer feedback, can also be considered a knowledge pool. Especially in the service sector, where there is permanent contact with customers, the information should be considered and used to improve the company’s objectives. Depending on orientation, combined knowledge management from different areas may also be required in case of doubt.
Always Keep Knowledge Management in View
It is impossible to commit oneself to an integrated approach to knowledge management. Successful handling requires flexible action and active scanning of the circumstances. The focus will always be on specific goals, but the path to these goals is paved with many decisions. The one who knows how to use the available knowledge at the right time, will reach the target faster and learn how to use the varieties of knowledge management for its projects.
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