4 Knowledge Management Processes to Know

4 Main Knowledge Management Processes

Knowledge management is defined as the process of producing, distributing, utilizing, and managing the information of an organization. An objective of the knowledge management process is to preserve the information of employees as well as their experiences within a business in order to utilize that knowledge most efficiently.

Properly managing the collective knowledge of an organization affords businesses many noteworthy benefits. Benefits of implementing knowledge management process best practices include the ability for businesses to create and sustain a competitive advantage in their industry.

Knowledge assets require their own management strategy as they are an invaluable business resource. As such, utilizing the collective knowledge within an organization efficiently should be a top business priority.

The 4 main knowledge management processes consist of-

1. Acquisition

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Knowledge acquisition is the first step of knowledge management systems and solutions that business professionals should consider. The acquisition of knowledge by means of knowledge assets is one generative method.

An example of knowledge assets would be the knowledge of new products by means of a business competitor. Another example of knowledge assets could occur through the utilization of raw data into knowledge solutions to address business related problems.

Successful knowledge acquisition relies on the availability and accessibility of correct data. If data is inaccurate then the knowledge that results from it would also be incorrect.

As a result, any decision making that was based on incorrect knowledge would also be inaccurate. Due to the domino effect of inaccurate information, businesses must make sure that knowledge within the organization is accurate and accessible.

2. Storage

Proper storage of knowledge is absolutely crucial to any successful knowledge management solution utilized by a business. Knowledge storage not only seeks to keep knowledge safe within an organization but also is a means to organize data.

All businesses have a surplus of unorganized data and information. Successful knowledge organization helps businesses to utilize relevant knowledge optimally.

A knowledge repository saves both existing and new knowledge acquired. An example of a knowledge repository would be an information technology device that hosts a specific knowledge domain.

The organized knowledge contained within the repository allows for knowledge to be categorized and organized. As a result of the organization and categorization that a repository supplies more successful knowledge management is possible.

3. Distribution

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Successful knowledge distribution is crucial for knowledge management solution best practices. Knowledge distribution allows for employees to access within organization information.

Knowledge exchange allows for employees to communicate information within the organization. Additionally, knowledge exchange can allow knowledge to be passed to other organizations.

Knowledge distribution can include the sharing of both implicit and explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is accessible and generally easy both to share and communicate. Case studies are a well known explicit knowledge example.

Alternatively, implicit knowledge such as organizational culture is demonstrated through actions. The combination of explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge within an organization is referred to as organizational memory.

Unfortunately, the organizational memory of a business can be lost. Examples of situations where organization memory is lost could include improper document management or information technology issues.

Considering the consequences associated with organizational memory loss, businesses should address data management and information technology issues promptly. Additionally, best practices for data management and information technology would support proactive measures instead of reactivity.

4. Use

Knowledge use occurs when available knowledge is applied. Knowledge utilization examples often happen during task performance and decision making initiatives.

Knowledge utilization can occur through routine or direction. In the knowledge management framework, a routine is defined as knowledge embedded within processes, procedures, products, and rules.

Routine is utilized to direct future behavior with an organization. In the knowledge management framework, a direction is defined as the process of advising another person without knowledge transfer occurring.

An example of direction would occur if an expert was contacted to resolve a specialized issue. In this example, the expert would instruct the inquirer on how to resolve the issue.

Both routine and direction are applicable to explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge. Overall, knowledge use is a crucial knowledge management system component that streamlines value creation.

Key Takeaways for Knowledge Management

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  • By definition knowledge management is defined as the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing organizational information. Knowledge management strategy must include both knowledge creation and knowledge sharing processes.
  • With a proper knowledge management strategy in place lessons learned and management best practices are utilized more optimally.

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