What is Knowledge Management ?

What is Knowledge Management ?

Knowledge management is the systematic capture of insights and experiences to enable an organization to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge. The insights and the experiences of individuals in the organization comprise the knowledge that is created in the organization and is embedded in the form of practices and processes.

Knowledge Management is an organizational function that concerns itself with the capture, storage, and dissemination of the knowledge that is inherent in the organization by using software or a Processual tool to capture, store, and disseminate knowledge. The objective of knowledge management is to enhance organizational competitiveness, improve performance, the sharing of lessons learnt, and the continuous improvement of the organizational processes. Typically, organizations have well-established tools and software to capture, store, and disseminate the learning’s that accrue because of the organizational processes.

The Practice of Knowledge Management

Companies like 3M, Pfizer, and Infosys are thought to the world leaders in KM. This is because they have a clear set of guidelines for capturing knowledge after every project or product that they rolled out. For instance, these companies have guidelines for project managers to publish the learning’s that have accrued after a project and upload them into the KM system. Further, the bottom line imperative for a successful KM system is that employees should have a sharing mindset instead of an exclusivity mindset. What this means is that the employees must be willing to share their insight and knowledge with the other employees.

Apart from this, to actualize a successful KM system, hierarchy and barriers to sharing of knowledge must be eliminated. What this means is that a culture of openness must pervade the organization with no impediments to the flow of knowledge through the organizational arteries.

Strategies for Knowledge Management

As discussed above, many organizations consider KM integral to their core processes. Indeed, KM has become so widely prevalent in organizational discourse that it is rare to find a large organization without a KM system in place. Further, the existence of a KM system has become necessary for organizations to achieve the SEI-CMM certification. Moreover, there is recognition that a KM system is necessary in order not to “reinvent the wheel”. What this means is that learning’s can be used to avoid duplication of work, and eliminate redundancies in the organizational processes. Apart from this, a KM system improves organizational communication and loosens up the rigid walls between different functions in the organization. Finally, a KM system is needed to ensure that past mistakes form the stepping-stones for future success.

Closing Thoughts

As Francis Bacon said, Knowledge is Power. Hence, the sharing of knowledge is integral to an organizations’ success and this is the rationale and driving force behind having a well functioning KM system. In conclusion, this article has set the context for the subsequent exploration into the various dimensions and aspects of KM across the world and the resultant increase in competitiveness and strategic advantage.

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Knowldege Management