We all remember those trips to the library as a kid. You’d search the database for the latest “Goosebumps” or Judy Blume book and race to its exact shelf.
But imagine this experience without the super-organized Dewey Decimal System, call numbers, and catalog. What good would a library be if you couldn’t find what you were looking for?
It would waste a lot of knowledge, that’s for sure.
Knowledge management is doing for businesses what the Dewey Decimal System did for libraries: providing access to the resources you need. To get technical, this “codification approach” to knowledge management is a push strategy that makes knowledge accessible to an organization by collecting and storing codified information in previously designed electronic databases.
Whether you call it a knowledge bank, knowledge repository, expertise directory, or something else, it’s just a centralized source of information primed to help you work smarter. But let’s put all this technical jargon aside and focus on what it can actually do for you.
Influence & Co. specializes in extracting clients’ expertise and creating high-quality educational articles for their target audience. We use clients’ stream-of-consciousness responses to specific questions to craft unique articles that reflect their expertise.
A knowledge management system is the perfect complement to our business model. We’re now starting to create organized, searchable, and confidential knowledge banks for each client to make our process more efficient.
Although this system is still under construction, knowledge banks serve several functions:
The knowledge bank system works best for our content creation efforts, but this particular model may not be the best format for your company’s information storage needs. Regardless of its specific features, a knowledge management system can help you store and extract information with ease.
Consider a study KMWorld and APQC conducted. They asked 494 business professionals how effective they believe their content management efforts are. Only 3 percent responded “very effective” while 43 percent said they were “minimally effective” or “not effective.” Interestingly, more than two-thirds of the respondents who rated their efforts “effective” or “very effective” have a formal knowledge management strategy in place.
Knowledge banks can increase productivity, employee engagement, and collaboration while also reducing the time it takes new employees to get up to speed. When you’re ready to reap these benefits — and many more — here are five tips for implementing a knowledge management system:
Imagine wandering through your local library in search of a single book. Having general book categories, clearly marked call numbers, and a computer system to point you to its exact location will save you hours — if not days — and help keep your sanity intact.
Although you might not need the complexity of the Dewey Decimal System to manage your content or internal information, the organizational ideas behind this structure can help employees find useful information without wasting their time asking the same questions over and over.
Find a system that makes sense for your company, and let it educate for you. The boost in productivity and efficiency will be worth the effort you put into creating it.