Why do we need Knowledge Management?

Why does knowledge have to be managed in any organization?

Knowledge exists everywhere in every business organization. But most of the time, it exists in “pockets” – with people called “super-users“. Do you recall the last time you had a problem with your printer, you called up your colleague in the other department because you knew he had the knowledge to fix it.

But here’s the question – only you knew that this colleague could fix the problem with your printer. But how many other people knew this? So imagine what would happen if 10 people in your organization had problems with their printers and did not know how to fix it or who to ask for help? Imagine the amount of productivity that would be lost or the impact it would have on your organization? what would happen if there were quotations or price lists to be submitted and you could not do it – just because the printer did not work and nobody else knew where to look for help?

That was just a simple example. But in reality, there might be many more such incidents which could actually impact the earnings of your organization – and the impact could actually run into millions of dollars.

That is why knowledge has to be managed.

Knowledge has to be managed so that:

  • Knowledge is available to all – in the form of a commonly accessible Knowledge-base.
  • Everybody knows where to look for help when they need it.
  • There is minimal or no impact at all on the business due to lack of knowledge.
  • Knowledge can be effectively leveraged to achieve business objectives.

This is where you, as a Knowledge Manager can play a crucial role in helping your organization grow and achieve all its business goals.

Managing Knowledge: As a Knowledge Manager – you will spend all your time “managing” knowledge in your organization.

Simply put – you will make sure that:

  • All knowledge is captured and effectively documented.
  • All knowledge related to the process/account actually exists.
  • All existing knowledge is simple, usable and user-friendly.
  • This knowledge is used effectively by all concerned – in other words, monitor the use of knowledge.
  • Train the trainer: Design and deliver training whenever necessary.

You will also:

  • Keep a track of the performance of your process/account/team by monitoring the Service Level statistics.
  • Look for any shortfalls in the service levels.
  • If you note any such shortfalls in Service levels – probe deeper and try to understand why such a shortfall has occurred.
  • Note if the knowledge related to that specific incident exists.
  • If it exists – find out if it was used in the right manner to fix the problem.
  • If the knowledge existed and was used and still did not resolve the problem – find out why and correct/modify, as necessary.
  • If knowledge existed and was not used – find out why. Was it not used because it was not “user-friendly”? Or was it not used for any other reason? Was it a “will” issue or a “skill” issue?
  • Record your findings and pass it along to the Operations team (such as the Service Delivery Manager/Operations Manager/Supervisor/Team Lead for that process in your company.).