Knowledge Management (KM)
Definition from Wikipedia Page
In Using MIS Kroenke defines Knowledge Management as the process of creating value from intellectual capital and sharing the knowledge with employees, managers, suppliers, customers, and others who need it.
Benefits of Knowledge ManagementBefore implementing any new projects, programs or strategy according to Platinum author of Benefits of Knowledge Management “one needs to make sure that it is really worth investing and value adding.” Knowledge Management is one of the best ways to not only motivate but also to improve employee retention rates. Knowledge Management allows employees to continue to learn new things so their job does not become stagnate and repetitive. The more job experience and knowledge an employee has not only benefits the employee but also the organization because it can increase revenue by getting products and services to the market faster. Through Knowledge Management one can guide an employee to come up with new innovative ideas that can improve customer service by making response time faster. Overall Knowledge Management can lower the cost of doing business, increase productivity, and can help produce better quality products.
Challenges with Knowledge Management
In the article The ABC of knowledge Management is states that there are 5 challenges with Knowledge Management “Getting employees on board, Allowing Technology to Dictate Knowledge Management, Not Having a Specific Business Goal, and Knowledge Management is Not Static.” Before implementing a Knowledge Management program it is important to first determine that it fits in with the organizational goals. There must be a good reason to implement a knowledge management program and just because other companies are doing it. An organization will waste money and resources if they try to implement a knowledge management program if it is not needed. Getting employees to except Knowledge Management is sometimes one of the most difficult things to do. Sometimes there are employees that do not want to share what they now because it can take away from what makes the valuable to the organization and separated them from other employees. It is also important to analyze the culture of the organization at the time of implementing knowledge management. The organization has to make sure to installs, if it is not there already a culture that rewards employees that learn new things or come up with new ideas. Organizations also need to be aware that buying knowledge management software does not always guarantee the success of implementing knowledge management programs and could possibly ended up costing them more money. To successfully implement a Knowledge Management program it essential that it is kept updated constantly. This is because just like technology knowledge can become obsolete. Employees can develop new and better way of efficiently doing their jobs. Organizations goals can change forcing employees to adapt to those changes. Organizations also need to make sure to determine what knowledge they actually want, since there are many employees they could all bring their there own set of ways of doing things that are not always that valuable to the business.
Implementing Knowledge Management
As mentioned above it is a challenging task for any organization to try to implement knowledge management. According to Robert Simmons Implementing KM article there are eight phases to successfully implementing knowledge management. Phase 1 is Establishing program objectives. In this phase it is important to take into account both short term and long term objectives. The short-term objectives will help guide an organization I determining whether the knowledge management program being implemented is working or if it may need some modifications. The long-term objectives will help determine create and communicate the big picture. Phase 2 is to Prepare for change. One of the most difficult things in implementing knowledge management is in getting employees to except the change. If an organization rewards it employees for individual performance, employees may be reluctant to want to share what they know with every other employee. If this is the case an organization needs to try to change the culture at the company. One thing they can do is let there employees know ahead of time about a knowledge management program that is going to be introduced. Letting them know why it is going to be introduced and what gains do you expect it to bring not just fro the organization but also to them selves. Phase 3 is Define high-level process. Some of the process that goes into knowledge management is creation, identification, classification, capture, validation, transfer, maintenance, archival, measurement and reporting. Organizations that do not fallow a high level process of knowledge management will not get the full benefit of knowledge management and has the potential to fail. Phase 4 is Determining and prioritizes technology needs. An organization needs to make sure that the technology helps them in better administrating the knowledge management program. First the organization needs to determine whether the technology they already have is sufficient enough to properly track the process of the knowledge management program. They need to make sure that they do not just go of and buy new technology if there current technology can support the new knowledge management. Phase 5 is Asses current sate. After completing the previous four phases the organization needs to asses some knowledge management components. They are people processes, technology, structure, and culture. The organization needs to determine whether there are any problems that need correcting in any of these components. Phase 6 is Building implementation roadmap. After the assessments made in phase 5 it is possible to determine what areas need priority to improve. This phase allows planning for any possible future roadblocks that may accrue. Phase 7 is Implementation. It makes take a while to get the full benefit of knowledge management and the organization may still encounter some resistance of the new program. So it is important for the organization needs make sure that incremental advances are made and publicized. Phase 8 is Measure and improve program. It will be to the organization to set some base line measures to determine how well or not the knowledge management program is working. It is important to be patient because it will take some time for the organization to adapt and understand fully the knowledge management program. Some possible measures can be performance, quality, compliance and value.