Business process management software Enterprise Knowledge Management

Enterprise Knowledge Management: 7 Surprising Benefits & Best Practices

Enterprise knowledge management is an essential tool for any organization. However, it’s often overlooked as not many understand its importance.

In order for businesses to remain competitive, they need to have an enterprise knowledge management system. If not done or not done correctly, businesses risk having a team of uninformed employees who waste valuable time looking for information they need to do their jobs at the highest level.

But what exactly is enterprise knowledge management? What can organizations do to get started? And how do they make sure it’s done right?

The answers to these questions lie in the post below. Consider this your jumping-off point!

What is enterprise knowledge management?

Enterprise knowledge management is the practice of creating, organizing, sharing, and utilizing knowledge and information within an organization to improve its performance and achieve its objectives. 

It involves identifying and capturing knowledge assets, such as data, documents, and expertise, and making them available to those who need them.

It can help organizations make better-informed decisions by providing access to relevant and timely information. And it can also promote a culture of collaboration and innovation by sharing knowledge and best practices. 

Additionally, enterprise knowledge management increases the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes by reducing duplication of effort and identifying opportunities for automation. 

Enterprise knowledge management helps businesses manage risks and respond to challenges by providing access to critical information and expertise.

Key components of enterprise knowledge management

There are three key parameters that make up enterprise knowledge management. Here’s a breakdown of them:

Knowledge capture

This refers to a business’s ability to take implied knowledge and transform it into explicit information employees can have easy access to. 

To do this, team members with expert knowledge in a particular area capture knowledge about it and turn it into a format that can be easily understood by others. Knowledge goes from being vague and unclear to concrete information that is ready to be consumed.

Knowledge storage

Knowledge storage is the place where you keep your knowledge. Is it stored in software? If so, which one? Is it stored in hard copies? If so, where is it all filed?

Actually, please don’t store knowledge in hard copies. I mean, come on, we’ve evolved passed that by now. Don’t be a Boomer.

With knowledge storage, information is organized and structured in such a way that employees can easily find what they need.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge is useless if it’s put in a system that is disorganized and complicated where no one can find anything. It should be fast and easy for employees to find the information they need to perform their roles at the highest level.

The fact is, employees can’t do that if knowledge is not easily shared within an organization. Proper knowledge storage, as well as company culture, are the biggest keys to ensuring the most effective knowledge sharing.

Benefits of enterprise knowledge management

There are a number of benefits to enterprise knowledge management. Here are some of the biggest:

Improved decision-making

Enterprise knowledge management helps organizations make better-informed decisions by collecting and analyzing data from various sources. 

By gaining insights into business processes and identifying areas for improvement, organizations can make more effective decisions and achieve better outcomes.

Increased efficiency and productivity

By sharing knowledge and best practices, employees can learn from each other and work together to solve problems. This leads to increased efficiency and productivity, which can translate into increased revenue.

Reduced costs

Enterprise knowledge management can help organizations reduce costs by eliminating duplicate efforts, streamlining processes, and identifying opportunities for automation. This leads to cost savings and improved profitability.

Faster innovation and time to market

Businesses are able to innovate more quickly when knowledge sharing is easy and fluid, and they can bring new products and services to market faster. This is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment, where the ability to innovate is a key competitive advantage.

Improved customer service

By capturing and sharing knowledge about customer preferences, behaviors, and needs, organizations can improve the quality of their customer service. This leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Better risk management

Enterprise knowledge management can help organizations identify and mitigate risks by capturing and sharing knowledge about potential risks and their impact. This leads to better risk management and improved business continuity.

Enhanced employee engagement and retention

Organizations can enhance employee engagement and retention through informational transparency. Employees who feel valued and empowered are more likely to stay with the organization and contribute to its success.

Enterprise knowledge management best practices

To make sure you get the most out of enterprise knowledge management, utilize these best practices:

Define clear goals and objectives

Before implementing enterprise knowledge management, it’s important to define clear goals and objectives. These goals should align with the organization’s overall strategy and should be measurable. 

This will help ensure that enterprise knowledge management efforts are focused on achieving specific business outcomes.

Identify key knowledge assets

Organizations should identify the knowledge assets that are critical to achieving their goals. This includes data, documents, expertise, and other types of knowledge. Once these assets are identified, they should be organized and made accessible to those who need them.

Foster a culture of knowledge sharing

Enterprise knowledge management is not just about technology; it’s also about people. Organizations should encourage a culture of knowledge sharing by promoting collaboration, recognizing and rewarding knowledge sharing, and providing training and support to employees.

Use technology to support enterprise knowledge management

Technology can play a critical role in enterprise knowledge management by providing tools for knowledge creation, organization, dissemination, and utilization. 

Organizations should choose the right technology tools to support their enterprise knowledge management efforts, such as knowledge management systems, content management systems, and collaboration tools.

Monitor and evaluate efforts

It’s important to monitor and evaluate enterprise knowledge management efforts to ensure that they are achieving their intended outcomes. This includes tracking metrics such as knowledge utilization, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.

Continuously improve 

Enterprise knowledge management is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. Organizations should regularly review their enterprise knowledge management efforts and identify areas for improvement. This may involve refining processes, updating technology tools, or providing additional training and support to employees.

Enterprise knowledge software

Enterprise knowledge software can come in a number of forms. Here are four of the most common:

Workflow management software

When you use workflow management software like Process Street, organizational knowledge is automatically stored in your business processes. 

As you complete tasks, assign schedules, and set due dates, you can keep all of the information within the process so everything is stored together in one place. 

Storing information that way makes it easy for relevant employees to find what they need as they go through their workflows

Communication software

Using communication software is a good way for team members to share knowledge either in real-time or asynchronously. These platforms usually come with features such as:

  • Instant messaging 
  • Voice calling
  • Video calling
  • File sharing

Generally, the most commonly used software for this is Slack, as it can help keep track of and organize a high volume of messages. 

But just a warning from personal experience, when using Slack, do your best to only post in the relevant channels and try to respond to posts in threads to help keep things organized. 

To help with this, Slack can integrate with Process Street to keep documents and communication stored in one place.

Knowledge base software

Knowledge base software is a dedicated tool for managing enterprise knowledge. 

Software like Document360 takes all your company content and organizes it into categories that make searching for specific documents easier. 

You have the option to make your account private or public, so you can control who sees what information for both transparency and compliance, which can be a difficult balance. 

One more thing

If you want to give Process Street a try to start building your enterprise knowledge management system, book a demo with us! We’ll show you everything you need to know.

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