Knowledge management (KM) is an integral part of most successful businesses. It helps to create what might be called a "knowledge network" which users can leverage in their search for answers. It is used to assist organisations in maintaining an efficient system of information that is beneficial to employees. However, many organisations fail to recognise the importance of KM and do not prioritise it as an essential element of business maintenance. Consequently, not enough time is invested in assessing the issues that arise in KM databases.
Here are our top five issues that companies must address when building their KM systems:
Uncertainty about how to determine information worth
Employees might often find it difficult to determine whether the knowledge they have is valuable enough to input into the system. In some cases, they may underestimate the importance of the information they have. For this reason, organisations should train employees in knowledge management strategies and set standards that they can use to assess the value of their content. This should include standards for:
- Quality: Many organisations suffer from having an excess of low quality information. The content should be accurate and clear. Ambiguous information will only mislead and confuse anyone who attempts to use it.
- Comprehensiveness: The content must be inclusive. Insufficient information might render the knowledge useless, defeating its purpose.
- Purpose: Naturally, the knowledge must be of use to the organisation. Useless and irrelevant information will only add unnecessary clutter to the system.
- Timeliness: The content must be up-to-date in order for it to be relevant to users.
Risk of intellectual property theft
Because KM is digitised, there is an increasing fear of knowledge being stolen from organisations. There is always a risk of cyber attacks or even the unethical use of trade secrets by employees. Consequently, organisations should strengthen their cyber security strategies and aim to instill a sense of loyalty and devotion to the company in their employees.
Absence of routine maintenance
KM systems should be reviewed periodically. Content that is deemed redundant, unnecessary, inaccurate or out of date should be removed, improved or made current. This helps users avoid making mistakes as a result of misinformation or getting lost in clutter filled data bases. It also allows them to search for knowledge without hindering their ability to locate the information they require.
Poor categorisation of knowledge taxonomies
For KM systems to function smoothly, it is important that the content is categorised appropriately. This makes it easily accessible to users and gives them a smooth and efficient experience. A knowledge base that is not well categorised defeats the purpose of building KM systems as it produces poor search results.
Absence of KM customisation
Part of giving users a smooth experience heavily depends on the modification of knowledge and tools to accommodate their needs. It is important that organisations make use of feedback, complaints and usage statistics to customise their KM databases to suit their users. They must also take into consideration the limited capabilities of users to make their search for information an easy experience.
Giva offers eKnowledgeManager™, a knowledge base application that helps you capture knowledge as it is created so that it can be distributed and shared with the right individuals at a later date. Giva eKnowledgeManager streamlines creating, categorising, and retrieving knowledge, and integrates seemlessly with other Giva application modules, like our help desk/customer service/call tracking softare. For more information, please contact us.