Contemporary Definition Of Knowledge Management System

Contemporary Definition Of Knowledge Management System

Contemporary Definition Of Knowledge Management System

Contemporary Definition Of Knowledge Management System
Service Desk

“Knowledge Management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge” – this is the old and classic one-line definition by Tom Davenport.

Read the full article on the old definition of Knowledge management here.

The contemporary definition of Knowledge management: tries to offer a contemporary yet powerful definition for Modern Knowledge Management. Knowledge is a life-blood of modern knowledge-driven enterprises. The purpose of a knowledge management system should be to provide the right information at the right time to the right person. This is what a KM system should be doing for your enterprise.

Significance of KM?

Knowledge management is not a theoretical construct. It impacts the dollar value of the company. It is important because it increases the decision-making capability of an organization. It empowers employees by giving them access to required information and helps them take quick, informed decisions that benefit the company.

The study by IDC reveals below facts in KM-

  • Employees spend 15% to 35% of their time looking for relevant information

  • Only 21% of respondents find the information they needed 85% to100% of the time

  • 40% of corporate users reported that they cannot find the information they need to do their jobs on their intranets.

  • 90% of the information found on the intranet is unstructured and the amount of information employees navigate is increasing despite having KM systems

McKinsey has also reported that employees spend 1.8 hours every day—9.3 hours per week, on average—searching and gathering information.

Imagine the impact on the productivity of employees!

IBM tries to explain what Knowledge Management System consists of, in a simple way-

Collect, Connect, Exploit and Explore

According to the study, organizations focus on collecting/creating data (Collect), make the data accessible to the employees (Connect), make the employees find information through intranet (Exploit) and finally employees look for extra support (Explore).

The combination of Exploit & Collect forms Harvest, Exploit & Connect forms Harness, Explore & Collect results in Hunt and Explore & Connect in Hypothesize.

  1. Harvest means to gather- harvesting knowledge is a process of directly accessing codified or explicit knowledge. For example, a Self-Service portal or intranet which is a centralized knowledge platform or document repository.

  2. Harness means to confine - This area of knowledge management will typically focus on facilitating the learning capabilities of an organization by connecting people to several different knowledge sources.

  3. Hunt means to pursue - Employees know what exactly they are looking for but don’t find the information or the portals don’t direct properly.

  4. Hypothesis is an assumption - Knowledge is the result of a process where personal or tacit knowledge is accessed to formulate or prove a hypothesis. This area of knowledge management takes a significant amount of time, money, and skilled resources to reach an acceptable result.

Along with these few facts and data, let us understand what are the key problems faced by employees with the old KM Systems.

Top 6 problems in Traditional Knowledge Management Systems:

The adoption of traditional KM systems by the employees is very low. Although enterprises invest money in getting a KM system, they typically run into some issues

  1. Incomplete Knowledge – Employees ideally would like to see the entire enterprise’s knowledge in one place – and not fragmented in multiple systems. If they do come to KM and find missing information, they are less likely to use the KM again.  

  2. Stale content- It is a pain to maintain traditional knowledge management systems. The gaps in knowledge are not readily visible to the curators – and therefore cannot be filled quickly.  

  3. Long-form content- Typically the content of knowledge systems is long-form, text only. Now, who wants to sift through that kind of content to find the answer to your question?  

  4. Lack of right channel- The traditional KM systems want the users to come to them – instead of being available in a location/channel like MS Teams where users already spend time. This additional step is a great block to wider acceptability.  

  5. Sub-optimal search and user experience- Some of the traditional KM systems have sub-optimal searches, and that further reduces user experience.  

  6. Low adoption- Based on all the above points - employees don’t use a traditional KM system unless they have to.  

Also, read our blog on the Top 4 reasons why employees don’t use traditional systems.

Having discussed the facts and limitations of the traditional KM Systems, let us see what are the latest trends in Modern KM Systems.

7 Latest Trends of Modern KM system

  1. Twitter/Tik-Tok/Instagram inspired: This is the age of visual and short (to-the-point) information. Long-form or too much text is not preferred by my employees and organizations in this busy world.  
  2. Conversational interface: The new interface for KM is chatbots. Conversational AI is easy and quick – and search/content/other complexity is hidden from the users.  
  3. Location/Channel: The channel of a modern KM system should be a system where users already spend time. Collaboration tools like MS Teams and Slack fit the description. Check the top KM systems built within MS Teams here.  

  4. Feedback loop and content quality: If the right content does not exist in the KM today – it should be there tomorrow! You need a KM system that is quick to react to users' needs. This is critical to success.  

  5. Decentralized content creation/suggestion: Who is the owner of enterprise knowledge? If the answer is not clear to you, you are not alone. Just as in the case of Data ownership within an organization – we will also have to find “Knowledge stewards” for different functional/geo parts of the enterprise. The knowledge ownership should be decentralized – while knowledge dissemination should be seamless.  

  6. Gamification: Suggesting new knowledge content and finding gaps in it should be rewarding. The new KM system should make it fun for employees to use and create enterprise knowledge.  

  7. Facilitates knowledge -as-a-Service: Finally – we are in a phase of our enterprise journey where “Knowledge as a Service” or “Knowledge as part of Enterprise Service management” will gain ground. A department will only offer knowledge as a service when they know it will reduce their day-to-day pressure, organizational friction, and repetitive tasks. A product that can put a modern KM in the context of Service is the way to look towards the future of KM.  

How helps modern Knowledge Management Systems? fits the knowledge management as part of a broader AI ESM context and provides an AI-powered ESM System that delivers the right information to the employees at the right time. To know more about, visit the website now.

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