Modern organizations are awash with information, and utilizing an organization’s intellectual capital and accumulated experiences into something actionable for business has become a challenge in the Information Age. It’s a recognized competitive advantage to turn disorganized data repositories into efficient, easy to access, and searchable vaults of information. Because organizations struggle with effective and efficient ways to accumulate and leverage their intellectual capital, knowledge workers have lost opportunities to make timely and informed business decisions that would’ve benefitted from the client and market insights that Knowledge Management provides.
What is Knowledge Management?
As a concept, Knowledge Management is about equipping individual employees with the collective knowledge of the company so that people can harness prior work across the organization for the benefit of work in the present as well as the future. It in essence institutionalizes in-house knowledge for the sake of allowing your workforce to learn from and utilize core assets you have already created.
As time goes by, a great deal of the knowledge an organization creates is based upon collaboration, whether it’s derived from shared ideas between colleagues or insights picked up from interactions with clients or vendors. Capturing these lessons learned during everyday exchanges is key to capturing knowledge into something that can be codified into processes and checklists and utilized for the benefit of the rest of the company long term.
Organizations looking to institutionalize knowledge capture can turn to information management platforms that that make collected information easy to re-use down the road and can offer helpful search tools and templates to locate, tag, and organize every in-house asset so that it can be called upon constructively and efficiently whenever it is needed.
Why does Knowledge Management matter?
We live in the Information Age where information itself acts like a powerful currency that an organization can leverage as intellectual capital in the marketplace. Organizations that can effectively capture, manage, and leverage their intellectual capital, will win more business, deliver client value more efficiently and outperform their competition.
In real world terms that means that organizations that do Knowledge Management well, are less vulnerable to losing subject matter expertise over the passage of time due to lost assets or staff turnover. And employees are liberated from the drudgery of inefficient information searches that research has shown eats up as much as 30% of a knowledge worker’s time. The bottom line here is that when employees spend less time searching for the insights they need, they’ll have more time to produce value-adding initiatives and be attentive to their actual job descriptions.
An all-too-common struggle for organizations has been keeping track of relevant existing assets that can win new deals or assist with projects currently in the pipeline. Whereas organizations that adopt Knowledge Management can properly tag documents with metadata and have benefitted from placing information in a context that facilitates its re-use in a relevant way later.
Additionally, by compiling knowledge into an accumulated knowledge bank, organizations can codify the lessons they learn over the years into checklists and processes that help ensure past mistakes are not repeated. The 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends revealed that 75% of respondents prioritized “creating and preserving knowledge” as an important strategy for their future and immediate business, and yet only 9% of those same respondents claimed they are equipped with the means to pull it off.
Possessing a platform that enforces, guides, and automates the steps required for knowledge capture and re-use ensures organizations are able to use Knowledge Management the right way. And in a way that can address concerns about redacting confidential client information from people not authorized to see certain things by implementing automated workflows that help ensure a flawless anonymization process with reviews, approvals and publishing. Knowledge Management can also streamline organizations with periodic reviews of assets to help maintain the most current versions, archive anything that is obsolete, or apply new tags as internal terminology evolves.
All of this points to the reality that as the business landscape continues to evolve, leveraging knowledge from within an organization is now a priority and no longer simply a “nice-to-have” luxury. Those that aren’t thinking about adopting Knowledge Management are already behind.
How can M-Files help make a difference?
The end goal of Knowledge Management is really to future-proof your organization by codifying your institutional knowledge and avoiding any repeat of past mistakes. Because at its most basic level, Knowledge Management is all about allowing knowledge to be filed and re-used as an asset. Properly done, Knowledge Management means avoiding ever having to re-invent the wheel by enabling all employees to call upon accumulated assets and to improve workflows and become more proficient in what they do, regardless of their level of expertise.
And when M-Files enters the equation as the single source of truth for all enterprise data, the task of Knowledge Management becomes that much easier. M-Files is a metadata-driven information management platform that was designed to address common knowledge management challenges with tools that automate processes related to capturing, codifying, and re-using knowledge that can be leveraged for business time and time again.
The metadata-driven M-Files platform can address common Knowledge Management challenges to help capture, codify, and re-use knowledge. With metadata, views, enterprise search, templates, and workflows, M-Files provides the right tools for organizations to keep up with the new realities of doing business in the Information Age.