Knowledge Management is a new sphere of management. It refers to a range of practices that are used by organizations for identification, creation, representation and distribution of knowledge for awareness, reuse and learning across an organization. It focuses on the maximization of business performance, by making the most out of the synergy between processes, people and technology.
Knowledge Management is applied to techniques that are utilized for the methodical compilation, transfer, security and management of information and data in organizations. To be more specific, it refers to the techniques and tools that are intended to safeguard the information availability held by key people and to make the decision making process easier. It is like a software market and an area in consultancy practice, related to disciplines such as competitive aptitude. You can even reduce risks with the help of Knowledge Management, since it deals with issues that are critical to organizational adaptation, expertise and endurance, in the wake of changes in the environment.
In other words, the specific knowledge of any business should be considered critical and should be reflected in the policies, strategy, practices and the overall functioning of any organization. Knowledge management is essential to establish a link between the positive business outcome and the implied and obvious intellectual property of the organization. In practice, it involves the mapping and recognizing of an organization’s creative knowledge for competitive advantage, intellectual assets, making available a large amount of business information and allocation of the best technology and practices.
It is not easy to define Knowledge Management, since it is a complex domain. There is a strong connection between popular management strategies and practices and knowledge management. It includes best practices, benchmarking and even risk management. According to the business community, knowledge management is an accepted extension of the re-engineering of business processes. Knowledge and information are recognized as assets – most business strategies, tools and policies are needed to be in place in order to manage these assets. The need for managing knowledge cannot be denied, but every organization needs to act upon this need.
Knowledge transfer, a part of knowledge management, has always existed in one form or the other. However, since the twentieth century additional technology has been added to this task such as expert systems, knowledge bases and knowledge repositories.
Drivers of Knowledge Management
Several motivating factors, or “drivers”, lead to an organization adopting a knowledge management program. The first among these is the desire to gain competitive advantage that comes with faster or improved learning and creation of new knowledge.
Programs related to the management of knowledge may lead to consistency in profitable practices, greater innovation and access of knowledge across the globe, along with better customer experience and other benefits. Considerations that drive a knowledge management program include:
- Managing and facilitating organizational innovation
- Leveraging the expertise of people within the company
- Achieving shorter and new cycles of product development.
- Making increased knowledge content available for the development of services and products.
As knowledge management becomes better understood and more widely used in the business world, it will also become more effective.