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Knowledge Audit: What Is It & Why Is It Important?
A knowledge audit examines an organization's knowledge requirements and how its leadership, organization, technology, and learning can work together to meet those needs. Instead of focusing on numbers, it examines what people in an organization know, how well they know it, and how they share that knowledge. When there is no clear structure for sharing information within a company, people start working in isolation. The result: information silos and duplicate work—leading to inefficiency and wasted productivity. The purpose of a knowledge audit is to show hard evidence of what knowledge an organization requires, its location, how it is used, any challenges and obstacles that exist, and what can be done to improve the flow of things. 4 Components of a Knowledge Audit 1. Knowledge Needs Analysis A knowledge needs analysis is a way to figure out what knowledge people and organizations already know and what other knowledge requirements they may need to be more productive. A knowledge needs analysis will help a company develop an effective knowledge management strategy by highlighting basic requirements and showing areas for improvement. 2. Knowledge Inventory Analysis A knowledge inventory analysis aims to find, record, index, and categorize the organization's existing explicit and tacit knowledge assets. Because explicit knowledge is physical, solid, and generally documented, this analysis may be carried out by looking at where the knowledge is located, how it is organized and accessed, its relevance, and its uses. During an audit, being unable to find documentation can pose serious problems. Document management software can make finding and managing your files easier. In contrast, the analysis of tacit knowledge could be based on people's knowledge and expertise. This can be done by looking at employee directories, their academic and professional degrees, skills, and experience. This analysis helps an organization uncover knowledge gaps and duplicates by comparing its results to a knowledge needs analysis. 3. Knowledge Flow Analysis This is a look into how knowledge flows from where it is to where it is needed. For example, the analysis could look into the organization's policies and practices for web publishing, managing records, or data handling. A knowledge flow analysis will demonstrate how people behave and think when sharing knowledge and highlight good and poor practices. It also involves studying the degree to which people use knowledge daily. When it comes to technology, the focus should be on the systems being used, such as portals and content management, as well as how accessible they are, how easy they are to use, and how frequently they are used. 4. Knowledge Mapping Knowledge mapping is the visualization of sources, flows, barriers, and sinks of knowledge within an organization. It's an impactful guide that shows relationships and dynamics. It also helps better define people's roles, like who creates knowledge, who collects it, or who uses it. It can influence how organizations see knowledge and help them focus on viable opportunities. How to Conduct a Knowledge Audit You can run a knowledge audit through the following steps: Identify Your Objective Setting objectives before you start can help you explicitly state the purpose of your audit and direct you toward the kind of information you should gather.Form an Audit Team Choose the right people to be part of your knowledge audit team. Ensure you include various stakeholders for accuracy. If it's a team audit, you might want to involve a few members who you think will have valuable input.Compile and Catalog Existing Knowledge In this crucial step, you need to make an inventory of the existing knowledge available in your organization and where it is located (i.e., intranet, shared drives, documentation platforms, etc.).Examine the Flow of Knowledge This is where you study how knowledge is shared. Ask yourself, "How do employees access information?" and "Who are they sharing it with?"Spot Obstacles and Gaps As you progress through these steps, you may notice gaps and barriers such as duplicates or knowledge hoarding that impede the flow of knowledge. Here, you can also identify methods that will improve knowledge sharing. Benefits of a Knowledge Audit A knowledge audit improves your organization by uncovering gaps and obstacles in one's internal knowledge base, allowing you to identify areas for improvement. It will help to recognize and avoid duplicates in the future. Additionally, creating a shared understanding of how to use knowledge management processes will help teams stay in sync and better understand how much knowledge is available, where it is stored, and how much more is required. Deliverables & Outputs of a Knowledge Audit While deliverables and outputs may vary, generally, a knowledge audit should: Establish what knowledge an organization needs to attain its goalsHelp assess the significance of knowledge and its contribution to the organization's performanceOffer evidence of how well knowledge is handled and areas where adjustments should be madeIdentify untapped knowledge areasCreate knowledge and social network mapsExamine the usage of external knowledge and identify better ways to use it
Overcome the Dangers of Knowledge Hoarding in the Workplace
The problem of knowledge hoarding has become a growing concern in today's workplace. When employees hoard knowledge, they intentionally withhold critical information from their colleagues and the organization for personal or professional reasons. Knowledge hoarding can also be costly for the organization. According to a study by International Data Corp, Fortune 500 companies lose approximately $31.5 billion annually by failing to share knowledge among individuals and across teams. Why Employees Hoard Knowledge Some reasons why employees might hoard knowledge include: Leverage An employee might believe that possessing something others lack gives them power—in this case, knowledge. For instance, having certain knowledge could give someone an upper hand or make them a star performer, solidifying their position as a valuable team member. Similarly, if they are the only person in the team or company who understands how to handle unique challenges, they would be indispensable or immune to layoffs. Fear It's no secret that people don't like to be wrong. For example, someone working on a project may discover something that will make it better—but instead of sharing this knowledge, they keep it to themselves for fear of rejection or ridicule from colleagues and supervisors. Because of this fear, valuable knowledge is lost, and potentially innovative ideas are never realized. Competition Competition is a great motivator, but it also comes with its cons, especially in organizations with a culture of unhealthy competition. When employees are rewarded for individual victories rather than team achievements, they may be more likely to keep any valuable knowledge to themselves to stay at the top of the ranks. Trust Issues Unfortunately, about 1 in 4 employees do not trust their employers. Layoffs, benefit cuts, and job insecurity can all contribute to distrust. Furthermore, rivalry within teams may cause workers to mistrust team members, leading to knowledge hoarding. Potential Consequences of Knowledge Hoarding Employees who hoard information do the business or organization a great disservice. Knowledge hoarding impedes corporate growth in many ways: Teams or individuals may end up causing knowledge and information silos, which hamper efficiency. Employees who do not have the knowledge they need may waste significant working hours looking for it or creating it from scratch.Without a refined system for knowledge management, you risk losing the expertise or tacit knowledge when an employee leaves.Employees who cannot work due to knowledge setbacks might be frustrated and quit the company.It will impede the onboarding of new talent, or new employees may struggle to transition to their new positions. Benefits of Knowledge Sharing In contrast to knowledge hoarding, knowledge sharing offers companies a multitude of benefits. Encouraging a culture of knowledge sharing means everyone on the team feels like they have access to the tools needed to succeed—and more importantly, it means that everyone is motivated by team success. A knowledge-sharing culture provides companies with the following benefits: It fosters a culture of learning where employees want to take part in sharing and obtaining knowledge actively.There is improved productivity and efficiency since employees have access to knowledge and do not have to wait for a specific person to finish their tasks.It helps to heighten employee engagement and, in turn, reduce employee turnover. Collaboration is encouraged, where employees openly communicate with their peers instead of working in silos. How to Prevent Knowledge Hoarding Make It Easy to Share Knowledge Sharing knowledge can often be time-consuming. If just one individual has the knowledge, they'll have to keep explaining the same thing repeatedly, which is time away from more valuable tasks. In the absence of a system, some employees may become frustrated when searching for the necessary information. A knowledge management system (KMS) can promote knowledge sharing by centralizing all relevant information, making it easy for team members to collaborate and access information from any location. However, with all the ways data can be stolen, it's essential to understand the risks and take steps to protect yourself. Having data center security measures in place can help protect vital company information from getting into the wrong hands. Provide Clear Guidelines One of the best approaches to counteract knowledge hoarding in your organization is to teach employees how to share their knowledge. As part of your knowledge management strategy, your company should adopt a user-friendly KMS and take employees on a walkthrough so they feel comfortable making it a part of their routine. Additionally, proper document management of your guidelines can help make this process a breeze every time new employees are onboarded. Reward Those Who Share Knowledge Because knowledge sharing isn't natural for everyone, you might need to give your employees an incentive to share. You can encourage healthy competition by holding a contest and rewarding everyone who adds to your internal knowledge base within a certain deadline. Incentives don't have to be extravagant, but they should be something your employees want.
5 Steps to Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy
A knowledge management (KM) strategy is a comprehensive and actionable plan that organizations implement to manage and centralize their institutional knowledge. It aims to significantly improve the organization, employee productivity, and product or service quality. Knowledge management strategies work best when they align with the organization's overarching goals and strategy. Importance of a Knowledge Management Strategy It is estimated that ineffective knowledge sharing costs large US companies $47 million in productivity yearly. If your team wastes time at work waiting for knowledge from other staff members or having to recreate it because they couldn't access information, it will cost you in terms of project delays and missed opportunities. Furthermore, it can also lead to employee dissatisfaction. A knowledge management strategy addresses the problem of information silos. This will help boost employee productivity since they will waste less time searching or waiting for information. In turn, it will improve your team's understanding of knowledge management and encourage sharing of best knowledge management practices. A successful KM strategy can provide a strong business case for innovative solutions that could improve your organization, such as encouraging product or service development. How to Develop a Knowledge Management Strategy in 5 Steps 1. Establish Your Objectives To start, outline and document your objectives. By outlining these goals, you can design a roadmap for accomplishing them and ensure your team knows their roles and the expectations that are to be met. This will allow them to work towards similar goals without overlapping or conflicting with one another's efforts. You can further categorize your goals as either short-term or long-term, depending on how important they are to fulfilling your company's knowledge requirements. 2. Assess Your Current State There is no template or blueprint for knowledge management since a KM strategy needs to be tailored to your business goals. To make it feasible and successful for your organization, you first need a deep understanding of your current state. A typical assessment should outline where you are currently, any gaps in the process, and proposals for addressing those gaps. It must also address the five fundamental components of knowledge management, which are: People Don't forget to consider the end user. Adoption will be low if your plan fails to assist users or meet their needs. Determine who they are, what information they need to operate effectively, and how they share knowledge or what prevents them from doing so. Processes You will want to look into the current processes within the organization and each business unit. Then you'll have to see whether those are applied and followed. Your analysis should expose the gaps and show how these processes work in real life—whether employees find them efficient or taxing. Technology It is vital to be conversant with the systems that are in place, including how they work, who uses them, what their limits are, and where they are in their lifecycle. Content Doing a content analysis will help you find gaps, irrelevant content, potential security risks, inefficient processes, and other areas that need to be remedied. Culture How employees capture, manage, and share knowledge depends on the company's culture. You might ask, "Is there a culture of knowledge sharing within the organization, or do people hoard knowledge?" 3. Define Your Knowledge Management Strategy Show how you seek to incorporate KM with the overarching objectives of your organization. There are many parts to an effective knowledge management strategy, such as: Capture and Organize Information Organize and categorize information in your internal knowledge base so it is easily accessible. Proper document management can aid in this endeavor. Distribute and Exchange Knowledge Standardize how your employees can access and share knowledge with their colleagues. Information that no one can see or access is technically worthless. Establish a Search-First Mindset If people don't explore the knowledge base and instead ask repetitive questions, it will discourage others from documenting information since the mindset will be that no one searches for it anyway. Facilitate Collaboration It would be a massive undertaking for any organization to achieve its objectives if just a few people contributed to its knowledge base. Therefore, make sure to choose a knowledge management system that promotes cooperation. Analyze and Identify Gaps Building internal knowledge is an ongoing process. Therefore, evaluating usage and identifying areas that can be further improved is essential. 4. Identify Technology Needs It is important to choose up-to-date knowledge management software as part of an effective electronic management system that satisfies the requirements of your organization. Archaic technologies can impede your knowledge management efforts. Check for any preferences within the team and go for one that boosts employee confidence. Furthermore, check for data center security measures to reduce data integrity risks and protect the company from data breaches. 5. Lay Out Your Action Plan Lay out how you intend to implement your strategy to help remove ambiguity from the process. This will also give you a clear overview of the resources (such as people, technology, and financing) needed to meet your KM strategy objectives. With that, it's time to put your approach into action, analyze the results, and make adjustments based on what you've learned.
The Reasons You Should Integrate IAM With Data Center Security
Identity and access management, or IAM, is a term used to describe the practice of managing users' identities and the permissions that are associated with them. Essentially, IAM systems help organizations ensure that only authorized users have access to the resources they need, while also keeping track of who has accessed which resources and when. IAM systems can also be used to manage passwords and other authentication information. The Purpose of Data Center Security According to a study by Ponemon Institute, the average data breach now costs companies $3.86 million—up 23% from 2013. The healthcare and financial services industries are the most frequently targeted, accounting for 43% and 28% of all data breaches, respectively. That amount of money can potentially bankrupt a company if not properly secured. In addition, data breaches can cause irreparable damage to a company's reputation, which can lead to fleeing customers and long-term financial losses. Putting the financial implications aside for a moment, the sheer opportunity for security breaches further highlights that data center security is critical in protecting the privacy of company information. To put this into perspective, the amount of data created, shared, and stored is growing at an unprecedented rate. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that some 64.2 zettabytes of data were created or replicated in 2020. This rapid growth creates new opportunities for criminals to exploit, as well as new challenges for organizations trying to keep their data safe. The frightening part? Data breaches can occur in many ways, but some of the most common is through malware attacks, stolen or compromised credentials, and social engineering schemes. With all this considered, data center security should be a top priority for companies and businesses. No matter the size or scale of their operations. Data integrity is another serious consideration companies should be making. Learn more about the importance of data integrity here. How Does IAM Boost Security? Through the use of IAM, administrators can control access to systems and data, ensuring that only authorized users have access to the information they need. IAM can also help streamline operations by providing a single point of control for user access, making it easier to manage user permissions. How is this achieved? IAM systems use a variety of methods—such as passwords, security tokens, and biometric identification—to verify the identities of users and grant them appropriate levels of access. Through these methods, IAM can help boost security by providing a centralized way to control user access, and by enabling administrators to more easily identify and respond to potential security threats. IAM can also help improve compliance with government and industry regulations governing data privacy and security. During these tough economic times, are you worried about your institutional memory? If so, learn how to preserve your company's institutional memory here. Benefits of IAM Systems IAM systems can provide several benefits, including: Reduced administrative overhead Managing user identities and access privileges can be a time-consuming task, particularly if there are many users. IAM systems can automate many of the tasks associated with managing users, which can help reduce administrative overhead and make your employees' lives easier.Improved compliance posture IAM systems can help organizations meet compliance requirements, such as those set forth by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). More efficient and secure user authentication IAM systems provide a more efficient and secure way for employees to authenticate themselves when accessing company resources. Reduced help desk costs IAM systems can help reduce help desk costs by automating many common tasks, such as password resets. How to Integrate IAM With Data Center Security The scale and breadth of potential data risks are rather scary. Thankfully, there are several ways to integrate IAM with data center security. One of the most effective approaches is to use a federated identity management system. With federated identity management, users can authenticate against a single identity provider, such as Active Directory or LDAP, and then be granted access to multiple resources, both within and outside of the data center. Businesses can also use role-based access control (RBAC) to manage access to data center resources. RBAC assigns roles to users and groups and then allows those roles to perform certain actions on specific resources. Worried that the flow of information within your company is compromised? If so, be sure to read about information silos and data federation and how you can better streamline the sharing of information within your organization. Before you head off, be sure to learn more about how you can improve both document management and knowledge management within your organization.
Why Your Engineering Team Needs a Multi-Platform Search Engine for Their Code Repository Tools
Many experts have talked about how the inability to access information can hamper software engineers’ productivity. In his talk, “The hero’s journey: how we are solving internal technical documentation at Spotify,” Gary Niemen, a product manager at Spotify, mentioned that not being able to find necessary information was among the top three productivity blockers for Spotify engineers. Quality delivery with speed is the key to staying relevant and competitive in the software industry. As such, you should not allow anything to hamper your developers’ productivity, especially if you can do something about it. With a multi-tool search platform like Unleash, you never have to worry about your engineers wasting valuable time looking for anything. They’d be able to find everything they need — across multiple code repository tools and platforms — from files to emails, meetings, issues, and tickets, in seconds. The Average Engineer Wastes up to Three Hours of Their Day Searching for Information According to a survey conducted by Zapier on how employees spend their time, 73% of workers spend 1–3 hours of their day “just trying to find information or a particular document.” In total, that’s about 5–15 valuable hours a week wasted looking for information. Easier access to information can make a whole lot of difference. Studies have found that developers are “almost 60% more likely to feel equipped to do their job when they can easily find what they need.” They also get an 11% bump in productivity simply by having a team repository that is easy to search. A typical developer’s day is spent searching for information across different platforms and code repository tools to enable them to do their jobs. They spend time searching project management tools like Jira to find details about projects or tasks assigned to them. They’ll also need to search through Slack to remind themselves about the discussion details on certain matters. And, when they run into problems with a particular API or need to debug, their first line of action is to search through FAQs, documentation, or code repository tools to find clues or instances of how another developer may have used the same API. Without an efficient search mechanism, all this information may take significant time to find. Using a multi-platform tool, you can give your engineers a central place to search across all code repository tools and platforms used within your organization. With impressive features like advanced filters and semantic, contextual, and deep search, your engineers will be able to find whatever information they need in one spot in seconds. You’d get to save every engineer on your team considerable time and help them become more productive and better contribute to the company’s bottom line. Switching Between Multiple Platforms and Code Repository Tools Causes Developers to Lose Focus and Concentration Searching through multiple apps and code repository tools doesn’t only drain engineers’ productivity because of time wasted; it also breaks their natural flow and concentration, which may eventually decrease the quality of code they write. The “context switching” that occurs when we jump from one digital app to another causes a lull in productivity and can even produce fatigue. Research suggests it takes 9.5 minutes to regain our flow when we make that switch. Research also indicates that a person who is multi-tasking between 30 applications will make 28% more errors than someone working with less. Pavel Avgustinov, VP of Software Engineering at GitHub, explained the problem with context switching from a developer’s perspective: “As a developer, staying in a flow state is hard. Whenever you look up how to use a library, have a test fail because your developer environment has diverged from CI, or need to know how an error message can arise, you are interrupted. The longer it takes to resolve the interruption, the more context you lose.” However, this wouldn’t be the case with multi-platform search engine tools. Using such tools, your developers can access all information, platforms, and code repository tools from one interface and reduce the effects of context switching. Unleash integrates with several apps used by developers, so it can function as a central workspace for them. That way, they can: Search and locate files across multiple repositoriesGet a quick overview of their weekly schedule and instantly launch their meeting with the Calendar viewSearch across their servers and major cloud providers to allow them to instantly monitor or access VMs, databases, storage, and instancesSee all pending PR and understand the changes that have been madeCreate an issue, task, document, and so much more, all from one place Also, suppose a platform or tool that your engineering team uses is not supported. In that case, they can build custom integrations with our exposed SDKs (software development kits) to connect them. Unleash can streamline your workflows and increase productivity no matter what apps you use. And, no matter how you work, Unleash can accommodate your workflows. Engineers Can’t Reuse Code if They Can’t Find the Code The mantra “do not reinvent the wheel” encourages developers to reuse code and not to duplicate a method or solution that already exists unless they absolutely have to. Code reuse — recycling or repurposing code parts to improve existing or create new software—cuts down on development time, avoids code bloat, and lowers development risks. Using a component that is already known and approved means there’s less risk involved in writing something entirely from scratch. Developers will always run into difficulties, and if your company builds multiple products using multiple code repository tools across different teams, chances are another developer on another team may have used the same API or solved a similar problem. However, because manually looking through various repositories or bug reports can be tedious, a developer will find it difficult to locate helpful code to reuse or study. Using multi-platform search tools, your engineers can avoid tabbing between GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, or other code repository tools and find all relevant info—documentation, design specs, and everything else — in one place. Empower Your Developers to Save Time and Focus On Their Jobs Your engineers spend so much time fruitlessly searching for information and files, which will eventually drain them and keep them from doing their best work. With a multi-platform search tool like Unleash, all of that will be in the past. Effective code search tools can help developers substantially improve their software development efficiency and effectiveness. The good news is adding Unleash to your workflow doesn’t require a large team of developers or a free weekend to take servers down. You can get up and running in minutes without changing your existing infrastructure. Not so sure about it? You can try Unleash for free and then decide whether you want to make a commitment or not.
Search: The Missing Element in Your Internal Knowledge Base Software
How many hours a day are your employees spending searching for information just to do their jobs? A survey by Zapier found that 73% of employees spend 1–3 hours searching for information or documents each day. Effective search is a critical part of your internal knowledge base software. If your organization’s knowledge base doesn’t have an effective search engine, your employees won’t be able to find the information they’re looking for—and that defeats the purpose of having a knowledge base in the first place. Your Internal Knowledge Base Search Isn’t Working for Employees If you already have a knowledge base set up, how much time do your employees spend looking for information? How much time do they spend asking each other questions to do their jobs? An effective knowledge base should be able to answer most questions quickly. If not, you need to optimize your knowledge base for search. In the Zapier survey mentioned above, 90% of employees said they spend up to five hours every day checking messaging apps like Slack. If your own teams are spending that kind of time messaging each other instead of working on their core tasks, that might be a warning sign that your internal knowledge base isn’t offering your employees the level of support it could be. Another sign that your knowledge base could use some work is if certain employees are known to be the ones with all the answers. If a small handful of employees are constantly fielding questions about how to do certain tasks or where to find information, you have a knowledge base gap. Obviously, some roles will require more messaging and interaction than others. There aren’t any simple rules we can apply regarding the maximum number of hours employees should be spending on messaging apps. It’s important to know the difference between employees collaborating or problem-solving a particular issue together and employees asking each other questions about how to do their jobs. One is something only a human can help with, and the other can be done by a complete knowledge base and a smart search engine. You have to gauge how well your internal knowledge base software is providing for employees based on a combination of employee productivity and employee feedback. The goal of a good knowledge base is to make it easier for less experienced employees to learn how to do something at their company without needing to ask a more experienced employee. Policies, workflows, and templates are all things employees should be able to easily find from day one. If you’re seeing or hearing that employees have to spend a lot of time asking each other questions, there’s a good chance your internal knowledge base software needs improvement. A good place to start is to set up a workflow or documentation process for FAQs. If a question is asked more than once or twice, it’s worth adding to the knowledge base. Remember those employees who are the ones people go to with questions? Ask them if they’d like to get that work off their plate by flagging the questions they repeatedly get. Then the team members responsible for updating the knowledge base can make sure the information is added. Use SEO Best Practices in Your Internal Knowledge Base Software for a Better Employee Experience If you want to make your knowledge base helpful, you have to optimize it for search by using SEO best practices. In particular, the employees adding information to the knowledge base need to understand “search intent,” or what a person using your internal knowledge base would likely type into the search box. If your marketing team already has SEO experts on staff and uses SEO tools, include them in the project. If not, someone is going to need to learn some SEO basics, or you can bring in a consultant. However you decide to do it, make sure whoever is writing or updating the knowledge base is knowledgeable about SEO and has strong people skills. Remember that this is about human behavior, not just organizing documents into a central repository. You’re attempting to predict employee questions and word choice. Make sure the team in charge of your knowledge base can think strategically about human behavior and search intent. Let Your Employees Help You Improve the Searchability of Your Knowledge Base Expect that you will miss the mark often and actively solicit your employee's feedback. While it’s important to think carefully about keywords and search intent when writing the pages that make up your knowledge base, be mindful to also make it a collaborative effort. Anticipate some stumbles and embrace collective wisdom. Your employees are your users, and just like any user base, it’s impossible to predict exactly what they need 100% of the time. This is why you need to ask them about their experience. Start surveying your employees on how they use the knowledge base, along with what’s missing or what they think could be done to improve it. An internal knowledge base is a living support tool that will never be finished. It’ll always need additions and tweaks. Set up a way for employees to easily request articles that don’t yet exist and suggest changes to articles that do. Make sure there’s an assigned person or team who’s checking for keywords. Whenever an employee searches your knowledge base and can’t find a page you have, that’s an opportunity to ask the employee what they were searching for and add those search terms to the page. Unleash a More Helpful Knowledge Base With a Smarter Search Engine The last element to ensure your knowledge base is truly supporting your employees is to make sure the search engine you use is advanced, user-friendly, and designed to improve productivity. Unleash can search nearly 40 applications at once. Not only can Unleash users search their internal knowledge base but also email, Slack, Asana, Microsoft products, and just about any other app your teams use. This can help employees find what they’re looking for, even if your knowledge base doesn’t have that particular piece of information yet. Then, because you’ve done the work to set up an easy system for employees to request changes to your knowledge base and submit FAQs, they can quickly tip you off with what needs to be added and where the answer or resource is currently located. What if you built your own knowledge base in house? Or you have your own intranet? Not a problem. Unleash can also connect to custom builds. Enterprises often build many of their own tools, and an effective search engine for employees has to include custom integrations. Help your employees get the most out of your knowledge base with Unleash.
Knowledge Management and How to Use It
Knowledge management is the process of creating, capturing, organizing, and utilizing knowledge within an organization to uphold the integrity of data. This can be done in a variety of ways, including through the use of online tools and techniques, such as document management, data mining, knowledge-sharing platforms, and social networking. Why is knowledge management important? One of the major benefits of knowledge management is that it can help improve efficiency within a business. By making sure that employees have access to the right information in front of them when they need it, companies can improve productivity and task effectiveness. Types of Knowledge Management There are 3 key types of knowledge management systems: Explicit, Implicit, and Tacit. 1. Explicit Knowledge Explicit knowledge is information that can be communicated verbally, in writing, or through other forms of communication. It is also possible to codify explicit knowledge into manuals, rules, or other reference materials. Explicit knowledge can be shared easily with others. When it is properly communicated, this type of knowledge helps to improve team collaboration and achieve common goals. Explicit knowledge can also help to reduce uncertainty and improve decision-making. 2. Implicit Knowledge Implicit knowledge is a term used in knowledge management to describe information that is not explicitly stated or codified. Implicit knowledge can be found in the experience and intuition of individuals, and in the informal networks that exist within organizations. Implicit knowledge can be extremely valuable for a business, as it can help employees make better decisions and solve problems. 3. Tacit Knowledge Tacit knowledge is hard to transfer, but it's a critical part of a company's success and culture—often the key to innovation and reducing data siloes. Managing tacit knowledge can be a challenge for organizations. One way to do this is through using tools like social media and wikis. These tools can help employees share information and experiences with each other. They can also help employees access information when they need it. Another way to manage tacit knowledge is by creating a culture where employees are encouraged to share their ideas and experiences. This can be done through training programs and by giving employees the opportunity to work together on projects. Knowledge Management Processes There are several key processes that are involved in knowledge management: discovery, capture, organization, assessment, sharing, reuse, and creation. To break this down further, specifically, what are the knowledge management processes? Discovery The process of finding information and data that applies to the task at hand. The goal of discovery is to find all the relevant information, regardless of where it is stored. This can include both internal and external sources of data. Capture The process of capturing information and data into a system where it can be accessed and used. The goal of capture is to ensure that all relevant information is stored in a single location.Organization The process of organizing information and data so that it can easily be sorted through and utilized.Assessment The process of assessing the value of information and data. The goal of assessment is to understand the value of the information so that it can be used effectively.Reusing knowledge This helps organizations save time and money. There are several ways to reuse knowledge, including using templates, creating libraries of reusable components, and using tools like mind maps.Sharing knowledge This helps employees learn from each other and increases productivity. There are several ways to share knowledge, including face-to-face meetings, email exchanges, training modules, and messaging or collaboration tools.Creating knowledge This helps employees create new products and services and formulate ideas that can help the organization grow. Knowledge Management Systems Finally, what are the knowledge management systems? A knowledge management system is a software application or set of applications that help an organization capture, store, and share knowledge, essentially managing its intellectual property, improving decision making, and identifying best practices. There are many types of knowledge management applications, and the best one for an organization depends on its specific needs. Some common features of knowledge management system applications include document management systems, discussion forums, tagging, and enterprise search engines.
A Beginner’s Guide to Improving Document Management
We live in a digital age where information is at our fingertips. And with the rise of cloud computing, storing data has become easier than ever before—but that can make it even harder to manage all of your documents efficiently while maintaining your data integrity. So, to improve your document management, you should invest in a reliable document management system (DMS) that allows you to store, organize, and access your electronic files easily by using advanced search tools. We put together a beginner's guide to understand what a document management system is and how to best use it to optimize your business. Types of Document Management Systems Let's dive into the most widely used types of document management systems: Cloud Document Management Storage Cloud document management storage is a type of cloud-based file sharing that allows users to store files online and access them from any device. This technology has become increasingly popular over the past few years thanks to its many benefits including cost savings, convenience, and security. The basic premise behind this type of storage is that data is stored in the cloud rather than on individual computers. Since the data is not physically located in a single place, it can be accessed from anywhere, making it easy to collaborate with other people who are working remotely. Additionally, since the data is stored on the internet, it is protected against theft and loss. There are two types of cloud storage: public and private. Public cloud storage is accessible to anyone who wants to use it while private cloud storage is only accessible to those who have permission to view it. In addition to these two options, there are also hybrid solutions that combine both public and private cloud storage into one system. Content Management System A content management system allows users to create, edit, publish, and maintain web pages. A CMS can be used to build websites, blogs, intranets, extranets, etc. Learn more in How to Improve Intranet Search. Enterprise Content Management Enterprise content management systems provide a central repository for information and standard business processes and practices with company content. An ECM can include features such as workflow, version control, search, metadata tagging, and security. Work Collaboration Platforms Like cloud document storage, work collaboration platforms allow users to access electronic files on a shared workspace. The difference here is that users can collaborate on projects from anywhere and at any time. These platforms have features that can generate reports, real-time co-authoring, version control, and file synchronization. In general, they are used to share files, documents, presentations, and other content. Some examples include Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft SharePoint, and OneDrive. Records Management As the name suggests, records management software manages and stores various business transaction records, such as official memos, files, reports, database records, emails, and other forms of communication. All these documents are instantly accessible for compliance audits and business operations. From its creation to its use, receipt, maintenance, and disposal, records management software track the complete lifecycle of a document. Dropbox Document Management System Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud-based file storage services. Dropbox document management allows users to share and sync files across multiple devices and boasts user-friendly and intelligent search and organization features such as: Dropbox Automations With Automations, organizations can create a number of rules around file naming by using a template, which helps to create consistency with naming conventions. Companies can also automate other parts of the file management process. Dropbox Automations can be set up so that when a zipped file is uploaded to Dropbox, it will be unzipped automatically and moved to a specific folder. Multi-File Organize Multi-File Organize lets you set up rules for files as they come into your Dropbox drive. Rules can be based on keywords, date, or how often the file is opened/modified. This feature could reduce the time users spend searching for documents by organizing them instantly. Image Content Search Image Content Search is a feature that identifies key objects in images using machine learning. This technology suggests relevant images and best matches, based on a few descriptive words. If you are looking for pictures taken at a picnic, you can search using the keyword "picnic" or any other object in the image that you can recall. How to Improve Document Management Here are three strategies to improve document management: Use a Cloud-Based Solution We strongly recommend that you go paperless with your DMS. As we mentioned earlier, cloud-based document management systems help your organization manage documents across multiple devices and platforms, allowing for seamless collaboration. Designate Clear Roles Each employee in your organization usually has a particular task to perform, and document control should not be an exception. Be sure to establish guidelines and select a responsible person for each stage of the document's lifecycle. Automate Your Processes Automating processes can save your business money while improving efficiency. Many companies use automated processes to scan incoming paper documents into electronic format, index them, and store them in a database. Using this method, you can automatically archive old files and keep track of what's been scanned and indexed. You can even automate the process of sending out invoices and other correspondence electronically.
What Is an Enterprise Search Engine?
Enterprise search is a technology that allows employees within an organization to search for information stored across several repositories, such as email, file shares, and SharePoint sites. Read on to learn more about this technology and how to use it. How to Use an Enterprise Search Engine Organizations of all sizes are using enterprise search engines to improve their search capabilities. These engines allow employees to search for information across the entire organization, regardless of where it is located. This can be extremely helpful for finding information that is scattered across multiple databases or file systems. Enterprise search engines are often used by companies that have a large number of employees as they can help to improve communication and collaboration between employees. Additionally, they can help improve the efficiency of the organization by making it easier for employees to find what they need. There are many enterprise search engines available, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. It's important to choose the right engine for your business and configure it correctly. Once it's set up, employees can start using it to find the information they need. Enterprise search engines can be used in a variety of ways. Some businesses use them to find specific structured or unstructured data, while others use them to track communications or analyze data. The Benefits of an Enterprise Search Engine Enterprise search engines are becoming increasingly popular as a way to improve productivity and find information quickly and easily. But who exactly benefits from these search engines? There are many types of users who can benefit from enterprise search engines in different ways, including: Refining lots of data Enterprise search engines are designed to help employees find information quickly and efficiently. By indexing and cataloging all the company's data, enterprise search engines make it easy for workers to locate the information they need when they need it. This can be a huge benefit for businesses of all sizes, but especially for larger organizations with vast amounts of data.Improving employee productivity When employees can easily find the information they need, they don't have to waste time searching for it, allowing them to focus on their work instead of wasting time looking for files or emails. And since enterprise search engines are customizable, workers can tailor their searches to meet their specific needs.Improving business communication Enterprise search engines can help businesses improve communication and collaboration. By making it easy for employees to find information, enterprise search engines encourage open communication and collaboration. There are four key features of an enterprise search tool, primarily: Improved productivity When employees don't have to spend time looking for information, they can focus on their work tasks.Increased collaboration By making it easy for employees to find and share information, enterprise search engines help promote teamwork.Enhanced decision-making With access to timely and accurate information, employees can make better decisions that impact the business.Reduce data silos One way to reduce data silos is to implement an enterprise search solution. This will allow employees to search across all the data repositories in the organization, including both internal and external sources. How Do I Select an Enterprise Search Engine Provider? When looking for an enterprise search engine provider, it is important to consider the needs of your organization. Some factors to consider include the number of documents you have, the size of your organization, and how many people will be using the search engine. Additionally, some features you'll want to consider include: How easy is it to use? Does it have a sophisticated ranking algorithm that returns the most relevant results first?Can you customize the search results based on your needs?Does it offer a preview function to see what a document contains before clicking through?Is there a limit to how many documents you can index?Can you integrate the search engine with your existing systems? Should You Use an Enterprise Search Engine? The decision of whether or not to use an enterprise search engine is a complex one that depends on many factors, including the size and complexity of your organization, the number of documents you need to index, and the amount of time and money you're willing to invest in search technology. An enterprise search engine can be a powerful tool for finding information quickly and easily. It can help you locate documents buried deep in your filing system or scattered across multiple computers and servers. But an enterprise search engine is not always necessary. If your organization is small and simple, or if you only have a few hundred documents to index, a basic search engine may be all you need.