Knowledge management is a process that follows a systematic, logical and organized order to produce, transmit and apply knowledge.
Fundamentally, knowledge management applied to organizations occurs when knowledge and experiences are transferred from one person or group to another person or group that is part of an organization.
Therefore, knowledge management is a facilitating system that transfers individual and collective experiences. These experiences are part of the knowledge of the human resource that works in an organization. The purpose is to ensure that this knowledge becomes an added value for the company and allows it to obtain a sustainable advantage over the others.
Since knowledge cannot be considered as something exclusive to each employee. Knowledge is shared and becomes an important asset for the company. By sharing knowledge everyone can use it and this allows companies to increase their efficiency and productivity.
In other words, knowledge management allows companies to add added values to the products and services they sell to the market. This added value makes them differ substantially from the competition.
Is information the same as knowledge?
We must clarify that information and knowledge do not mean the same thing.
Undoubtedly, the information encompasses a series of data that is structured according to its relevance and purpose. Information is a message that is transmitted to a person or a group of people who are part of an organization. This message is transmitted in order to achieve the proposed objectives.
Whereas, knowledge is a set of knowledge that is often difficult to communicate. For this reason, it is necessary that a series of manuals, tables, diagrams and any other tool to help transmit them be developed within the organization.
On the other hand, knowledge is constantly evolving. It evolves by interacting with the people who use it and the environment where the organization operates. So knowledge is continually being complemented and improved.
Types of knowledge
There are two mainly two types of knowledge:
Indeed, explicit knowledge is the type of knowledge that reaches a degree of formalization at the time documents, rules, codes and norms are elaborated. This allows the transmission process to be made easy by means of trainings and courses for the formation that must be offered permanently for human resources.
Now, tacit knowledge is the knowledge that each person who is part of the company has and that is related to the experience and skills acquired. It has a high degree of importance for any company, but it is more difficult to communicate and share.
Consequently, it is an intangible asset and difficult to formalize. Since it includes a series of beliefs, values, intuitions and emotions. For that reason, it is difficult to formalize it with words, since it is externalized through affective actions.
Benefits of using knowledge management
Organizations that properly apply knowledge management reap the following benefits:
1. Easy access to useful and relevant knowledge
First, when proper knowledge management is applied, everyone in the organization can quickly access knowledge. This knowledge is useful and relevant.
In fact, having easy access to the knowledge that exists within the organization, everyone can clearly know who has the tacit or understood knowledge. And it is known where to find the explicit knowledge, that is, the one that must be specified clearly and in detail.
2. Time reduction
Second, by properly managing knowledge, it is possible to reduce the time companies use to develop new products. Similarly, less time is needed to improve existing products. And also the times in the solution of the problems that arise are minimized.
3. Cost reduction
Third, costs in general are reduced, because the costs associated with repeated errors are eliminated. If you have an adequate knowledge of the processes, fewer mistakes are made and the efficiency of the company increases.
4. Management of updated and innovative knowledge
Finally, if knowledge management is used correctly, useful and relevant knowledge can be continually renewed. This allows the knowledge that the employees of the organization handle to always be kept up to date. Likewise, knowledge will always be innovative so that the company responds better to the changes that may occur.
What are the most important elements of knowledge management?
Of course, knowledge is owned by the people or the human capital that is part of an organization. However, the most important elements of interest in knowledge management are the skills and information that people possess.
Generally, we all know that the knowledge possessed by the human capital of a company is a vital and decisive resource for an organization. Since, on the good or bad use and use that is made of it, the success or failure of the company will depend.
Of course, this knowledge constitutes the know-how of the organization. If the company manages to take advantage of this intangible asset correctly, it can achieve success. Therefore, it is necessary that this knowledge is stored and organized in the company’s information systems.
Indeed, when there is a well-structured information system, this knowledge can be accessed quickly and efficiently. All of this facilitates decision-making in any situation or problem that may be faced.
Tools used in knowledge management
The main tools that can be used in knowledge management are:
- Corporate education : Includes all kinds of training courses and workshops that employees receive outside the company. It is a formal process of receiving the knowledge, so they could even attend universities.
- Skills management: It is a strategic model in which the skills and attitudes that the organization’s employees must possess are determined and managed. This in order to meet the established objectives
- Information management: It refers to the information systems that have the information ordered and organized. So that it reaches all those who require it in an easy way and with it the decision-making process is easier.
- Learning in the organization: Motivates collective learning, so that a process of constant innovation is generated. Where it is understood that errors are not a failure, but that errors help the continuous improvement of the company.
- Competitive intelligence : It is about keeping in touch with the markets in order to find new business opportunities. In the same way, it allows the company to anticipate the risks that may affect it and face them in a more appropriate way.
In conclusion, it can be said that the application of knowledge management is beneficial for any company. Since it allows the organization to use better strategies, practices, techniques and solutions. Resulting in an increase in the efficiency and productivity of the organization. Likewise, by standardizing processes, decision-making is improved.