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Knowledge management explained

07-10-2013

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Knowledge management (KM) is a concept that was popularised in the 1990s and there is still some confusion as to its exact definition.

It means a lot of things to a lot of different people, although the most widely adopted definition was penned by the Gartner Group in 1998.

It reads: "Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers."

In short, knowledge management exists so that information, practices and procedures can be passed amongst individuals in an organisation. There are now plenty of project management courses which teach students how to create an efficient knowledge management strategy.

Examples

Executives, managers and low-level employees need access to certain information in order to perform tasks effectively. For them to receive this information, businesses need to identify the most effective way of sharing it. Knowledge management is the term used to describe this process.

Without good knowledge management processes, managers and employees may receive inconsistent levels of training. They may be given varied amounts of information and this could easily create a huge difference in their overall effectiveness. With this in mind, knowledge management is especially important in large businesses and franchises, where consistency is often key to a successful business model.

Without this consistency, it would be much harder to guarantee that a business model could be successful in various different locations. The odds suggest that some processes in the workplace would be much poorer than in others.

Creating a successful knowledge management strategy

Knowledge management models have been made a lot simpler through advances in technology. The majority of knowledge management systems, which store important documents, databases, training programs and the like, are now available online. This makes it easy for businesses to access them from any location with an active web connection.  

There are also a number of project management exams that managers can take in order to prove the strength of their knowledge in this area. The facilities used to help students pass the exam have also improved throughout the years. This hasn't lessened the importance of adopting an efficient knowledge management strategy though.

Author: Joe Elvin

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