4.4 Benefits of Knowledge Management

4.4 Benefits of Knowledge Management

          Someone who is not familiar with the knowledge management (KM) discipline certainly ask this question “why knowledge management is useful?” and might not easily understand why knowledge management is useful for his/her particular situation. In this section we will discuss such aspects.

          In the previous sections we have discussed various aspects of knowledge management. In the light of these discussions we can conclude that Knowledge management is responsible for understanding:

  • What your organization knows. Where this knowledge is located, e.g. in the mind of a specific expert, a specific department, in old files, with a specific team, etc.
  • In what form this knowledge is stored e.g. the minds of experts, on paper, etc.
  • How to best transfer this knowledge to relevant people, so as to be able to take advantage of it or to ensure that it is not lost. e.g. setting up a mentoring relationship between experienced experts and new employees, implementing a document management system to provide access to key explicit knowledge.
  • The need to methodically assess the organization's actual know-how vs the organization's needs and to act accordingly, e.g. by hiring or firing, by promoting specific in-house knowledge creation, etc.

          There are some other aspects which make KM a competitive edge:

  • It places a focus on knowledge as an actual asset, rather than as something intangible. In so doing, it enables the organization to better protect and exploit what it knows, and to improve and focus its knowledge development efforts to match its needs.
  • It helps organizations to learn from past mistakes and successes to re-deploying existing knowledge assets in areas where the organization stands to gain something, e.g. using knowledge from one department to improve or create a product in another department, modifying knowledge from a past process to create a new solution, etc.
  • It promotes a long term focus on developing the right competencies and skills and removing obsolete knowledge.
  • It enhances the firm's ability to innovate.
  • It enhances the firm's ability to protect its key knowledge and competencies from being lost or copied.

          A successful implementation of KM offers multifold benefits . It helps organization & individuals to:

  • Develop and implement new business models
  • Save time, money and effort by learning from others' experience to find better solutions more quickly.
  • Develop understanding of the challenges and solutions for organizational improvement.
  • Acquire knowledge and develop skills for professional development.
  • Improve results using the best knowledge and information to provide a foundation for new work.
  • Generate new wealth and increasing returns
  • Open new markets and extend the global reach and scope of the enterprise
  • Mitigate risk and increase revenue
  • Enable sustainable organic growth
  • Improve decision-making and prepare to anticipate the future
  • Build more profound customers’ relationships through improved service and customer support
  • Promote productivity and efficiency
  • Encourage creativity, innovation and new Ideas
  • Accelerate learning to create a more adaptive, responsive, dynamic and flexible organization
  • Gather superior business and competitive intelligence
  • Enhance team collaboration & coordination to maximize the organization's use of available collective wisdom, experience, and the Brain-Power of human capital assets
  • Improve the flow of knowledge
  • Shift employees from balance-sheet expense items to Knowledge Equity Investors in the enterprise
  • Improve the ability of the organization to manage change
  • Retain motivated, loyal, and committed talent
  • Prepare people to cope with increasing Information-Overload
  • Turn process Know-How into a valuable corporate asset
  • Help the enterprise to grow more network connections, more knowledge nodes
  • Lower operating costs by substituting  information and knowledge stores  for inventory
  • Avoid waste and duplication by encouraging knowledge reuse
  • Create a more knowledge aware, knowledge friendly culture, and Communities of Practice(s) better suited to the emerging knowledge-based economy context
  • Allow more leveraging of knowledge assets through knowledge arbitrage strategies
  • Bring a new level of sophistication to managing the brand, reputation, and Intangibles

Footnotes