The knowledge management (KM) Team should examine the concept of knowledge briefly before designing the knowledge management process. This enables the team to gain a deeper understanding of knowledge from the perspective of what it is and how it originates.
Knowledge As an Asset
Knowledge is an organization’s greatest asset, which can be an overlooked and underused resource if not managed properly. Successful organizations realize knowledge actively accelerates learning and prevents repeated mistakes.
Organizational knowledge includes:
- Employee competencies and capabilities
- Knowledge about customers and suppliers
- Know-how to deliver specific processes
- Intellectual property such as patents, licenses, and copyrights
In addition, managing knowledge in an organization is important if it is a key business driver or if it is one of the organization’s essential products. Reasons for this include:
- An organization requires good knowledge-based decisions for successful business outcomes.
- Crucial knowledge retention is a significant business issue if it is at risk through redundancy or key staff retirement or other transition.
- Knowledge transfer improves performance and can be important to cost reduction or quality improvement.
- Parts of an organization perform the same process with varying results. This could show the knowledge needs sharing and reusing.
- Knowledge is a key business issue if an organization’s budget requires making better use of organizational knowledge.
Although this information is useful for determining the importance of knowledge, it does not completely explain what knowledge is. Future posts expand on the concept of knowledge.
APQC. (2019). Knowledge management glossary. https://www.apqc.org/system/files/K05406_KM%20glossary%202019.pdf
Barnes, S., & Milton, N. (2016). Designing a successful KM strategy: A guide for the knowledge management professional. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Knowledge. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knowledge
Milton, N., & Lambe, P. (2020). The knowledge manager’s handbook: A step-by-step guide to embedding effective knowledge management in your organization (2nd ed.). New York: Kogan Page.