WHAT ARE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TOOLS: Definition, Examples, And Importance

Knowledge Management Tools
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Businesses must strive to promote knowledge management through their established systems and tools. Clients and employees seek information about a company’s product, service, program, and so on. This information must be collected, organized, and analyzed using knowledge management systems. Many firms struggle with knowledge access. However, businesses can avoid this by integrating a functional knowledge system using specific tools. What are knowledge management tools, and how does this help businesses with their KM? Find out what knowledge management tools are in addition to their examples.

What Are Knowledge Management Tools?

Any instrument used to successfully capture and deliver both internal and external knowledge for your business is referred to as a knowledge management tool. While most knowledge management tools are available separately, they are also included as features of knowledge management software.

Knowledge management tools help to organize and align the knowledge that all of your employees have access to. Ideally, everyone in your firm should be operating from the same set of facts. This knowledge consists of more than just training materials and product breakdowns. It may also contain:

  • Product and industry research Company History
  • Study of cases
  • Information sheets
  • KPI reporting
  • Handbooks\sGuides
  • Scripts for sales
  • Graphics for marketing

When you use knowledge management tools to methodically arrange firm information, you create ease of access and uniformity across divisions.

Examples of Knowledge Management Tools

The following are examples of tools that businesses can use for their knowledge management system;

#1. Quip

The first on our list of knowledge management tools examples is Quip. Quip includes a robust documents tool that allows you to build and upload new knowledge base articles. You can store all of your company data in one place by uploading spreadsheets, slideshows, customer conversations, and a variety of other file types.

Quip also includes an internal chat feature, allowing your team to collaborate on content creation. Your team will avoid miscommunication, which often results in inaccurate or confusing content, by collaborating in real time.

#2. ServiceNow

ServiceNow provides both internal and external knowledge management solutions. Internal options assist IT teams in managing and documenting incoming service requests by saving service interactions to a centralized database. This enables IT, teams, to generate knowledge base articles based on typical employee issues.

#3. Guru

Guru is a piece of software that connects all of your company’s data. It employs artificial intelligence to suggest information to your reps in real time, eliminating the need for your team to search for information during a service interaction.

In addition, the more you use Guru, the better the software becomes. Guru’s performance will improve over time as it learns and adapts to your team’s day-to-day workflow, thanks to machine learning.

#4. Helpjuice

Helpjuice provides one-of-a-kind customization options that allow you to personalize every area of your knowledge base. This includes formatting options that make layouts more user-friendly for your readers.

Prior to publishing, authors can collaborate on new posts and share page previews. If they make a mistake, every revision is saved so you can go back to earlier versions of your post when necessary.

#5. ProProfs Knowledge Base

ProProfs Knowledge Base is a simple yet effective platform that allows you to deliver immediate self-help support to your clients and staff. This application, which is appropriate for small organizations and companies, can also be used to create knowledge base articles from start, import existing word docs or PDF files, and publish with a single click. To get started quickly, the tool offers a number of professionally designed templates. Furthermore, its built-in reporting system provides insights into what questions people are looking for and what answers they aren’t finding. You can use this information to regularly build and refresh your knowledge base.

#6. Confluence – An Excellent Knowledge Base Software for Improving Your Team’s Workspace

Confluence is another option to consider while looking for the best knowledge management software. Atlassian invented this technology, which dramatically improves collaboration by making it easier for teams to exchange knowledge and collaborate on multiple projects. Furthermore, it is linked with a variety of Atlassian apps, which will offer you all of the functionality you require.

It also includes over 15 templates to help you get started with the tool fast and efficiently. You can also add GIFs, movies, and photographs to websites to make them more appealing to users. You can also arrange related pages together to make it easier for users to discover the information or material they need.

#7. Docebo – The Best Knowledge Management Software for a Superior Learning Experience

One of the best things about knowledge management solutions is that they allow you to arrange your data the way you want it while also allowing you to learn quickly along the road. Docebo is one of these knowledge base systems, allowing you to develop, store, and deliver a large number of courses, multimedia classes, and other sorts of instructional materials all in one location.

Docebo provides pre-made widgets as well as a simple and user-friendly UI and onboarding process, which simplify the entire learning experience and make all learning content more engaging and interactive. It has a large material library and enhances learning with Discover, Coach, and Share features.

#8. Zendesk – Intelligent Knowledge Management Software for Improved Self-Service

The last on our list of knowledge management tools examples is Zendesk. The best thing about Zendesk is that, in addition to being knowledge base software, it is also one of the market’s most well-known and oldest customer support solutions. It includes community forums and a help center. It also allows you to write articles with a powerful text editor and utilize custom themes to personalize your help center.

In addition, you may take advantage of great out-of-the-box capabilities like restoring, content history, access control, and publishing permissions. Customers can also access your knowledge base in many languages and use chat and ticketing tools. Overall, if you are a large organization seeking for a solution to manage hundreds of clients on a regular basis, Zendesk Support Suite is a good choice.

Types Of Knowledge Management

Generally, knowledge management tools are a subset of the bigger picture. This bigger picture is the knowledge management system. But then, we still have to consider the various types of knowledge management because that’s exactly what the system is about. Knowledge management is grouped into 3 main types. These are mainly;

#1. Tacit knowledge

When we talk about tacit knowledge, we refer to every piece of knowledge that is acquired via experience and is instinctively understood. As a result, it is difficult to describe and codify, making it difficult to impart this knowledge to others. Language, facial recognition, and leadership abilities are examples of tacit knowledge.

#2. Implicit knowledge

While some literature equates implicit knowledge with tacit knowledge, some scholars differentiate this category, stating that the concept of strategy knowledge is more nuanced. While tacit information can be difficult to codify, implicit knowledge does not always have this issue. Instead, implicit knowledge remains undocumented. It usually exists within processes and is referred to as “know-how” knowledge. This is yet another type of knowledge that management tools keep tabs on.

#3. Explicit knowledge

This knowledge is captured in many sorts of documents such as manuals, reports, and guidelines, allowing firms to readily transfer knowledge across teams. This is likely the most well-known sort of knowledge. 

Components Of Knowledge Management

In highlighting the various tools used in knowledge management, we wouldn’t fail to list out the various components of KM. These are as follows:s;

#1. People

“People, procedure, and technology,” you’ve probably heard. Organizational leaders have used this paradigm, often known as the “golden triangle,” to direct initiatives and lead organizational change since at least the early 1990s. If you focus too much on one factor, your initiative will fail. And the sequence is critical. Thus, you must first incorporate the appropriate people before moving on to processes and technology. 

When launching a knowledge management system or tools, you’ll require two sets of people. These people are the senior executives who will provide sponsorship and insight into the overall organizational strategy and the cross-functional stakeholders that will drive execution.

#2. Process

Knowledge flows like a municipal water supply in firms with strong knowledge management systems and tools. When someone wants it, they just turn on the tap. Like a city planner, the KM team understands how everything flows beneath the surface. They are capable of identifying bottlenecks, rerouting flows, and measuring inputs and outputs. 

However, the end user is not required to comprehend how all of this works. Obtaining the knowledge they require is simple for them.

#3. Content/IT

When we talk about content IT, we refer to any type of written knowledge, ranging from approved best practices to quick-and-dirty recommendations shared among colleagues. The content might be easily reusable, such as templates and how-to videos, or it can be untidy and unstructured (e.g., project documentation). 

We include content with IT because IT infrastructures allow individuals to produce content, store it somewhere, and access and reuse it. People will continue to create and use content in the absence of KM. They will do so in locations that others cannot find, re-create things that others have previously made, and (most dangerously) reuse content that is out of date or wrong.

#4. Strategy

Every KM program necessitates a well-defined, documented, and business-relevant plan. You can have the best knowledge management tools and a super-smart KM team, but without a strategy, it will all be for naught. 

Best Knowledge Management Tools Examples And Techniques

Putting the best knowledge management tools to work is the key to great knowledge management. Here are some of the best examples of knowledge management tools for your business.

#1. Knowledge Base Tools

The knowledge base is one example of a knowledge management tool. It’s a searchable database of information about your products and how to utilize them. This knowledge management solution could include technical content on how to debug your program, answers to frequently asked questions, and other information. This information will improve your customer experience with your software or product.

Knowledge bases are distinct Knowledge management tools in that they are equally valuable to your staff and your consumers. Knowledge bases are a centralized repository of product, process, and training knowledge that may be used to solve problems and get important information.

#2. Customer Relationship Systems

These systems aid marketing, sales, and customer care teams in tracking prospect and customer data throughout the customer relationship. It’s one of the best knowledge management tools capable of doing that.

You can track first contact with a prospect using a CRM to see how they found you and what content they’ve read on your website. You can then track the interactions your sales staff has with them throughout the buying cycle, as well as ongoing interactions such as repeat purchases.

#3. Learning Management Systems

Many large corporations utilize LMS solutions to handle the employee training and education process. It’s another example of a knowledge management tool you will enjoy considering. Its technology can be used by businesses to share online training modules and job-related educational resources, allowing their staff to optimize processes and improve performance.

LMS courses are also widely used to address compliance issues. LMS systems do not replace verbal communication or meetings, but they do ensure that all employees are on the same page when it comes to business policy.

#4. Automation Technologies

Automation technologies are the way of the future in terms of time management and productivity. Many businesses already use automation in many departments and business processes. Automated emails and chatbots, particularly in sales and customer support, help reduce busy work and allow people to spend more time with their consumers.

#5. Inventory Management Systems

These are critical for every team in your organization. Inventory tracking has an impact on your sales, customer service, marketing, and product management. If prices change due to supply chain concerns or if certain products are out of stock, everyone in your firm needs to be aware so that your consumers always receive clear, consistent information.

Using an inventory management system to track your inventory is straightforward and puts everyone on the same page.

#6 Project Management Systems

Project management is a common source of contention for many businesses. Large projects need involvement from a variety of stakeholders with varying timetables and timelines. They also need cross-departmental access to a wide range of documents and reports, which can cause delays if they are difficult to distribute or open.

#7. Content and Document Management Systems

Multi-purpose papers are compiled into a single database by content and/or document management systems for ease of access. These solutions enable many groups to share documents without the stress of individually requesting authorization. They also retain a concise record of earlier documents, which is important for departments such as sales and marketing that may need to refer to obsolete policies or materials.

Steps in Knowledge Management

In integrating knowledge management tools into your systems, there are certain steps that are involved in it. These are as follows;

Step One: Collecting

This is the most crucial step in the knowledge management procedure. If you collect incorrect or irrelevant data, the resulting knowledge may be incorrect. As a result, decisions based on such knowledge may be incorrect as well.

There are numerous data collection methods and tools available for your knowledge management. To begin with, data collection should be a step in the knowledge management process. People involved in the data collection process should follow certain protocols, which should be adequately recorded.

Certain data gathering points are defined by the data collection technique. Some points may be summaries of normal reports. Monthly sales reports and daily attendance reports, for example, could be two useful data collection resources.

Step Two: Organizing

The information gathered must be organized. This organizing is usually done according to a set of rules. The organization establishes these regulations.

All sales-related data, for example, can be filed together, and all staff-related data can be placed in the same database row. This type of arrangement aids in the accurate maintenance of data within a database.

If the database contains a large amount of data, procedures such as ‘normalization’ can be used to organize it and reduce duplication.

Step Three: Summarizing

The material is summarized in this step to get the core of it. Long information is provided in tabular or graphical format and correctly stored.

There are numerous tools available for summarizing, including software packages, charts (Pareto, cause-and-effect), and various methodologies.

Step Four: Analyzing

An expert or expert team should be designated for this purpose, as the person’s or team’s experience is critical. Also, reports are generated following information analysis.

Step Five: Synthesizing

At this stage, information transforms into knowledge. The results of analysis (often reports) are integrated to create various concepts and artifacts.

A pattern or behavior of one entity can be used to explain another. The organization as a whole will have a collection of knowledge pieces that can be used across the board. This information is then saved in the organizational knowledge base for future reference.

The knowledge base is often a software implementation that can be accessed from anywhere over the Internet. You can also purchase such knowledge base software or obtain a free open-source implementation.

Step Six: Decision Making

Now, the knowledge is used to make decisions. For example, when estimating a specific type of project or activity, earlier estimates can be referenced. This speeds up the estimating process while maintaining excellent accuracy. This is how organizational knowledge management generates value while also saving money over time.

Conclusion

Knowledge management is a critical technique for business organizations. Luckily, there are tools that simplify the entire process. Organizational knowledge supports the organization in the long run in terms of money, culture, and people. As a result, all mature businesses should take the essential steps in building their knowledge management system using the relevant tools, to improve their company operations and overall capabilities. The best knowledge management tools contribute to this improvement and more.

Knowledge Management Tools FAQs

What tools could be used to encourage employees to share their knowledge?

MS Teams and Slack, for example, are two of the most popular information-sharing applications, where employees may exchange materials, webinars, business blogs, podcasts, and even their films expressing their thoughts on a certain topic.

What are the advantages of knowledge management for an organization?

Knowledge management boosts and fosters the exchange of ideas, cooperation, and access to the most up-to-date information. It also enables individuals to foster innovation and the cultural shifts required to evolve the firm and meet changing business needs.

How might the best knowledge management tools help management?

The best Knowledge management tools assist businesses in ensuring that they have the appropriate processes, procedures, or systems in place to develop, manage, store, and communicate organizational information. They also ensure that they can put that knowledge to use following their business strategy.

What are the three primary domains of knowledge management?

Knowledge management can be divided into three categories: acquiring knowledge, knowledge storage, and sharing information.

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