Much is said in the importance of knowledge management for organizations today. In support, the idea of using strategically, the information that is generated from increasingly abundant form. It sounds simple: To document, store, extract information, turn them into knowledge, disseminate and apply.
However, what is observed in most companies is that all stages are not always well planned and executed, and what should be Knowledge Management, turns out to be mere formalism and bureaucracy. Inefficient forms, confusing storage, information provided in excess and not intelligible form.
This is because not done the correct support of Knowledge Management in its fundamental pillars: Document Management, Information Management and Media Structuring for interaction and dissemination.
With respect to Document Management and Information Management, you must plan, carefully, what are the documents and information of interest at every stage of the case, or project. It is often possible to use compulsory produced materials (that meet legal or customer requirements, for example), sometimes not. So we must ask: The information in this document is sufficient for the organization to pull away learning? If yes, ok. We will standardize and define the best structure to store it. If not, we must decide what would be a more complete document model that meets this demand. We can work with operational standards, management standards, flowcharts, final reports, presentations of kick-off, letters-control, performance statistics, finally, turning all that, in principle, would be considered as only part of the bureaucratic process relevant information.
But this is only possible if people are oriented to the purpose of processing and transmission of knowledge and no previous definition of what the company want to get. Information on how to proceed in case of a malfunction of a machine is probably not described in the standard operating using it. But maybe we can find the deviations treatment report. That is, we have exact science on what are the protocols produced, what its goals and what information we can extract from each.
We must never lose sight of the focus on results. Learning lessons should cherish primarily for problem solving, whether good or bad. The information has to be direct and written in a way that can really help those in need. We must also map the people who are the “key elements” linked to each process or project of interest. It is they who can transmit the best information, the way “killer” to deal with specific issue.
The other key issue in the process of use of knowledge management as a differentiating factor concerns the Forums Interaction and Dissemination. It is essential to be aware of the importance of them. Companies who care to retain knowledge without having to spread it, are destined to fail in the process. The centralization of information generates dissatisfaction and doubts around the goals. Knowledge must be disclosed, must be available to whom it may concern. Obviously, there is a stage of definition of the actors. Who they are and what forms of access. In that moment, by what means. How and what is expected of each. And something very important that is often overlooked: fostering interaction structured between people within the organization.
When a manager triggers another manager outside the workplace, they can exchange information that could be very useful to the organization and certainly will perform the best in the development of their work. But when that happens, the company “fails to win.” From the perspective of the business, would be far more interesting and useful that this interaction is that through a web forum or a workshop.
It is valuable institutionalize this communication, so that knowledge can be translated exchanged, retained and subsequently propagated in other ways, keeping alive over time. And persons involved should be praised for that. The organization should design these practices within a meritocratic environment where those who help others, and thus helps the company, is recognized in some way by this.
Only through a good combination of these three pillars and the correct management of them is that it is possible to achieve an interesting level of knowledge management practices. And the organization’s maturity in the course of this process may give her a unique opportunity to turn it into something strategic and extremely relevant to reach your goals.
Author: Matheus Neto – Consultant Planning and Management