Gareth Morgan was right: organizations are machines – they’re also cultural systems, they’re brains, they’re organisms; and like every organism, they contain knowledge. In fact, they contain tons of it.
When organizations grow, knowledge follows and as that happens, challenges arise. How do you organize the knowledge that everyone uses? How do you make it accessible to everyone?
Sit down and make yourself comfortable. We’re gonna talk about knowledge management today.
User-friendliness is a key attribute to a knowledge management system. If the new solution isn’t easy to use, they won’t bother giving it the benefit of the doubt, and your investment in a knowledge management solution will quickly become a waste of time and money.
Word to the wise: nothing pushes users away like software that’s difficult to use, so make that a prio.
A search functionality
Nobody wants to waste time thinking “Umm, it was supposed to be here” – you know how annoying it is to look for something you urgently need and not be able to find it. Poor search functionality automatically decreases usability, making information hard to find and threatening the adoption rates of the software.
A customizable knowledge management system can be a raw diamond – very potent, but not perfectly shaped (yet). A full branding add-on allows you to create your knowledge management system in your organization’s own image and likeness – from your logo, brand colors and email digest, all the way to custom widgets.
It’s not only information that shouldn’t be siloed, your people shouldn’t be either. A mobile app feature makes your knowledge management system accessible to everyone in the organization, including those who aren’t tied to a desk. It’s essential to keep on-site employees on board with the bigger picture and make them feel connected to the organization.
A mobile app featurecan be the hidden trick up your sleeve when it comes to driving adoption. Making your knowledge management software easily accessible engages employees with using it more often and keeps everyone in the loop.
If you’ve read our blog, or at least scanned through our website, you know we’re all about collaboration. It’s what turns knowledge into a concrete business output.
If you’re +1 on that, or at least your organization values it, it should be reflected in everything, including your digital tools. The purpose of a knowledge management system is to store and organize information, but going a step further and allowing for collaboration isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Here’s why:
When apps and tools are interconnected:
Information doesn’t become siloed
Shadow tooling is avoided
The latter happens when people go rogue and start using apps of their own choice. This makes your reporting incomplete, leading to metrics that don’t represent reality.
7. Integration with third-party tools
Third-party tools go hand-in-hand with knowledge management. When purchasing a knowledge management system, you want to make sure it integrates with the apps your organization already uses. Not taking this feature into account can cause you some headaches later on, create obstacles for your people, hinder productivity, and surely won’t give you a star for efficiency and good decision-making.
8. Feedback system
Sharing is caring – and in this case, it benefits both the organization and its people. It’s the ultimate way to find out what employees really think, a place where people can share ideas and collaborate to improve your business. Without feedback, knowledge becomes a top-down instituted mandate rather than a living, breathing, evolving thing. You need input from the bottom-up to keep all that knowledge up-to-date, and that's the purpose of feedback. Plus, it gives them a voice and makes them feel valued, which contributes to other business aspects, like engagement and satisfaction rates. The wonders a piece of software can do, huh?