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Knowledge Management - Creating a Knowledge Base


04/01/21 | by Jorge Vilar

5 minutes reading

Introduction

The knowledge of your policies, procedures, processes and how-to's should be kept in your company and be independent of people. In practical terms, this means if a person who has a key role leaves your company, the knowledge remains.
How is this achieved? By documenting all knowledge in a central place, a Knowledge Base (KB).

What is Knowledge and Knowledge Management?

Knowledge is different from data and information.
Information is data in context, for example a phone book.
Knowledge is information that facilitates action, for example, individuals who are the domain experts within an organisation.
An example of knowledge includes recognising that a phone number belongs to a good client who needs to be called once per week to get his orders.
Knowledge management (KM) can be defined as performing the activities involved in discovering, capturing, sharing, and applying knowledge so as to enhance, in a cost-effective fashion, the impact of knowledge on your company.

What is the difference between Knowledge Management and Document Management?

Document Management
- Makes (electronic) documents available across a wide variety of issues within a certain topic.
- Assumes the users know what documents are needed.
- Focus is to store and organize content rather than sharing data
- May best be described as information storage and sharing system that does not address the relevance or usefulness of the data.

Knowledge Management
- Assumes the user does not know which document will address an issue and guides the user to the correct information.
- Designed to quickly and efficiently deliver the most relevant data for specific issues.
- Features give priority to useful and current data over simply storing historical data.

And when there is an overlap? If, as an example, you have a procedure but need to have a pdf of that procedure to distribute?
Keep the procedure on the Knowledge Base, the pdf on the Document Management System and on the KB create a link to the pdf.

Knowledge Base

So, how do you manage knowledge in your company?

1 - Write your how-to's, procedures, processes, policies, etc. Everything that makes your business running. These are usually called Knowledge Base Articles.

2 - Place that knowledge on a central, electronic place, visible to everyone pertinent. The knowledge there should be easy to search and find. There are several software solutions to create a Knowledge Bases. The two I know better are:

- SharePoint (I dislike it!)
- Notion (quite easy to use)

3 - Update your knowledge as often as necessary.

Some Bibliography

- Becoming a Knowledge-Sharing Organization

- The Art of Knowledge Exchange

- Introduction to Knowledge Management

- end -

Do you want to know more about Knowledge Management?
How to write a Knowledge Base article?
Don't hesitate to contact me! : jorge@jorgevilar.com.

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