What Are the New Ideas in Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management, as defined by Tom Davenport in 1994, is the process of capturing, distributing and effectively using knowledge. The knowledge management process constantly develops as new technology arises, new generations enter the workforce and competition forces innovation.
Emerging trends in knowledge management shape the way all businesses function, and adapting to these changes could be the difference between success for your business or falling to the wayside for those who don’t. In this article, I will cover some of the hot new trends in knowledge management and the ways in which adopting or refining them could bring huge benefits to your business.
Using Collaboration Tools for Business Processes
With the rise of cloud-based and social intranet software, teams can work remotely across documents and communicate in real time in a way never seen before. Adopting this software and style of working through digital transformation is one of the new trends in knowledge management – allowing more flexibility over work and for larger or global companies to work seamlessly on projects with their colleagues.
Collaboration tools come with a long list of benefits – from higher participation levels where employees can work at full output from home, real-time updates to all employees at various stages of a product and improved organization where there are no longer multiple versions of one document spread across different computers and networks.
Working out Loud
Working out loud is a knowledge management process that involves moving communication to a more social platform. Rather than keeping information internal and discreet, companies embrace transparency and put their cards on the table. Author of knowledge management content, Stan Garfield, said ‘we need to move from a need-to-know basis to need-to-share’ in order to create a radical change within the way businesses work.
The concept of working out loud is one that seeks to bring a human touch to business and improve upon the ways in which relationships are built. By offering each individual more access to knowledge, opportunities and ways to seek help, cooperation and collaboration become far more common.
Increased and Regular Updates
Following on from our earlier point about cloud-based software and its collaborative properties, another way in which cloud-based software is pushing boundaries is with consistent updates. Gone, seemingly, are the days of re-purchasing software once a year or so in order to have the latest updates and the greatest level of support. In are regular updates to cloud-based software in which bugs are fixed, pain points are improved upon and new features are added to constantly strengthen the software.
When it comes to delivering a high–level customer experience, regular updates are a must in order to truly adapt to their needs. No matter how well polished a one-time-release software is, it will undoubtably come with issues that were not picked up in testing and be missing features that competitors will launch a month or two later.
This benefit is even more apparent as one of the new trends in knowledge management, when utilized through a provider, that works directly with your business. By having that link, a user can directly request the changes that they suggest and any issues they have with their provider, and with the flexibility of cloud software, may even end up with a bespoke version of the product that truly works for them.
It goes without saying that mobile technology has moved to the forefront of not only business, but society as a whole. Therefore, it should be no surprise that it has become a top knowledge management process. One major way in which mobile technology has become prevalent is in apps created with a strong customer experience focus and mindset. They are developed following significant research into their customer bases and what their requirements are. As more examples of mobile technology are being used by businesses, we will see those who don’t fall to the wayside. When the larger food retailers were moving into apps and delivering faster and more efficient service to their customers, smaller chains and stand-alone takeaways were lifted up by apps such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Without the influence of those apps, many smaller businesses might have gone out of business, unable to keep up.
New Levels of Customer Service Possible
In days gone by, gaining customer experience data and getting a true understanding of what they thought was incredibly difficult. With the rise of smartphones, the Internet and social media, however, what was once difficult has now turned into an opportunity for any business that is prepared to reach out and grab it. As one of the emerging trends in knowledge management, customer experience, collecting data from customers on their experiences and aggregating their feedback, is one of the easiest ways to bring value to your business quickly and create a future of development that brings genuine benefit.
By getting more social and increasing the ways in which customers can interact with your business, you create more opportunities for them to provide you with valuable feedback and information on what works and what doesn’t for your business. Customers are more than happy to share, although on platforms like social media, customers do tend to share only the very best or very worst of interactions with a business. In that case, it is lucrative to regularly survey your customers. This can be done through many means – but sending online surveys that they can fill out on their mobile, perhaps while on their break, with a small incentive such as a voucher, is an incredibly powerful tool that will allow you to collect incredibly valuable data.