Centralising your Organisations Knowledge – why, how and what are the benefits?

What is Knowledge? It is a collection of data, acquired through experience or education and grouped into a meaningful content.

Written by Kirsty Bowden

Many organisations start out with a small team of people, often specialists who are very good at their jobs and as individuals know all the ins and outs of their jobs. Communicating and sharing knowledge is easy when there is a small group of people to share it with.

As an organisation grows in size and in complexity that ability to share that knowledge becomes much harder as people will retain an amazing amount of detailed knowledge in their heads, on their local computer or in documents they save for themselves.

It is quite possible to lose years’ worth of knowledge when an experienced staff person leaves the organisation, leaving a huge gap when it comes to troubleshooting, customer service and the organisations ability to offer a higher end of service.

If users are storing their organisational knowledge in locations only they have access to, it prevents others from getting relevant information in a timely manner, it can mean people reinventing the wheel when troubleshooting or problem solving and often it is not known what information others have, until that knowledge is required.

It can be hard to define what knowledge is important for an organisation to gather, where it should be held and who should have access to it. Depending on the business type the knowledge can be quite diverse.

Here are some examples of organisational knowledge.

  • Client Knowledge
  • Product Knowledge
  • Procedure Knowledge
  • Troubleshooting Knowledge
  • Organisational Knowledge

Once the types of knowledge your organisation deems important enough to be centralised have been identified, the how and where becomes the next questions.

One of the biggest flaws with many kinds of knowledge bases or tools to centralise knowledge is the complexity they have, the hoops a user has to go through to create the knowledge, to make it accessible and then to access it when it is relevant, this can be a deterrent for many organisations but this is a cause well worth the effort.

Organisations should be looking for a solution that fits their business. If the staff are office bound, then having something as simple as a shared drive on a server with a meaningful folder structure might be enough.

If the organisation is spread across different locations or the knowledge needs to be available outside of the building, then you need to find a tool that allows that.

The TimeTrak Product Suite has a Knowledge Base Module that can be incorporated easily. This is a website based Knowledge Base which is completely customisable to match the kind of information your organisation needs to capture. All of the Articles or Questions, Comments and Answers created within the Knowledge Base are stored within your TimeTrak Database, putting everything into a central location which is often backed up and saved.

With our TimeTrak Mobile software we allow users to view the Knowledge Bases and the Clients, Jobs or Tasks they are related to, whilst out on site. This is to cater for the need to have organisational information while not in the office.

How often have one of the staff whilst out on the job called back to the office for the information required, only to hear that person who has it saved on their PC is away on leave and no-one can get to it?

Imagine if your staff could search on a topic, have the results show on their Mobile devices and they troubleshoot something while on site without missing a beat.

The organisational benefits include open sharing of knowledge, higher productivity from their team, a higher level of customer service, no loss of knowledge if someone leaves the organisation, a known location for storing and finding information.

As organisations become multifaceted to match the requirements of clients, the value of the Knowledge within the organisation gets higher and higher. The need to consolidate and accumulate that Knowledge is something that each organisation should review and consider.

For more information on how to better manage your organisation’s knowledge, contact our TimeTrak team on support@timetrak.co.nz.

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