Benefits of Using a Knowledge Management System?
Before we discuss best practices for creating a knowledge management system, let’s take a closer look at why you should make use of one for remote operations.
Remote Team Alignment
Creating alignment throughout your organization is one of the biggest challenges remote teams face.
In fact, 97% of employees and executives say organizational alignment impacts overall productivity levels—for better or worse.
(Here, alignment refers to being on the same page with regard to team-wide processes, teamwork and collaboration, and overall company culture.)
A centralized KMS provides remote team members access to all knowledge and info that makes up and flows through your organization, such as:
- Standard operating procedures and other policy-related documents
- Customer data, such as persona profiles and individual engagement history
- Content created for marketing and sales purposes
...and any other data your various team members should be aware of.
Though remote teams are inherently more isolated than their on-premise counterparts, a comprehensive KMS can help maintain alignment and keep all team members headed in the same direction.
Communication of Lessons Learned
Your team is constantly being exposed to new ideas, information, and knowledge.
In order to continue growing, you need to be able to internalize this new information as it comes into and flows through your organization.
Which is exactly what a knowledge management system allows you to do.
A KMS can allow your team to store incoming data and info immediately and provide access to all stakeholders with ease. This ensures no team member is left out of the loop, and is always able to operate based on the accepted best practices of your organization.
Communicating lessons learned requires communication of both explicit and tacit knowledge.
Communicating explicit knowledge is easy enough, as you’ll simply need to transfer concrete information directly into your knowledge management system as appropriate. For example, if you’ve collected quantitative data regarding your customers’ needs, you can just upload the data into your KMS as is.
Communicating tacit knowledge is a bit more difficult, as your team will need to translate intangible and experiential learning into concrete terms others can understand. For example, your sales team may have to create video content demonstrating their use of a certain sales tactic—something which must be seen (as opposed to read about) to truly comprehend.
Overall, a comprehensive KMS will ensure better remote team performance as the lessons your team learns over time never slip through the cracks resulting in the ability to avoid making the same mistakes over-and-over as well as the ability to build on successes.
Breaking Down Knowledge Silos
Without an internal knowledge management system in place, the knowledge held by your individual teams and employees becomes compartmentalized and isolated.
(This is especially true for remote teams that may not interact with each other all that often.)
This can cause your teams to become disjointed and disconnected—leading to a decrease in communication, collaboration, and overall productivity.
But, with open access to a comprehensive database of organizational knowledge, your team’s productivity levels will easily skyrocket.
As a report from McKinsey explains, a well-maintained KMS can boost your company’s productivity by up to 35%.
And, well...this just makes sense:
If your team is always able to find the exact information they’re looking for when approaching a certain task, they’ll always know the best course of action to take—and can get moving as quickly as possible.
Increased Team Innovation
A comprehensive KMS will allow your individual team members to learn from each other’s experiences—and also share the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years, as well.
This continuous sharing of knowledge will allow your employees to see things from multiple angles and gain new perspectives and understandings of familiar ideas.
(Again, this is especially important for remote teams who may not have many opportunities to exchange such information.)
In any case, this can have a synergistic effect throughout your organization. This open exchange of ideas can lead to breakthroughs, “aha moments,” and other outside-the-box ways of thinking that can help set your team apart from your competitors.
And, of course, you’ll always be able to build even further upon these ideas within your KMS—allowing you to stay far ahead of your competitors at all times.