Knowledge might be an intangible asset for your team, but it’s arguably one of the most important assets in your company. After all, if Gina is the only one who can pull a complex report, what will your team do if she leaves suddenly? 🤷🏽♀️
Successful knowledge management arms your team with a solid framework for taking this information out of your team’s brains, emails, and chats and sharing it with the organization. However, how you manage this knowledge makes the difference between success and failure.
Whether you’re a knowledge manager or a team leader responsible for managing, recording, and accessing knowledge assets, you need effective knowledge management strategies in your corner. In this guide, we’ll explain why these strategies are important and share 10 of the best knowledge management practices for mobilizing your team’s information.
- What is Knowledge Management?
- The Importance of an Effective Knowledge Management Strategy
- 10 Knowledge Management Strategies for Your Team
- 1. Support a culture of continuous learning
- 2. Use knowledge management software
- 3. Conduct knowledge audits
- 4. Encourage collaboration-first work
- 5. Create clear documentation and content management practices
- 6. Develop effective onboarding processes
- 7. Lean into subject matter experts (SMEs)
- 8. Integrate knowledge management into business processes
- 9. Set clear organizational goals and metrics
- 10. Use AI and machine learning
- Use Knowledge Management Software
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management (KM) is a structured approach for capturing, organizing, sharing, and using your organization’s knowledge. Think of it as an internal knowledge base that makes the right information available to the right people at the right time.
Knowledge management isn’t just about building SOPs that nobody will read again. This approach codifies and shares knowledge in a single repository. Knowledge management software easily organizes knowledge like:
- Customer support processes
- Employee onboarding steps
- Technical documentation for IT, like user manuals or troubleshooting guides
- Meeting minutes and reports
- Client communication records
Best of all, knowledge management makes this information accessible to everyone who needs it. Instead of sending Slack messages back and forth asking for certain files or procedures, your team can find everything they need with a simple search in your knowledge management tool. If you store sensitive information, you can lock it down with tiered permissions, too.
The types of knowledge in your business
Did you know there are different types of organizational knowledge? You might not realize it, but your team has a lot of knowledge resources at their disposal. It takes a little elbow grease, but your knowledge management process should gather these three types of information:
- Explicit knowledge: This information is the easiest to formalize and share with the team. It includes data sheets, manuals, SOPs, formulas, and written documents. You probably already have explicit knowledge documented somewhere already
- Implicit knowledge: This type of information refers to someone’s hard skills and know-how. Unlike explicit knowledge, you can’t get this information from an SOP. You have to pick employees’ brains via interviews, shadowing, and process mapping
- Tacit knowledge: This is personal and context-specific information. It’s more of a “hunch” that an employee has based on years of personal experience. This is hard to record because employees usually don’t even realize they have tacit knowledge. You can try to get a record of tacit knowledge by asking employees to walk through their decision-making processes
Explicit knowledge is easiest to document, but there’s real value in logging tacit and implicit knowledge in your systems, too. Fortunately, a solid knowledge management platform will guide you through a process of documenting all three types of knowledge.
The Importance of an Effective Knowledge Management Strategy
Instead of making the same mistakes over and over, knowledge management helps you capitalize on collective knowledge and harness new knowledge for process optimization. From reducing misunderstandings to speeding up employee training, there’s a lot to love about knowledge management.
Put your organizational knowledge to good use
The longer an employee is with an organization, the more valuable they are. They’ve collected company knowledge over time that probably isn’t documented anywhere, which puts you at risk of losing it.
Knowledge management gives employees a structured process for documenting their experience and quickly sharing it with the team. Instead of allowing this information to languish in an SOP in a shared drive somewhere, your knowledge management solution connects this data to your workflows. It’s the best way to mobilize knowledge in your day-to-day work without bulky tools or additional processes.
Bridge knowledge gaps
Nobody knows everything. Instead of asking six people for information, an employee can quickly look up procedures in your knowledge base. This approach gets your team up to speed more quickly and cuts down on “Have you seen this file?” emails—it’s a real win-win.
Overcome information silos
Information silos are more likely to happen as your organization adds more departments, teams, and people into the mix. Before you know it, everyone in your business speaks a different language. Knowledge management strategies give everyone access to the same information and put everyone on the same page.
Create a culture of knowledge
Knowledgeable teams are productive teams. Following proven knowledge management strategies creates a culture where team members are happy to share information. Over time, this boosts collaboration and trust, leading to more innovation and creativity. 🧠
10 Knowledge Management Strategies for Your Team
Knowledge is a huge asset, but it isn’t easy to manage. Follow these 10 KM strategies to source, organize, manage, and mobilize your stakeholders’ valuable knowledge in one place.
1. Support a culture of continuous learning
The more your team learns, the more knowledge they’ll have. Unfortunately, it’s hard to invest in continuous learning, especially if your team has a lot of hard deadlines. Even so, building a culture of learning is a great way to improve the employee experience, increase morale, and encourage knowledge sharing.
This doesn’t have to take much time or distract your team from their full-time duties. A monthly training session, annual conference, or weekly lunch-and-learn are efficient ways to share knowledge.
2. Use knowledge management software
Effective knowledge management requires a centralized knowledge base. Fortunately, you don’t have to build this from scratch: knowledge management software will do all the work for you.
In fact, most tools will automate knowledge capture and distribution. The right solution will offer features like searchability, collaboration tools, and integration capabilities, making it a cinch to get up and running for knowledge sharing.
3. Conduct knowledge audits
Not all knowledge is valuable, so reviewing the information in your knowledge base is a good idea. Knowledge audits identify what knowledge your team has, what’s missing, and what’s no longer relevant. Annual audits continuously update and refine your knowledge management strategy and keep your KM program tidy and actionable. Plus, they’re a good opportunity for improving processes that are out-of-date or just not useful.
4. Encourage collaboration-first work
There’s a time and place for your team to operate as Lone Rangers, but knowledge is more actionable when it’s shared. Tools like intranets, wikis, and internal social networks facilitate collaboration by making it easy to ask questions and share information. Group brainstorming sessions are also great for synthesizing different perspectives for stronger, better ideas.
5. Create clear documentation and content management practices
Knowledge management software is necessary, but you still need official policies backing up this tool. Without clear policies, you might manage knowledge inconsistently and find crucial data slipping through the cracks.
Work with your team to create shared documentation and content management practices. You might need policies for:
- Document management and creation
- Sharing permissions, including who has access to what and why
- File organization and tagging
- Knowledge audits
- Knowledge archival
As always, document these policies in your knowledge management platform so your team can access them.
6. Develop effective onboarding processes
Effective onboarding is a management best practice, but it’s also a smart knowledge management strategy. Good onboarding processes help new employees quickly absorb organizational knowledge and understand their roles. Instead of telling new people to “just figure it out,” templatize your onboarding processes so all new hires get the same information in the same format.
7. Lean into subject matter experts (SMEs)
A little generic knowledge is good, but expertise is worth its weight in gold. Every person on your team is an expert at something, so ask them to share that expertise with the entire company!
Ask IT to create best practices for cybersecurity or ask the good folks in customer service to provide do’s and don’ts for customer-facing interactions.
SMEs specialize in these areas and have valuable first-hand knowledge that the rest of the company might not know. For example, maybe your customers prefer certain phrases—log that in the knowledge management platform to get everyone on the same page, courtesy of the SME. 🤝
8. Integrate knowledge management into business processes
Knowledge without an application isn’t very valuable, so integrate your knowledge base into your business processes. For example, if your sales team compiles a thorough record of a client’s relationship with your company, read it before your next client call. Better yet, integrate it into your project management workflows so the team reviews this information every time.
9. Set clear organizational goals and metrics
This knowledge management strategy is a must for any data-driven project team. Set a clear goal for your KM strategy and establish metrics supporting that goal. Whether you rely on knowledge management software for productivity or sanity, it’s important to check your metrics and see if knowledge management is helping—or hurting—your team.
Most knowledge management software comes with metrics baked into the platform. Track these key performance indicators (KPIs) over time to see how well everything is going:
- Usage statistics
- Content creation rate
- Search effectiveness
- Employee retention and satisfaction
- Response times
10. Use AI and machine learning
Psst, we’ll let you in on a little secret: You don’t have to write or organize all of this knowledge manually. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning complement any knowledge management strategy, helping with tasks like:
- Content creation
- Analyzing usage metrics
Even if your knowledge platform doesn’t include AI, look for trigger-based automations. These drag-and-drop automations make it a cinch to act on knowledge without dropping the ball.
Use Knowledge Management Software
Knowledge management strategies underpin every aspect of the knowledge management process. However, you still need a way to integrate this knowledge into your workflow, which is where KM tools like ClickUp come into play.
Sure, we’re the universe’s favorite project management software, but we’re also a knowledge management system for creating and managing all types of Docs, databases, and custom wikis. 🙌
Blend projects with organizational knowledge
Project management is our bread and butter, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Project managers rely on ClickUp to add comments to any task or Doc, assign real-time action items, and share attachments from the knowledge base. Brainstorm in a Mind Map, Whiteboard, Doc, or wiki and connect it to your tasks and projects with a single click.
Collaborate in real-time
Why ask one team member to build a page for your internal wiki when you could ask the whole team to pitch in? ClickUp Docs supports real-time collaboration, tags, comments, and action items. You can even convert text into tasks with a single click to mobilize your knowledge with zero fuss.
By the way, you don’t have to build these Docs from scratch, either. Pick a ClickUp template, add your data, and you’re off to the races. For example, the ClickUp Wiki Template comes with everything you need to build a thorough wiki page, complete with eye-catching formatting.
For more hands-on assistance, give ClickUp AI a spin. Speed up your knowledge management strategies by asking the AI chatbot to summarize meeting notes or format tables.
Track usage metrics in a custom Dashboard
Are you curious about how often your team accesses assets and Docs? ClickUp Dashboards make it a breeze to see all KM metrics at a high level. Just pick the metrics that matter most to you, and it’ll track the data for you. See which wikis get the most hits, which employees contribute the most to the knowledge base, and how effectively the knowledge base streamlines workflows. Everything is 100% customizable, so you’re free to adjust the Dashboard as you go.
ClickUp: Your All-In-One Knowledge Base Software
Knowledge is an intangible but incredibly valuable asset for your company. Instead of letting knowledge float away into the ether, follow these knowledge management strategies to gain control over your internal knowledge.
Knowledge management strategies are a must, but you still need solid KM software in your corner to back up your big plans. Go with ClickUp to blend project management with knowledge management. Our all-in-one work platform saves your team the hassle of switching between platforms by bringing everything—including your knowledge—into a single place. ✨
Use ClickUp to store your team’s knowledge. Create your free ClickUp Workspace now!