Knowledge Management for Nonprofit Organizations
- Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization to ensure that its knowledge-related assets are effectively employed. Knowledge-related assets include printed documents, knowledge stored electronically in shared drives or databases, employees’ knowledge about the best way to do their jobs, knowledge that is held by teams who have been working on focused problems and knowledge that is embedded in the organization’s products, processes, and relationships. The processes of KM involve knowledge acquisition, creation, refinement, storage, transfer, sharing, and utilization. The KM function in the organization operates these processes, develop methodologies and systems to support them, and motivates people to participate in them.
The goals of KM are to establish good practices in order to leverage and improve the organization’s use of its knowledge assets and enhance organizational performance.
- Why should I think about knowledge management?
- We forget things;
- We lose data;
- We don’t learn from successes;
- We repeat mistakes;
- We end up doing everything twice;
- Our projects don’t learn from each other;
- Our reputation suffers due to suboptimal performance;
- Staff morale is affected by low performance and re-doing work.
Knowledge Management Systems
Knowledge management systems (KMS) are applications of the organization’s computer-based communications and information systems (CIS) to support the various KM processes. They involve databases, such as “lessons learned” repositories, and directories and networks, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a support for Knowledge Management (KM). As CRM is powered, knowledge becomes explicit and may be used by other industries or employees who require data and information about the customer. CRM also supports the combination of explicit knowledge, because an explicit knowledge can be used in conjunction with other explicit knowledge such as rules or standards of the company in dealings with customers, a number of contacts, operations, purchased products, etc., forming new knowledge.
Internal Knowledge Management Solutions Benefits:
Create a Knowledge Sharing Culture: By capturing and sharing the relevant information between and within departments, our internal knowledge management solutions offer a more effective approach to decision making and accelerating company growth
Increased Employee Productivity: Less time searching, more time working. Through self-service, employees at every level can self-serve their questions and have fast access to the information they need
Reduced Knowledge Loss: Transfer invaluable tacit knowledge from experienced employees and make it available to those who need it before or after they leave, effectively leveraging your intellectual capital
Enhanced Relations with Staff and Partners: By allowing staff members and partners to self-serve their questions around OGP’s products and services, significant savings of both time and money are made providing a convenient solution for all that is involved
Improved Employee Engagement: Enable employees to provide feedback and suggestions for content editing within the knowledge base allowing for increased engagement and refined knowledge
One Version of the Truth: Eliminate the possibility of duplicate document circulation and appropriately evaluate content prior to any changes or publication.
Knowledge Reuse: Involves three roles, the knowledge producer, intermediary, and consumer, which are involved in creating, preparing, and actually reusing the knowledge. Two keys elements here are culture and cost – particularly relating to tacit knowledge (where indexing the source rather than the knowledge itself is often more viable).
KM and Knowledge Retention: Knowledge retention is the part of KM that is concerned with making sure that important knowledge assets remain in the firm over time, e.g. when key employees leave the firm or retire. Formulating a knowledge retention strategy depends upon understanding which knowledge is important, which knowledge is at risk and what it takes to keep this knowledge in the organization. Depending upon its knowledge retention strategy a firm may choose to implement one of many initiatives and tools including reward structures, mentoring, interviews, and utilizing knowledge from retirees.