Knowledge Management: 5 practical ideas for improvement

Knowledge Management is the set of practices set up by a company to collect, share and improve tacit and explicit knowledge at all levels.

Too often underestimated by companies, effective management of the body of corporate knowledge allows for a significant competitive advantage. In fact:

  • The skills of each employee are exploited in the best possible way. As Lean says, not using these skills is to be considered a real waste (we talked about it in this post)

In this post, we will provide you with 5 practical ideas for effective knowledge management.

# 1: implementing a skills matrix

The first suggestion we give you is to create a skills matrix. This matrix is ​​composed as follows:

  • The first line indicates the skills required by the company so that the various tasks can be performed efficiently by the employees. These competences should include both soft skills and hard skills

There are several digital solutions on the market for employee skills management. If you want to know more, contact us.

# 2: transforming tacit knowledge into explicit

It often happens that, especially in manufacturing companies, the knowledge of the processes is not explicit, i.e. that there are key people who know the process perfectly, but this knowledge is not documented anywhere. This represents a strong criticality, since, if the expert is missing (illness, change of job, dismissal, retirement, etc.) this knowledge is inevitably lost.

For this reason, it becomes essential to implement a structured business method to bring out all the tacit knowledge and transform it into explicit. From a practical point of view, this means creating and managing such documentation adequately.

# 3: documenting knowledge and manage it effectively

To date, digital technology offers a series of extremely valid tools for every type of need and above all for all budgets.
For example, I happened to work in a leading company in the aerospace industry that used a simple free tool from the MS suite such as OneNote as a tool for gathering information within various teams. This information was then easily accessible at all levels thanks to the corporate cloud by means of keyword research.

There are also other paid instruments on the market that are used in the manufacturing sector. Some of these help in the creation of digital work instructions thanks to the use of videos, images, links connected to the company MES or ERP. Other solutions, on the other hand, almost represent real MESs able to provide not only the instructions created on the basis of the knowledge collected, but also provide multilingual support (essential for multinationals), to collect data and make some basic analyzes on process performance. (if you want to know more, contact us)

# 4: creating a culture of lifelong learning

The fourth piece of advice we give you is to create a culture of lifelong learning. This point is correlated with point 1: once the knowledge gaps have been identified, however, we can also identify a series of additional skills that would allow the employee to keep constantly updated. In fact, multidisciplinary skills are increasingly in demand as employees need to be more and more flexible in relation to the tasks to be performed.

Fortunately, today there are several ways to keep employees up to date:

  • Training on the jobs

In particular, we believe that the latter solution can provide several practical benefits:

  • Costs: no travel is required, therefore no costs for transport, food and accommodation

There are several more or less famous online platforms that guarantee access to a package of courses for the whole company.

For our part, SkillS4i with the aim of providing online courses (but not limited to) on issues related to various skills required in the manufacturing sector.

# 5: frequent feedback between manager, human resources and employee

The last piece of advice we give you is to have frequent interviews or feedback between the manager, human resources and the employee. This allows you to know which skills the employee would like to develop more than others, thus also directing his growth path within the company.

Need support in Knowledge Management?

In this post we have seen how knowledge management can make a significant contribution to staff growth and the management of daily activities. In addition, we have provided 5 ideas so that this management can be done effectively and efficiently.

Accialini Training & Consulting can provide you with valid support in the management of business knowledge. In fact:

  • we can help management to plan strategic knowledge management

Stay tuned!

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Nicola Accialini

Nicola Accialini

Engineer, consultant, digital entrepreneur and traveller, not necessarily in this order | Italian, lived in Germany, now in Spain | www.accialiniconsulting.com