Knowledge management guide 2021

Enterprises today have many challenges to be faced ranging from internal management to external competitions. The solution to this is arrangement of data in an actionable format. Knowledge management is not an integration or a platform but a virtue that current work environment needs to get accustomed to.

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Everything you need to know about knowledge management

What is knowledge?

Oxford defines knowledge as, “facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”. The above definition clearly establishes that knowledge is not just data acquired but also information imparted internally and externally by leans of learning modules and training of employees. Knowledge is thus any objective and/or subjective fact, figure, data, information, and lead that is generated or acquired by an organization for the purpose of refining and processing into consumable knowledge. Such knowledge must be available when needed to put it to actionable use by all teams and departments of an organization.

Types of knowledge

Posteriori Knowledge

The procurement of knowledge post gaining an experience gives rise to acquiring knowledge. This comes from past experiences to help the receiver be more cautious and better informed when standing in the same shoes again.

Priori Knowledge

A knowledge that is acquired by means of past learnings is called priori knowledge. It is almost like a reflex thought. For example, an agent is taught to handle customers calmly or else they might leave. This is priori as agent already knows it and has been trained to reflex calmly in any situation. Dispersed or Distributed Knowledge Worst nightmare that opposes the very spirit of knowledge management is dispersed knowledge. It does not mean raw data. It means refined data that has not been cataloged and thus cannot be put to direct and straight use within a finger snap.

Domain or Expert Knowledge

The in-depth knowledge offered through full pager articles focuses on a particular domain related to a particular process. This trains agents in detail making them sharper. Expert knowledge makes it feasible for service executives to deliver resolution through minimal support from the backend.

Empirical Knowledge

Empirical knowledge is a result of human reflexes. Sounding similar to priori knowledge, empirical knowledge is neither taught nor roots from experiences. It is about observations and reflexes that happen spontaneously on encountering a situation.

Encoded Knowledge

Encoding knowledge does involve writing a scripted version of knowledge to keep it simple yet specific. It basically aims to educate or inform people belonging to a particular sect. For example, computer coded knowledge only serve needs of coders, while knowledge in Spanish might be available only for interests of Spanish audience.

Tacit Knowledge

While you cook food on a daily basis, you might know the hacks of multitasking or you just get used to knowing the pros, cons, and features of each equipment used and step taken. Similarly, on a job, the regular jobbers know various hacks and tricks that won’t be passed on during training but become a commonly accepted practice at work. Tacit knowledge is important but is never recorded as written.

Explicit Knowledge

Commonly known practices and work culture uniformly observed across the industry are usually documented. This can easily be circulated and passed on for training and educational purposes. Recorded knowledge is a boon to avoid letting trivial yet significant details from slipping off.

Meta Knowledge

Anything ranging from written text, content, documents, folders, links, image, media, video, graphs, and infographics to legible presentation of knowledge is called meta-knowledge. It can be called a sum total of existing tangible knowledge.

Imperative or Procedural Knowledge

Imperative knowledge or procedural knowledge is the process of passing knowledge from a more experienced person to a lesser experienced one. It can be a family’s recipe or organizational values or SOPs. Procedural knowledge ties up content with context thus assigning destination to any knowledge ever created.

Descriptive Knowledge

As says the name, descriptive knowledge is the acquiring, creation, refinement, verification, and publishing of knowledge. It is the entire process from scratch that goes into creation of knowledge without restriction to adhere to any particular topic during the process.

Situated Knowledge

The way you expect an engineer to be familiar with engineering knowledge and terminologies is because you know they share common orientation of knowledge. This is called situated knowledge where a particular sect, culture, or community is familiar with information in question on a daily basis.

Known Unknowns

There are only so many things that we know, we know. However, the lots many things that we know, we don’t know are called known unknowns as we are aware of their existence and of the fact that we need to learn about those topics and study them well.

Unknown Unknowns

The wilderness of knowledge that we as individuals have no idea about is simply known as unknown unknowns. People, in this scenario, don’t even know what they don’t know due to complete unawareness about existence of those topics.

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management in business world refers to the entire process of obtaining leads on sources, tracking them, obtaining data from them, and filtering through the data to see what’s relevant, verifying the source, and its credibility. Above mentioned paragraph takes only second-hand data obtainment into consideration. Following this is the most complicated part of knowledge management. It includes creating data following the path discovered through initial tracking. Audience and customers are reached out to by all possible means at all possible touchpoints and their points of view are collected. They are then sifted through to eliminate irrelevant responses. This is then forwarded for restructuring where latent information, percentage, and other actionable facts and insights are extracted. These are then categorized by teams. Data related to each team is forwarded, though most of the teamwork today is mostly interdependent.

History of knowledge management

Coined as a term first in 1987 by McKinsey; knowledge management, alongside its generally accepted abbreviation KM, became public in a conference at Boston in 1993. Earlier, each time a distant land had some business need requirements, a supervisor was required to travel all the way from homeland to some distant country land. It wasted time, resources, efforts, and created a bump in operations at both places usually. Knowledge management, to a great extent, has brought the world closer and continues to improve sync of operations.

Telecommunication earlier could have helped representatives on both ends to explain to best of their abilities about persisting situations but with knowledge management, employees can now not just project current state of things but also use virtual aspects of technology to connect in real-time with absoluteness of facts eliminating misrepresentation. Knowledge management, in a nutshell, is required to build bridges wherever gaps are found in communication to prevent leakage and stoppage. It connects employees, agents, customers, authorities, knowledge databases, processes, operations, and technology to yield collaborative and quality results.

Need for knowledge management?

You enter your room daily and each time you leave, it is messier than before. Well at night you make some temporary arrangement to steer the load clear from your desk or your bed or you somehow manage to make space for your belongings. This arrangement keeps you well going and maybe on weekends you even clear a fragment of that mess. Well, one rushed morning; you might have misplaced an important document and are already running late to office. You now realize how important it is to keep the room organized.

You leave no corners unturned and are now sure that you will either find what you need and be late or have to leave without the document. You manage to finally find the document and rush to the office still late somehow. You now realize the documents you got are not complete stack and some files are still left back in your study. This took a run at your mind. Why let your metrics touch the verge of negativity and then use knowledge management as a repudiation to damages done when using it since the start can prevent it altogether? When agents require a certain piece of knowledge, it must be right there, accessible at any point in time. Failure to this leads them to dig up for this information and pout the caller on hold.

Apart from triggering a lot of negativities against an agent’s capabilities in eyes of customers, it also makes them second guess their choice of brand. Even if the agent somehow manages to dig up relevant information from a pool of unorganized pile of data and information, the time taken to read, process, understand, apply, and disseminate the same for the caller is sure to make the clock go ticking. This pressure in turn causes agents to panic and bursts open floodgates for absenteeism and agent errors. With such high built-up of duress, your staff might not even own up to the mistakes as they ate not the sole burden; this might even result in employee attrition apart from customer churn and downwards driven sales. Agents have multiple calls all referring to various subjects and complaints originating therefrom.

It requires them to be ready with truckloads of information at any given point to avoid delay in typing and finding the same. Multiple apps and dozens of websites, on customers’ end, confuse them from landing onto an absolute solution. Knowledge management tools in this regard, not only help the customers find correct knowledge quickly, but it also eases out the challenge on part of enterprises in gaining viewership and digital excellence.

Importance of knowledge management

Knowledge management lays down the foundation for operations and communication inside and outside of an organization. It helps in assigning roles and responsibilities while striking a balance in the delegation of authority. Analytics through knowledge management help in ascertaining the loopholes and helps in mending the same with organization-wide compliance. A workflow is set in motion for employees to adhere to establishing a common code of conduct for operations.

Assigning responsibilities

Knowledge management helps in assigning responsibilities to the concerned parties. The designation of the employees is updated and their responsibilities filled in. Easy access helps the team heads to track the progress of learning and operations.

Content retargeting

Retargeting of content helps in reducing the labor of the content and product team. A piece of knowledge database once created can be adapted for any media and any channel. This provides seamless circulation eliminating multiple works on the same topic. Admins can bracket the date & time period for knowledge to be scheduled or published.

Analytics and feedback

A comparison between set standards and achieved targets is easy and feasible with an analytics dashboard. The users of the knowledge base are free to rate and comment on it. This helps in judging the practical credibility of users, creators, and knowledge base.

Cloud repository

The knowledge base created can be online, offline, cloud, or on-premise making accessibility extremely flexible, customizable, and secure. 24×7 accessibility to authorized parties helps to reduce the time gap between the arrival of the problem and delivery of an apt solution.

Factors determining nature of knowledge

1. Operation cycle
2. Nature of business
3. Demographical map
4. Unique selling point
5. Organizational structure
6. Nature of competition
7. Market share & user base

Benefits of knowledge management

Create a knowledge base

Using knowledge management software, users can create knowledge on their own. Tutorial mode helps in guiding them through each step. The decision tree flowchart and visual guides help in simplifying complex knowledge databases and articles into capsulated yet complete knowledge.

Customizable IT knowledge base

Knowledge management system represents brand tonality to its users. These users can be both agents and self-service users. To ensure easy usage and friendly UI, a knowledge website or application can be fully customized as per the client’s needs. Multiple templates are available

Omni-channel service

Over-whelming customers can backfire but supporting them by being present in the exact manner they want you to be is nothing short of a miracle. The online knowledgebase has information and solution in form of guides, charts, images, videos, and chats.

Implement SOP

Adherence to Standard Operating Procedure is not killing creativity but kindling it towards productive results. It helps establish a chain of command and syncs activities of employees on multiple fronts.

Better decision making

A good knowledge management tool has multiple options embedded in it right from archiving knowledge to acquiring facts, data, leads, feedback, communication, and rating. DIY knowledge creation helps in user-generated content thus being more relevant as it is passed through expert magnification.

Features of knowledge management

AI intent recognition

Knowledge management helps the agents to close tickets quickly with the help of AI. AI intent reads the tickets as they are generated and scans the keywords from them to sort out relevant answers from the knowledge base. Agents only have to read out the solution steps or forward them, as required.

Elastic search

Google-like elastic search can read in between the documents and not just the heads. This aids agent as they are not required to remember ToC for each document. They can merely type in the phrase they remember and exact results shall pop up. This reduces the time taken per query and enhances CX.

Mixed reality

With the advent of science and time, augmented reality and virtual reality became a talk of the past just as soon. Mixed reality is a rather efficient amalgamation of the two creating real-time interaction of real and virtual forces. It makes solution interactive, creative, speedy, and alive thus grasping customer’s attention with ease.

Decision trees

A schematic flowchart, decision trees are made to help users interact with a situation in a one-dimensional environment. Users start with a problem statement, explore each aspect of its cause, and determine solutions in each such case with branching. It is a collaboration between differentiation and integration, only on real-world issues.

Visual guides

Images have continued to portray the actions and reactions since time immemorial thus being the most convenient method of non-verbal communication. Visual guides are a repository of solution steps in a chronological order helping users to grasp the way out and execute it quickly. It is engaging and helps extend average session time to a positive one.

Smart bots

Bots are no longer expected to amuse and attract visitors by being the clown on the street. They are an integral part of the business and are expected to function with human-like sense and efficiency. From fetching leads to delivering solutions, AI chatbots can be integrated with all channels deployed in all kinds of operations.

Agent training

A detailed and updated LMS helps organizations train their workforce in accordance with the real work environment under experienced faculty. The lessons are bifurcated and batches divided to pay personal attention to each query raised. Trainees can work on a software interface for apt onboarding.

Channels used for knowledge circulation

1. Mobile application
2. Contact center agents
3. Field experts
4. Website
5. Social media

Knowledge management for customer service

Good customer service is always essentially the result of a great knowledge management platform. In absence of knowledge management, the ordeal faced to raise tickets, find solutions, deliver them to customers, and still not lose them is a huge challenge. Knowledge management aids customer service as it does not make agents’ jobs easier, it also helps in improving the quality of the self-service platform and other user interfaces across social handles, website, and app. It makes all channels and all sources accessible. The creation of a cloud repository ensures the secure handling of organizational data without much ado. A good knowledge base is always the carrier of correct, verified, and updated information only that has been processed with a fine-tooth comb by industry leaders and subject matter experts. Such a knowledge platform is always open for speculation and change.

Knowledge management for industries

Every industry roots down to a common goal of serving mankind with goods and services on an on-going basis in exchange for monetary and non-monetary compensations and incentives. Even still, they are all unique in their operations thus requiring a personalized care package when it comes to knowledge management software that deals with the creation and circulation of both raw and processed data. Accessibility of knowledge management platform to internal and external factors makes it essential to put out information in the utmost responsible manner.

A good knowledge management system develops industry centric and customer centric support knowledge base while keeping brand tone and target audience as centre of their focus. For employees at any designation and in any department, a good knowledge base is an inevitable requisite to speed up operations and iron out any possible wrinkles in communication.

Knowledge base for enterprises (SMBs)

A good knowledge base has a key factor in flexibility. The knowledge management platform can be customized according to the scale of operations of the enterprise in question. This excludes any possibility of compromise on-screen adaptation, communication, technical integration, and expert vigilance over the type and quality of services offered. With all in one feature set, knowledge management systems have document management, content management, analytics dashboard, customer relation management, knowledge creation, knowledge hub, and admin interface to help ease the operational cycle. A good knowledge base can thus, irrespective of the size of the enterprise, create sync in actions and harmony in both vertical and horizontal communication.

Essentials of good knowledge management

A good knowledge base is always an amalgamation of human and automated systems all directed towards achievement of a common goal in an incessant manner. It takes into consideration explicit, implicit, and tacit knowledge and tries to provide a state of absolute to the enterprise in all its endeavors. The taxonomies so created can easily be applied to grant employees unlimited access to practical field game of business ultimately helping in personnel’s diversification and growth. The process of communication is polished until best and each resource is carved to beauty of perfection under the guidance and supervision of experts through a quantitative approach like analytics and qualitative approach like feedback.


Knowledge management helps in providing its users with a competitive edge in the market. Customers are not just targeted but their appreciation achieved through early reach out and effective marketing. Resources are optimally allocated and utilized without overexploitation or underutilization. Startling returns act as incentives for the employees to perform even better under stressful circumstances as well. A good knowledge management software thus pays ample attention to customer service and customer satisfaction via quality of knowledge and assistance brimming with professional competency.

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