The way we work today is not how it was five or ten years ago.
You don’t need to be a corporation with tens of thousands of employees to be susceptible to information overload. On average, companies with less than 500 people use more than 200 business apps to run their daily operations.
Why? Because software, automation and cloud-based solutions are necessary for businesses to move quickly and precisely. This rings even more true for teams adopting remote and flexible work.
But having more tools and processes can be a double-edged sword. Poor knowledge management systems can negate all the progress you see with your digital transformation efforts. Without a clear framework for capturing information and educating team members with relevant resources, you lose time — and ultimately, ROI.
So, what exactly are the benefits of knowledge management to your team? Keep reading to find out.
What is knowledge management?
Knowledge management involves the systems, processes and tools used to locate, document and distribute knowledge within an organization.
An organized approach to storing and categorizing important information allows value to be shared throughout your organization's hierarchy, whether it's new hires, seasoned employees, investors or executives.
What does knowledge management look like in action?
It could be a customer-facing knowledge base to educate users about your product, standard operating procedures (SOPs) to define processes for each department or guides to help employees save time when learning new things.
For example, a knowledge base for engineers can hold step-by-step tutorials like the one made with Scribe below so they can familiarize themselves with time-saving tools and shortcuts.
What is the importance of knowledge management in modern workplaces?
Think about all the websites, apps, and software platforms you use daily. Email, Slack, Google Docs, Notion — we mean all of it.
Imagine how many hours an organization could lose if they had to:
- Hold live training sessions and Zoom meetings to teach employees about hundreds of digital process
- Answer the same process-related questions repeatedly via company communication channels
- Recreate missing documentation that answers those process-related questions
A 2023 report by Asana uncovered that workers who use more than 16 business apps could save close to 10 hours a week just by having better processes. It’s safe to say that you can’t have better processes without maximizing the value of knowledge management.
Here’s what that means for your bottom line:
More time to prioritize unique value-adds
You can create knowledge management systems that feed employees important information at the right time, and in the right places, so they can overcome friction quickly and independently. This frees up their bandwidth to define and execute strategic work instead of looking for information or cleaning up files.
Fewer siloes within teams & between functions
Knowledge management can help your projects move along quickly so they can reach decision-makers quickly for approvals and execution.
Having your most important documentation ready to go at your fingertips is critical to meeting business milestones, whether it’s meeting revenue targets or finally deploying a new project that’s been in the works.
Stronger & faster decision-making
Unsurprisingly, fewer siloes and more visibility of critical information lead to more informed decisions.
Knowledge management empowers employees with accurate and relevant resources that they can use to build affinity and expertise at their jobs. Not only does this build confidence and leadership, but it also allows employees to prioritize outcomes rather than processes.
Consistent quality of work
A study by Deloitte discovered that 75 percent of surveyed organizations believe that creating and preserving knowledge can contribute to success over the next 12 to 18 months. Your workforce will evolve — and in today’s talent market, it can evolve fairly quickly — but a lot of your existing knowledge will remain relevant. Knowledge management ensures you pass on successful resources and training material to new employees. It also gives your organization a strong foundation to improve on existing knowledge instead of starting from scratch.
Instead of playing the broken telephone game with your colleagues daily, knowledge management creates platforms for teams to become better at what they do without any dependencies.
Teams big and small use Scribe to automate the knowledge management process and create a user-friendly cloud-based hub for important tutorials.
P.S. We have everything you need to get started — like a template for IT documentation that you can duplicate and use immediately! Don’t worry, there are more templates where that came from!
Challenges to implementing knowledge management
Although knowledge management is important and clearly beneficial, it can have little to no effect if it isn’t approached with a strong framework. Here are a few challenges you might run into if your initiatives aren’t systematic and clearly communicated:
Unclear goals & strategy
In the book “Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters,” author, Richard Rumel, describes strategy as a concept made up of three principles: A diagnosis, guiding policy and coherent action.
In the context of knowledge management, it means that you need to kick off your plans by:
- Identifying your team’s biggest challenges in retaining and applying knowledge
- Building tactics around a north star that keeps your team’s goals and values in line
- Creating convenient and user-friendly avenues for your team to apply these tactics in their day-to-day work
Lack of standardization
When knowledge is shared across different departments and team members, guiding principles are necessary to ensure all information is kept for others. This means creating standardized guidelines for documenting, formatting, sharing and updating content. You can approach standardization by:
- Knowing all your stakeholders: Identify who you’re creating knowledge for, how they’ll be applying that knowledge in their day-to-day responsibilities, and what channels would be the most convenient for them to access knowledge.
- Creating a point of accountability: Identify the person or people who will be overseeing the execution of your knowledge management process. This individual or team will be responsible for maintaining the quality of content coming into knowledge management systems and pointing out opportunities to update content or upgrade workflows.
- Investing in digital tools and automation: Identify the platforms and processes that you can use to save time by digitizing manual work into streamlined workflows. For example, teams use knowledge management tools like Scribe to automatically compile screenshots and screen recordings into complete step-by-step tutorials for knowledge bases, training courses, and onboarding programs.
Over half of workers surveyed by Deloitte say that knowledge management to them is about the process of sharing knowledge. Many organizations find distribution a challenge, especially if each department uses its own technology stacks.
The knowledge you create should be flexible and easy to locate. You can use platforms like Zendesk or Guru to build dynamic and user-friendly knowledge bases that are visible in your organization’s core systems.
On top of that, software like Scribe or Confluence allows you to integrate content right within disparate tools through URL links and smart embeds. These tools also have native integrations that make it easy for you to scale distribution without any complex technical know-how.
Keeping knowledge up-to-date
In a survey of 1000 employees, 83 percent had to recreate a document because they couldn’t locate it. Many of us have been in that position before — and it’s a frustrating one. If your business is fast-paced or revolves around products that update frequently, then your knowledge will quickly become irrelevant unless it’s maintained. But even with a knowledge base, tackling versioning issues can be troublesome. This rings even more true for organizations with large volumes of documentation.
Modern workplaces use documentation tools powered by automation and intelligence to remove the tediousness of manual updates. With cloud-based knowledge management software, you can publish your updates in real time wherever your knowledge is published. On the other hand, updating a PDF won’t erase inaccurate information in previous versions of the same file. To do that, you’ll have to manually take the older files down and replace them.
Scribe lets you automate knowledge management
We believe that every company — whether big or small, technical or non-technical — should have access to tools that can save them time building a knowledge management engine. With Scribe, a click of a button is all it takes to turn your computer screen into a ready-to-share tutorial in a matter of seconds.
Don’t believe us? Take it from fintech startup, Crosscard.
The team used Scribe to automatically generate new knowledge without any manual screenshots and document formatting. These tutorials are then pushed into their knowledge base on Guru, allowing them to quickly scale and standardize their repository of information
“Before Scribe, one article would have taken me 10-to-15 minutes, or even more. Scribe has literally reduced the time to one or two minutes,” says Sidd Hora, Sales Operations and Enablement Manager at Crosscard. This led to a 93 percent reduction in time spent documenting processes for his sales org!
The process is simple:
- Turn on the Scribe extension.
- Go through a process on your browser
- Watch Scribe auto-generate a step-by-step guide of that process (texts and screenshots included!)
- Personalize your Scribe with a few quick edits and start sharing!
- If you’d like, merge several Scribes into a Page for a more comprehensive piece of documentation
Your final product will look like this (peep how this only took 55 seconds to make 👀)
That’s not even the best part…
Here it is: You can get started with Scribe for free today! Create an account now to create unlimited guides and Pages.