In simple terms, a knowledge management system (KMS) refers to an IT system that facilitates the storage and retrieval of information for purposes of aligning processes, improving understanding, and enhancing collaboration among teams.
Every day, organizations, including businesses and institutions, generate and use knowledge in many different ways. As a matter of fact, businesses rely on specialized knowledge to run. They use knowledge to handle customer requests, onboard new employees, launch new products or features, and even comply with regulatory requirements.
Organizations hold knowledge in a wide range of formats, including blogs, books, tutorials, articles, videos, eBooks, frequently asked questions, guides, white papers, case studies, and many others. To manage this knowledge well, you’ll need a knowledge management system.
Businesses can use knowledge management systems internally to foster information sharing among employees and externally to empower customers to resolve their issues by themselves.
How To Create An Effective Knowledge Management System
A knowledge management system needs to be effective in order to serve its users well. There are several steps you can take to create a knowledge management system that works effectively. Here’s a guide to help you achieve this:
- Create A Structure For Your Knowledge Base
Before you start developing a knowledge management system, take time to create a structure for it. A structure will enable you to organize your thoughts and the essential elements that you want the system to have. The best way to create a knowledge management system structure is by making a mind map. This simple task does not require you to apply complex drawing techniques. You can get started by drawing your knowledge management system idea on a blank paper and quickly expand that idea into a detailed system. This will help you develop a structure for your KMS through innovation and creativity.
- Include A Powerful Seach Function
Your knowledge management system is generally an information repository that allows you to store information in a central place. To retrieve this information fast, users will need to search the knowledge base. In addition to using keywords in the content, you’ll need to ensure that your knowledge base has a powerful search engine that enables users to search and retrieve the information they need within the shortest period of time. A knowledge management system that has been written by The Cloud Tutorial, for instance, comes with an intuitive search function. This enables it to predict keywords as users key them in and give suggestions in a down menu, thereby helping users quickly find what they want.
- Set Clear Milestones
Creating a knowledge management system is an intensive, time consuming process. Besides the technical aspect of developing or installing a knowledge management software, you’ll need to include your team members in developing and uploading the content to the system. To maintain momentum and keep employees motivated, break the task into smaller goals with clear milestones.
The best way to do this it to set monthly benchmarks to enable you keep tabs of activities at regular intervals. By doing so, you’ll be able to track progress in achieving set goals, productivity, and evaluate outcomes. When you break the entire process of developing the knowledge management system into smaller goals, you’ll have the flexibility of prioritizing them and acting on them accordingly. In fact, you can identify goals that can be achieved consecutively and assign them to relevant teams. This will not only keep your team engaged in the process, but it will also fast-track the process of creating the knowledge base.
- Create Epic Content
The key to making your KMS attractive to customers and employees is to ensure that it has engaging content that’s both practical and helpful. When your knowledge base has quality content, it’ll rank high on search engines. Beyond this, providing content like guides, videos, and how-to-articles that users find useful in solving their issues will encourage them to share them with other users on different platforms. You can make your knowledge base content epic by simply using simple language, organizing the content into categories and sub-categories, creating actionable content, and making the knowledge management system easy to navigate.
- Make Your Knowledge Management System SEO-Friendly
When people want to search for something on the local network or the Internet, they conduct a search. This enables them to find content that’s most relevant to the words they use to search. As you develop a knowledge management system, it’s critical that you consider retrieval of the content that you store in that system. The best way to take care of this is to observe basic search engine optimization principles.
This means creating content that will drive organic traffic to your knowledge base by ranking highly on search engines while increasing its visibility online. The easiest way to make your knowledge base content SEO-friendly is to use the right keywords in your content. To do this, you’ll need to research the keywords that your target audience—both customers and employees—use to search for information.
- Update The Knowledge Management System Regularly
A knowledge management system that contains obsolete information becomes irrelevant to users as customers or employees won’t find it useful in addressing their needs. To ensure that the knowledge base serves its purpose effectively, ensure that it’s updated on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to create and publish new or updated content consistently. To ensure this, consider creating a content development framework that allows employees to develop content regularly. Motivate them to actively engage in content creation by involving them in the planning and decision-making processes, giving them autonomy to select topics they’re comfortable with, and recognizing their contribution as authors.
With most customers and employees preferring to solve issues by themselves, businesses need knowledge management systems more today than they ever did before. Businesses can do a lot of things with a knowledge base, including fostering collaboration, building knowledge assets, and onboarding new employees. If you decide to create a knowledge base for your business, follow this guide and make it highly effective in helping your team and customers find what they need at record speed.