Leveraging the Power of Business Knowledge
Business knowledge is a huge resource whether the skills and experience of team members, the processes for delivering your goods and services and those hidden documents that hold the key to your business success.
Knowledge retention is holding onto of those skills, experiences, and expert insight, which collectively create key components that your business rely on.
Business knowledge can make or break an enterprise. Companies operate in a knowledge economy, and that means learning how to capitalise on the currency that is information. Understanding the role that knowledge plays in your business is not enough though; learn about documentation, business and process management.
Why document Business Knowledge?
Business knowledge is a critical element in any business. Relevant and accurate information positions you to make informed strategic decisions about your business and take appropriate actions.
Documenting processes and business knowledge can slip down the priority list while focusing on building the business. But it can actually help give better and consistent results.
For example, if you wanted to enhance the formulation of your latest makeup line, would it be possible without feedback from your customers? You should know what needs changing first.
Then, when you create a new formula, you have to document it so everyone is aware of what to do from now on. Knowledge is more than just information. It incorporates the skills, expertise and experiences of everyone working in the company.
Business Knowledge Types
What constitutes knowledge in business? Company owners, managers and key players that benefit from a comprehensive knowledge base should be clear about what is what. The following are examples of knowledge that companies can leverage:
- Customer data gathered during research
- The feedback from consumers about your existing products
- Ideas for new offerings and any innovation plans
- The processes, designs and formulas for creating your products
- The competencies of your workers
If you are to capture and document knowledge properly, you should be clear about the different kinds.
Tacit knowledge – refers to the knowledge gained from individual skills, experience and expertise. Companies lose tacit knowledge when employees leave or are incapable of providing the information anymore. This knowledge is harder to transfer than other forms.
Explicit knowledge – It’s articulated through records. You can find it in files, databases and memos, among other sources. This information allows for uncomplicated storage and dissemination.
Embedded knowledge – It covers the understanding of processes, rules and products.
Embedded knowledge shows the most effective way to run a business.
The Need for Documentation
If you are a chef and come up with a new killer recipe for cake, won’t you jot down all the steps you followed to ensure you can replicate it? It’s the same thing with your business knowledge. Your business process documentation is your recipe for success.
Documentation is as crucial as capturing and distributing knowledge. The debate on whether companies should invest in knowledge management and documentation is an old one with some business owners seeing it as wasteful.
Why document processes and knowledge?
Knowledge is easy to lose, especially the individual kind. If an employee leaves, he/she goes with that information or if the worst happened and someone was hit by a bus. Do you know how they complete their role each day? By documenting everything you have your everything to continue.
Even when an employee trains a replacement, it’s not possible to transfer all the experience and skills accumulated over the years. It means that the company loses on multiple fronts. However, proper documentation processes allows you to preserve it.
Analysis is less stressful when you have all the necessary data recorded. The staff can easily compare old and new procedures, allowing them to evaluate their effectiveness.
What knowledge to document?
What knowledge should you document? Everything of any significance to business operations requires documentation. Record product, market and consumer research, invoicing, accounting, sales processes, recruitment, training procedures, security protocols and marketing campaigns.
The method of documentation depends on what you consider efficient. Paper files have the advantage of not being hackable, but they can be stolen or damaged physically.
Then you have digital documentation methods like spreadsheets, word documents or simple emails sent between employees. The same risks apply to electronic documents. However, they offer the benefit of quick and easily accessible to everyone using remote access as stored in a central location.
How Knowledge Increases Productivity
The way you manage knowledge determines the benefits it generates. For one, you can identify bottlenecks in your processes. Not every procedure in your operations is perfect. Over time, you can find out what doesn’t work and improve on it. Doing this is only possible if you have all the relevant knowledge.
A comprehensive knowledge base ensures that recruits can learn the correct business processes. Training takes minimal time when new employees have a wealth of information about their duties at their disposal.
Understanding employee skills allows you to assign roles effectively. The better suited the workforce, the more productive it is.
Getting the Right Help
Business process management software is one way to manage your company’s knowledge resources. BPM tools are designed to help organisations optimise operations. Now you can document your processes online making them easily accessible and available all the time while stored in a central location.
Our checklist based workflow software automates and records business processes to make it easy for you to replicate them. By ensuring that all processes occur as they should, you guarantee the consistency of your product or service.
Every business is a culmination of different processes that require effective monitoring. Sometimes, employees unconsciously deviate from existing systems, leading to various issues.
For example, if a production team spent an extra hour on a particular stage, the effects could cascade to other aspects like distribution. BPM software can point out lapses in the current processes, and that could prevent costly mistakes. Through automation, a BPM tool facilitates workflow management, allowing a business to enjoy efficiencies.
Business knowledge is integral to the success of a company. However, it matters how an enterprise uses its knowledge base. Learn how to collect, store and communicate knowledge to the right people for the best outcomes.