Steve Ward defines Knowledge management as "A systematic approach used in the management of information which allows a continuous flow of knowledge to and from the right population and time by enabling and effective and efficient decision-making process and operations of the business." Knowledge management forms a crucial factor in the modern day knowledge economy. The establishment and diffusion of critical data and necessary knowledge have become a vital factor in competitiveness. Economics are now viewing knowledge as a valuable commodity that has been attached to products and the tactic understanding of the highly dynamic and mobile employees. Some of the unique characteristics that have distinguished knowledge from other commodities are the fact that utilizing knowledge cannot be consumed, and there is no loss in transferring knowledge. Besides, another critical trait identified is that experience is always abundant; however, the ability to be used is scarce. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of organization valuable knowledge will walk out at the end, forcing the organization to replace the knowledge with a new one, or train an old one. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of implementing a KM strategy to convert intellectual assets to dollars by capturing and retaining tacit knowledge in stemming the corporate memory loss.
Key Issues to Address
The fundamental objective of Knowledge Management is to reuse captured knowledge to promote innovation and efficiency within the organization operations. The second objective is to encourage innovative ideas that improve the efficiency and effective management of the organizational procedures and decision-making (Dalkir, 2011).
With the above objectives in mind, several key Knowledge Management issues support the need for formal KM practices. These factors are:
Organization culture forms a vital tool of management within the organization. As Dalkir argues, a change in organizational culture will result to change in corporate image, values, and ethos that evoke action and the approach of understanding the organization structure. Organization culture is a critical aspect of the creating and practice of Knowledge management within the organization. The institution culture not only supports the implementation of KM strategies and policies but also contribute a significant effort for the need to have a KM plan established. The current organization culture of GDD threatens the efficiency of the company operations.
Miscommunication, distract, and the independence element of the workers as demonstrated by the new procurement manager Ms. Farthing and Harry have differing views about the purchase of the new Boeing. Similarly, after only three years of work, Jordan wants to resign. The examples above demonstrate that the culture of the company is divided, and failing to address these issues may result in inefficiencies in the company.
Labor and the Know-how of the Organization
Labor in aspects of the human resource is the workforce of the organization or company. Labor comprises all forces and expertise that drive the organization towards the achievement of the company mission and objective. However, some knowledge and some personnel's in the organization have more value in terms of the knowledge and skills they possess (Dalkir, 2011). As a result, this knowledge or experience would be more beneficial if it could be shared, captured and even utilized in enhancing new skills.
It is quite unfortunate that Mr. Harry will retire in five days, and yet he is likely to live the company with his nearly forty years of experience. Not only has he seen the company grow to its current state but has also contributed to the growth. Harnessing this knowledge and use it to train employees will result in highly skilled and knowledgeable employees hence make the decision-making process much more comfortable and more efficient.
Reasons Why Not Addressing KM Issues Will Cost the Company Money if Not Treated
Failure to solve the above problems will likely result in huge losses. For instance, the proposed new Boeing plane Ms. Farthing wishes to purchase costs three times more than the Lockheed, which Harry thinks will save fuel costs over the old cargo plane they are using now but will not have the same air pollutant emission reduction. While Harry considers air pollution an essential concern for GDD, he also knows that in the past these controls often make the cost of the plan high and the fuel consumption lower than the company predicts. If Ms. Farthing could access the old reports of Harry when he was making a similar decision, her decision would be more informed and less like to cause any loses.
Benefits of Capturing and Retaining Knowledge
Captured knowledge elevates the creation and generation of meaningful, actionable, and relevant information, and aims to increase individuals' learning or team. The ability to access captured and retained knowledge maximizes the organizational value across the diverse departments and functions. Retained knowledge is a very fundamental source of reference (Dalkir, 2011). Captured and retained knowledge is an organizations' intellectual asset.
Retained knowledge is a valuable asset to the company. Utilizing knowledge cannot be consumed; there is no loss in transferring knowledge. Mr. Harry will not miss anything if he will share his knowledge and experience with Ms. Farthing in purchasing the cargo plane. Captured and retained knowledge is an essential tool in enhancing the decision-making process. For instance, Harry believes that if he could access the older reports when he decided on purchasing a plane, the knowledge would assist Ms. Farthing in doing the same.
How Technology can Help Prevent Memory Loss
Uncaptured knowledge is at the risk of being lost. Losing the knowledge of the highly skilled and experienced expertise cost the company huge loses, and the high cost of training or hiring equivalent skills. As a result, the organization must "capture" this know-how experiences and transact them to an easily retained, accessible, stable, and cumulative knowledge-base; the memory (Dalkir, 2011).
Thanks to modern technology, such technologies as cloud computing, websites, and server-based storages have provided the necessary and most affordable approach to capture and store this knowledge. Sites like YouTube can allow one to record and upload videos to the internet where they can be accessed almost free (Hertvik, 2017).
Sensitive information such as financial reports plans and the various operational strategies and documented information can now be digitalized and uploaded to the cloud, which has minimized knowledge, loses significantly.
Conclusion and Recommendations
To implement these KM strategies, financial aid and consistent monitoring of the progress is needed. However, as good as it sounds, the plan involves some risks that may or may not affect the operations of the company. Thus, the following recommended practices will facilitate the implementation as benefit the company.
A trial and pilot approach. This strategy mainly involves piloting the entire KM strategy to a selected group of business areas. In this case, procurement and maintenance depart is recommended. The robust and the security of approach will allow advancement of implementing the KM plan in more discrete step and decisions. However, the procedure is slow but has an excellent room for adjustment and costs ways less (Milton, 2014).
Another recommendation is to use an opportunistic approach in implementing the KM strategy. This approach will be most effective if the aim of the KM is the search for business opportunities. The approach is efficient and had a very high-level return on Knowledge management investment (Cohen, 2006).
Lastly, Modular rollout approach is highly effective especially if the company is not financially stable to finance the whole strategy. This approach will involve rolling out the KM strategy one component at a time starting with the most crucial. This approach is not only manageable but also affordable can be evaluated easily (Cohen, 2006).
Cohen, D. (2006, December). What's Your Return on Knowledge? Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2006/12/whats-your-return-on-knowledge
Dalkir, K. (2011). Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice. Cambridge, London: Kimiz Dalkir. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/34489471/Knowledge_Management_in_Theory_and_Practice_Second_Edition_Kimiz_Dalkir.pdf?ends_sutd_reg_path=true
Hertvik, J. (2017, April 7). IT Cost Reduction Strategies: 6 Ways to Reduce Ongoing Costs. Retrieved from BMC: https://www.bmc.com/blogs/6-ways-reduce-ongoing-maintenance-management-costs/
Milton, N. (2014, November 10). Six KM strategies- pros and cons. Retrieved from Knoco Stories: http://www.nickmilton.com/search?q=KM+Strategies
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Knowledge Management Initiative for GDD - Essay Sample. (2022, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/knowledge-management-initiative-for-gdd-essay-sample
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