How Efficient Knowledge Management System Leads to Greater Productivity and Synergies

Advantages of a Knowledge Management (KM) System

Many advantages accrue to organizations that have efficient knowledge management systems. These include reducing the iterations in subsequent projects, leveraging existing knowledge to improve on the processes, achieving synergies between processes and functions, and generally improving productivity because of the convergence of all these aspects. The key aspect about having an efficient knowledge management system is that one need not reinvent the wheel. In other words, organizations can derive benefits from the knowledge that is present in the system and hence, reduce the work needed to do the same or similar tasks again. For instance, if a particular organization has stored knowledge about previous projects in the KM system, then subsequent projects having the same or similar kind of tasks or deliverables can benefit from the existing knowledge by reusing the artifacts, documents, and knowledge units that are there in the KM system. This reduces iterations for projects as the similar deliverables can be submitted without having to redo the same thing repeatedly. This is one of the most important reasons why corporates go in for KM systems as having an efficient KM system results in quantum jumps in productivity.

KM Systems reduce Rework and Result in Synergies

The next aspect is to do with achieving synergies between the processes and functions. For instance, if a particular project needs inter-function execution, the KM system can be mined for knowledge about previous projects that have artifacts related to processes that are inter-disciplinary. In other words, managers can simply take the knowledge units from the existing data store and reuse them. When other functions are involved in the project, an integrated KM system that has details of cross-functional expertise can come in handy. This means that functional and Processual knowledge can be combined leading to synergies between them. Many organizations also store knowledge related to optimizing the existing processes and improving the existing processes. These are requirements under the capability maturity models like SEI-CMM where the certification depends on how well the organizations engage and indulge in continuous improvement. This is the reason why many organizations in their quest to be certified under the capability maturity models often have put in place KM systems that are comprehensive and integrated.

Productivity Leaps because of KM Systems

The third aspect about having a KM system is that the reduction in the number of iterations, the optimization of existing processes, reuse of artifacts, and cross functional expertise available for the other projects all result in productivity leaps. Productivity is the ratio of the time taken to do a particular task to the magnitude and scope of the task. Therefore, when the first iteration happens, one is doing the task for the first time and hence, one would take more time. However, when the task is repeated, one has gained expertise in performing the task, and hence, one takes lesser time to do it the second time or the subsequent times. This is the productivity improvement that happens with expertise and knowledge.

How a Well-Oiled KM System is beneficial to the Organizations

Similarly, when organizations leverage on the existing knowledge and expertise available in the KM system when other projects have similar tasks to do, the resulting productivity leap is because of the reuse of the existing knowledge that reduces the time and the effort it takes to do the same task the next time around. This is the key aspect that anyone who is interested in how a KM system improves efficiency must know about the advantages of a well-oiled KM system. This is also the reason why many organizations reward employees who contribute Knowledge Units (KU’s) to the KM system as by doing so they are contributing to the efficiency of the overall organization. Finally, KM systems also help in creating an open working environment where the culture is geared towards sharing knowledge instead of hoarding knowledge.


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