Great knowledge management doesn't happen by accident.
To succeed, knowledge must become a part of the way people work—by integrating capture and use into IT and business processes.
Knowledge is essential to getting things done. People need to know what steps to take, in which order, and how to execute them. When an expert is performing a task, they are using their knowledge—and this is an opportunity to capture knowledge. Likewise, when someone is performing a task for the first time, this is an opportunity to reuse captured knowledge.
But the capture and reuse of knowledge don't happen by accident. Nor is it possible for executives to simply dictate that employees need to capture and share what they know. What is needed is a practical approach.
A knowledge management program succeeds when the capture and use of knowledge is made easy. Follow the ITIL 4 guiding principle of Keep it simple and practical. If you want to make good knowledge management habits stick, you need to integrate them into processes and use technology to make it quick and easy for people to capture and access knowledge.
The success of your knowledge management program will rely on the quality of experience. If it's a frustrating experience, people will disengage. If it's easy and the benefits outweigh the effort, people will participate.
So how can we achieve this? The capture and use of knowledge must be integrated into processes so that it is embedded in the way people work. The trick is to put knowledge management where people are—not send them off to a different system.
Integrate Smart "Push" Suggestions into Processes
This is where smart automation can transform the experience. Where Knowledge Management 1.0 meant people had to take time to search for appropriate knowledge, AI enables Knowledge Management 2.0—the automatic push of knowledge to the user based on contextual awareness. In KM 2.0, the search step is seen as a waste step in many scenarios where the contextual information is sufficient to identify the pertinent knowledge.
For example, when a service desk analyst is logging a ticket, the ITSM platform spins up potential solutions in real-time as the details are entered. This is a better experience for the analyst, versus having to open a separate knowledge management system and then search and sift to get the right information.
Digital Collaboration is a Shortcut to Integrating Knowledge Management into Work
The nature of digital collaboration lends itself to better knowledge management. When work collaborations—such as root cause analysis or change impact analysis—happen online in a collaboration tool, they are captured by default (where offline conversations are gone as soon as they happen).
When collaboration and knowledge management are closely integrated, these analysis and problem solving conversations can be brought into the Knowledge Management Database (KMDB) as a complete searchable record of:
How to solve the specific issue in question
How to approach a new issue of the same type
Collaboration sessions are probably the richest source of knowledge, information, and insight—showing the complete end-to-end flow of how a solution is found from start to finish. Integration between collaboration and knowledge management is yet another example of the power of integrating service management processes and data.