Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Knowledge Management System

Knowledge Management System ( KMS ) consists in a set of methods and techniques with which Knowledge Management processes can be operated, including document retrieval solutions, expertise databases, discussion lists and search engines.

Knowledge Management is a systematic process of collecting, organizing and storing employees Knowledge so that it can be accesed and used by other members of the organization.

The growth of the innovative Management in an organization is dependent to the use of intangible assets of the company. Thus, in the recent years there was an increase of initiatives in Knowledge Management, resultated in significant investments in IT. The early efforts in this direction consisted in developing "data warehousing" applications and building intranet networks to allow unrestricted access to resources regardless of physical location of the user. In this context, along with the improvement of tools associated to Knowledge Management, the first KMS have been developed.

Any KMS must fulfill two fundamental requirements: to facilitate collaborative work between users involved in developing Knowledge Management processes and to manage information from the System. In order to meet these requirements, KMS use a series of tools that allow integration of Knowledge in the form of database Knowledge or collective memory. Within these, the data is structured in units of Knowledge that are found usually in the form of documents, the Knowledge units must be organized so as to allow interconnection of Knowledge.

Organizational Knowledge is the result of phase mixing browsing, internalization, socialization and externalization. This dynamic process involves the definition of rules for communication between groups of individuals within the organization. Even if sometimes there are different perspectives among groups because of the meaning and terminology used, communication ensures resource sharing and acceleration of innovative processes.

The effects of implementing a Knowledge Management System over the learning processes, innovation and development of expertise are difficult to quantify. Considering that, generally, experience plays an important role in organizational learning, the benefits on KMS is growing as it is more used by the employees. In the long run, organization's members will expand their experience in obtaining and using not only explicit Knowledge but also silent/implied Knowledge who require a greater effort to be accessed.

Considering the above arguments, we conclude that KMS use can lead to both positive and negative effects. An organization can gain efficiency in the short term, by standardizing the access to Knowledge, but gradually may lose the ability to innovate. Therefore, an effective Knowledge Management System is to ensure a balance between operational processes and the Knowledge to explore new solutions.

To implement a Knowledge Management System you must start from locating the Knowledge who determines whether a user will be directed to a document or to contacting an expert and from defining the Knowledge organization level that provides problem transformation in a form that meets a certain logical structure. Either way, the implementation of KMS differs from one organization to another and what matters most is the number of employees in that organization.
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