10 benefits of organizing knowledge for managers

02 Oct 2019 5 min read

Management is not easy and information management, even more so. Nowadays, information is not hard to come by, in fact, sometimes there’s just too much of it, especially in the workplace. This is particularly aggravating when you are unsure what to do with it or where to store it to guarantee it will be properly made use of. If previously, classic tools such as white papers or emails managed to do the job and get the information across the organization, that is not the case anymore. Today’s solutions lie in knowledge bases and collaborative platforms where the information can be stored and easily accessed. However, from the management perspective, what does this really imply? Why should you, too, employ such a solution?

  • The long answer: the advantages of organizing knowledge in management are numerous and, once embraced, will help you establish a fully-functional working environment where collaboration flourishes and information can efficiently get across the entire organization.

  • The short answer: to ensure peak efficiency and productivity.

     

After 15 years of information management for us, as well as our clients, here is what we've discovered good managers usually focus on. 

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1. Optimize resource utilization

Without a dedicated space where information is centralized, working environments become unorganized, instilling a sense of misdirection. Being able to employ optimum resource utilization comprises one of the many advantages of organizing information in management. Availability of methods, tools, and practices averts from scenarios in which your employees are unable to successfully carry out long-term projects or in which there’s a reduced interest in the company’s goals. With no proper documentation or dedicated learning space, who wants to churn through a library of poorly put together documents? Systematizing information in a comprehensive manner makes it easy to keep track of and use resources accordingly.

2. Identify and fill in knowledge gaps

One of the fundamental advantages of organizing information in management is that it cements a better communication flow by filling in knowledge gaps and boosting performance. Communication hiccups are eliminated, allowing for an easier flow of information across different levels of the company. Platforms such as XWiki or any other CMS (Content Management System) ensure collaboration between departments is facilitated and ideas, strategies or suggestions can be freely shared and accounted for. Never worry again about getting lost in the endless sea of information you have to deal with on a daily basis. 

3. Reduce know-how loss

An important asset, a company’s “know-how” refers to the cumulative knowledge and ability to efficiently run things. As such, you need to ensure it is appropriately managed so it can be used for the company’s benefit. As experienced employees take their leave, there is an increased risk of essential information disappearing alongside them. While new recruits may be knowledgeable, becoming aware of the company’s ins and outs and reaching full productivity can take an extensive period of time, during which progress is not made. Amidst the many advantages of organizing knowledge in management lies the ability to efficiently leverage this kind of information. By providing a committed platform where the accumulated information can be documented and secured, you can ensure departures occur without the loss of vital company knowledge. This also averts “corporate amnesia”, in which businesses have the tendency to lose memory of things and how to do them as a consequence of core employees leaving.

4. Avoid redundant effort

Being able to retrieve the right information in the time of need is crucial. Once you have identified and developed an effective process, creating (or updating) the relevant wiki page should be the next step to ensure it will be used in the future to address similar recurring needs. When the solution to a problem has been found, you want this information to be replicated. Make the best problem-solving experiences reusable! This will help avoid scenarios in which an employee spends time repeating what’s already been done. Why spend time reinventing the wheel when you can use it to invent something new?

5. Enable better, faster decision making

An overload of information can turn decision making into a difficult and hazy process. Among the advantages of organizing knowledge in management is the fact that it speeds up the process by providing the relevant set of data when it is required. For example, in XWiki, data is stored in the form of structured web pages, meaning that features such as the advanced search engine or filtering by tags make combing through the information quick and easy. Implementing a dedicated platform ensures the consistency and relevancy of what is being shared which, in turn, leads to evidence-based decisions.

6. Avoid past mistakes

As an organization evolves, lessons are bound to be learned, both about success and failure. Fostering a collaborative space where these can be freely shared is one of the many advantages of organizing information in management, in the long run. When your employees encounter situations in which they are unsure how to proceed, being able to scour past documents within well-structured wiki pages for relevant pointers can help them overcome it, whilst avoiding any past mistakes. Systematized information streamlines work, saving time and, in some cases, budget.

7. Increase efficiency and productivity

Information management has become a hallmark of better productivity. Preserving knowledge by having it centralized on an all-around accessible and intuitive platform (such as a wiki) is among the most notable advantages of organizing information in management. We all need information to do our jobs effectively, but what’s essential is having it at our disposal when it is needed, without having to read through printed material or ransack through hundreds of emails. Knowledge preservation in the form of reliable databases and comprehensive on-boarding procedures can also help facilitate and speed up the integration process, furthering productivity and long-term efficiency. Being able to learn quickly and efficiently deliver results can give you an edge in today’s fast-paced business environment.

8. Foster an innovative collaborative working culture

Information-centric platforms encourage employees towards sharing all the valuable information assimilated throughout time, based on both accomplishments and let-downs, as well as experienceAs the company grows and evolves, it becomes harder and harder to keep track and accurately account for everyone's opinion. In XWiki, for example, integrations make it possible to share ideas (and vote on them), take part in polls or open forum discussions in order to obtain multiple perspectives on specific matters. This not only enables a collaborative working environment, but it also encourages innovation and entices employees to learn from each other. In this way, cooperation can flourish.

9. Facilitate collaboration between distributed teams across timezones

Depending on your company's structure, your teams may be distributed across different time zones. Because collaboration between them represents a challenge in itself, information-centric platforms become an essential aspect to consider among the advantages of organizing knowledge in management. Having information readily available and easily accessible to employees across different time zones minimizes friction and averts collaborative impediments. For instance, in XWiki, it is possible to pick up where a colleague left off and edit, add and improve the document or page in question. It is even possible to enable real-time collaboration in order to simultaneously work on a document, regardless of location or time zone.

10. Ensure GDPR compliance and data protection

Making sure that information is secure is a key concern in most companies, even more so now, when GDPR compliance is a must. Without a proper method of securing information, important data can get scattered or even lost, unless it is being kept careful track of. To give you an idea of how collaborative platforms can help you fix this, with XWiki, thanks to the different permission types, it's easy to manage the access to actions like read, edit, comment, delete. This helps ensure information is protected, while still accessible to those who need it. Other collaborative tools, such as CryptPad, offer you secure mediums to share data you would otherwise only share face to face. 

What else would you like to add to the list? Let us know in a comment or tag us on social media!

Information dictates workflows and, access to it, even more so. Successfully diminishing corporate silos and encouraging a transparent, collaborative working environment is the aim of better management. Now we're not saying that putting in place an information organizing tool will solve all your troubles, but we know that sipping a Pina Colada in the Maldives is easier knowing your team has the right information at their fingertips. It is up to you to decide how you can employ such a solution or which one is right for your company's needs.  

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