Introduction to Knowledge Management
"Knowledge Management" (KM) refers to the methods and software tools which make it possible to identify and capitalize on the knowledge of the enterprise to organize and distribute them, in particular.
We generall distinguish between tangible knowledge (also called explicit knowledge) of the enterprise, contained in databases or rather in all the hardcopy or electronic documents, and tacit knowledge (also called intangible knowledge) consisting of knowledge, know-how and competences of the entire staff (therefore referred to as "intangible assets"). The performance of an enterprise depends directly on the individual business competences, experience and knowledge, although it is rarely shared by all persons.
As a matter of fact, it is the human resources of an enterprise which determine the force, responsiveness, and the dynamics, or more precisely the synergetic work of these different persons. The term collective intelligence, which has become increasingly common in the literature, clearly illustrates the fact that proper functioning of the enterprise largely depends on having good information available at the right time.
In addition, with the development of information and communication technologies, the downside may be excessive information (sometimes called information pollution even textual harassment): "too much information kills information"!
The purpose of a knowledge management project is therefore to identify, capitalize on and value the intellectual assets of the enterprise by involving the entire staff.
The knowledge management project
The knowledge management project is structured by 5 stages, which are frequently known by the term "virtuous circle of knowledge management":
- Obtaining knowledge;
- Preserving knowledge;
- Valuing knowledge;
- Creating and sharing knowledge;
- Updating knowledge.