Why a Knowledge Management System is so Important Today and Everyday

Teams work faster and smarter, as they get easier access to internal resources and expertise within the organization. Productivity increases, projects don’t get delayed and people get the information

Sharing knowledge increases collaboration, teamwork, internal communication, team engagement, productivity and creativity.

Thomas Jefferson was quite right when stating that ‘knowledge is power’.  With knowledge and/or education, one's potential or ability to succeed in the pursuit of one's objectives will certainly increase.

By practising effective knowledge management, more than 70% of companies anticipate that they can increase productivity by at least 20%, according to the Technology Services Industry Association.

The main roadblocks to sharing knowledge

However, what are the main roadblocks organizations have to remove in order for knowledge sharing to happen?

1. Different time zones

The way we work is now heavily centred around collaboration at work with our team members and business partners. With geographically dispersed teams we don’t always have the luxury of collaborating and sharing knowledge in real time. So how do we transfer that knowledge when other team members are resting. Chat tools like Slack work really well when we are all together online at the same time. Yet how do we continue collaborating and sharing knowledge when our team members aren’t online at the same time.
We need a common place to share knowledge and learn with onsite teams and those that are geographically dispersed.

2. Knowledge is spread over many tools

How does your team communicate with each other? Many businesses use a combination of tools like Slack, Email, Google Suite, Zoom, etc. We have so many tools to help us all be great collaborators but it also means that knowledge is spread and lives within all these tools. When we need to locate it or share it with someone we can’t recall which tool it was stored in, or what conversation we had when we shared it. That results in wasted time answering the same question over and over again, or even having to document the steps of a process all over again to share with our teams.

3. Lack of time

If we want to share knowledge to become the norm at work then we have to make it easy. Most team members say they just don’t have the time. That’s probably been true. Most of us dread having to document a process or share the best way of solving a problem. Especially when it takes us away from our work. Many of us use messaging tools like Slack to communicate. Imagine being able to copy the conversation you had in Slack and within seconds posting that vital information to your sales knowledge base channel. If you’re in Sales you might have just had a conversation in Slack on the best way to talk with a prospect. Now you can take that and share those pearls of wisdom with everyone in sales in the knowledge base.

Knowledge sharing up until now has been kind of complex and time consuming.

4. Complicated tools

In the past we used tools like Learning Management Systems to share knowledge. These tools often need experts that have had training. It makes it almost impossible for others to add their knowledge. So the LMS becomes outdated. When we need answers fast we turn to chat and if our people are asleep we aren’t going to wade through a giant slab of content. We need answers where we work and a lot of the time we have our messaging tools like Slack open. We need tools that work alongside our main communication tools so we can share and find answers fast.

We all want to remove these barriers and ensure that knowledge and learning flow throughout the company, across partners and teams. So we’ll explore some of the positive ways you can up your knowledge sharing game.

Positive Ideas to promote effective, knowledge sharing across workplaces

1. Slack and Papermind: where knowledge comes together.

Using the right knowledge base tool will make the difference between a team that works productively or not. Nowadays teams tend to communicate on Slack for quick and easy interactions. Having a knowledge base tool like Papermind that can be used with Slack will cut down on the time spent searching, sending follow-up emails or unnecessary meetings.

Creating and storing team and company knowledge should work alongside the tools you already use. And since many of us use Slack as our primary way to communicate then it makes sense that we use a knowledge base that works together with Slack.

We share a lot of knowledge in Slack.  Many of the conversations and messages in Slack are around how to do things or resolve problems. We should be able to take that instructional knowledge from Slack and share it directly to our team’s knowledge base. If you want to promote effective knowledge sharing in the workplace. Then the tool you choose should work alongside the tool you use every day to communicate.

Slack and Papermind work together to help teams communicate, share and preserve that important knowledge. Papermind, together with Slack, means your team will always have access to learning things as they need it.

The key is to improve team performance through learning and sharing of knowledge without a lot of effort and that’s what Papermind offers.

2. Make knowledge sharing a habit: Share ideas that look good.

Sharing knowledge becomes much easier and habit forming if we can do it with minimal effort. When people on your team decide to share something they’ve learnt. It should be easy, simple and obvious. Papermind makes it convenient to share knowledge because it works with Slack and that means that teams always have the visual cue to share knowledge right where they communicate.

If you want to make knowledge sharing a big part of your company culture you need to make the cue to share knowledge stand out. If you want some science behind this the book Atomic Habits devotes an entire chapter to this. If you want people to form a habit then give them an environment that provides cues and triggers that particular behaviour. That’s why in Slack you can always see Papermind and that triggers people to remember to share a piece of knowledge they think will help others. Now that makes sense.

So if the cue to share knowledge is there you also want to share quick and easy ideas without the headache of worrying about formatting. Papermind takes care of the formatting and makes every piece of knowledge you share look great.  No need to waste precious time formatting. Papermind takes care of it and makes every idea or solution you share look amazing. The other advantage of Papermind is that it is easy for you team members to use a template, so they can pitch ideas, document a process or policy, add files, videos and then share it with others. With instant notifications, team members will know when others have solved a problem, added documents or started a new collection of ideas.

3. Promote creative problem solving using a knowledge base platform

At work, we’re always coming across problems. Imagine if you could give your team the  information to fix the problem. With a knowledge base that fits within their workflow they can. Let’s say you’re in marketing. People from sales have just messaged you in Slack because they need urgent customer testimonials and logos or a sales presentation.

So you drop everything you’re doing and start looking on your drive and emails for the information. Now you’re interrupted and need to drop everything. They’re waiting for information and now you're under pressure to give it to them.

With Papermind they can solve their own problem because you can all organize, store and share that information in one place. Or share the information straight from Papermind with the sales team in Slack.  

We all know that when our teams collaborate to solve problems it strengthens team building in the workplace. Using Papermind as your knowledge sharing platform enables every team member to collaborate and speed up the process of finding a solution in a more efficient way.

4. Keep your company knowledge flowing with a wiki

Wiki’s are versatile tools. An internal Wiki is usually open.  That means anyone across the company can post ideas, findings and insights. They are usually full of user-generated content. The problem with many wikis in the past is that they are often forgotten about and not part of our daily routine of work. It’s usually a link that someone has sent you in an email and you have to search through emails to find the link to the wiki.

This means that because a wiki is not part of our day to day workflow, content in the wiki can quickly get old and people lose trust in it. So you need a wiki that is part of your workflow where you spend a lot of your work time.

PaperMind offers you a wiki you can access directly from Slack and that means you can search from slack for content in the wiki. You can store documents, videos and ask questions. Did we mention wikis are versatile. You can do just about anything you want.

Streamline the onboarding process for new starters and encourage everyone to contribute ideas. Team members can collaborate, share ideas, be informed at all times and stay aligned to their team goals and ideas using a  knowledge-sharing platform that combines wiki, file management and more.

5. Create Learning Communities

The quickest way to promote knowledge sharing in your company is to give your teams the ability to create user-generated content. Give teams access to start collaborating with their peers and share information on the topics they love. That can be anything like posting tips or tricks on how where to buy the best coffee. Or you can create knowledge channels on a particular area or skill, like customer services or data analytics.

Teams can discuss challenges but also share resources and templates that improve how their team approaches problems and improve their understanding. Working with team members across the world you can create communities of practice and share videos, templates, blog ideas, or scripts that result in better-performing teams.
Combining a community of practice in your knowledge base alongside Slack means people will have access to the best brains your company has on offer every day.

The best way to start a community is to give people easy to use tools. So they can quickly produce great looking content.

Tell them what the community will focus on and what are the rules for posting there. Then share it with your whole Slack channel.

Next steps

If you’ve been searching for a knowledge sharing tool that seamlessly integrates with Slack. Then download Papermind for Mac, Windows or Linux to start a free 7-day trial.
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