Guide

Knowledge management and business growth

Advantages and disadvantages of knowledge management

Knowledge management is a systematic approach to capturing and making use of a business' collective expertise to create value. The potential advantages of effective knowledge management are significant but, as with most processes, there are certain challenges to consider.

Advantages of knowledge management

Some of the common benefits of knowledge management include:

  • improved organisational agility
  • better and faster decision making
  • quicker problem-solving
  • increased rate of innovation
  • supported employee growth and development
  • sharing of specialist expertise
  • better communication
  • improved business processes

A good knowledge management system will make it easy to find and reuse relevant information and resources across your business. This, in turn, can help you to:

  • create better products and services
  • develop better strategies
  • improve profitability
  • reuse existing skills and expertise
  • increase operational efficiency and staff productivity
  • recognise market trends early and gain advantage over your rivals
  • benchmark against your competitors
  • make the most of your collective intellectual capital

Resourceful collaboration will bring more views, diverse opinions and varied experiences to the process of decision-making, helping your business to make decisions based on collective knowledge and expertise.

Disadvantages of knowledge management

The key to any successful knowledge management system is knowing its limitations. Some of the common challenges include:

  • finding ways to efficiently capture and record business knowledge
  • making information and resources easily to find
  • motivating people to share, reuse and apply knowledge consistently
  • aligning knowledge management with the overall goals and business strategy
  • choosing and implementing knowledge management technology
  • integrating knowledge management into existing processes and information systems

To overcome these challenges, you should:

  • develop clear processes to capture, record and share business knowledge
  • define scope and objectives of any knowledge management initiatives
  • create a corporate culture of knowledge sharing between employees and management
  • set clear goals and strategies to help you utilise the collective knowledge (otherwise it will be of no use to your business)
  • consider budget, strategy and training needs for any new knowledge management system
  • consider change management strategies for introducing new knowledge management practices

Read more about knowledge management systems and learn how to create a knowledge management strategy.