Records management an essential part of enterprise knowledge plans
When it comes to knowledge management, businesses are increasingly embracing the goal of taking company data and turning it into actionable knowledge. The relative immaturity of this movement, however, has created an environment in which many businesses are struggling to firmly establish their strategies, Law.com reported.
According to the news source, the first thing most organizations do when working to establish knowledge management strategies is to attempt to define what the practice entails. This can be much more challenging than it initially seems. In some cases, businesses can end up spending a year simply trying to define knowledge management and even longer optimizing their records management and document storage policies in light of how they approach enterprise knowledge. Because of this, organizations need to make sure they understand the basic definition and components of a knowledge management system. Otherwise, excessive efforts to fully define enterprise knowledge can become overly tedious and limit productivity and innovation.
The first thing businesses need to understand about knowledge management is that it is a system for gathering, creating, sharing and analyzing knowledge to make that information is actionable in operational settings. Experts agree that knowledge management is a system made up of people, technology and processes as the key cogs in data gathering and analysis. The broad definition, however, requires a few nuances so companies can understand the full implications of knowledge management systems, the report said.
The first nuance of knowledge management is tacit information. According to the news source, tacit data is knowledge that have internalized and put into practice, but do not express to those around them. Once the role of tacit information is understood, businesses need to move on to understanding explicit knowledge. This represents data that are not only known by individuals, but have been expressed toward others within the organization.
The goal of knowledge management is to turn tacit information into explicit knowledge, ensuring that a business' employees have the deepest understanding of operations possible, the report said. This is where records management and document storage come into play.
In many organizations, especially law firms, stacks of boxes filled with old paper records and other information are commonplace. Within the legal sector, most firms are spending large quantities of money to store paper files because lawyers and other employees want to keep case briefs and other similar records available for future use. Essentially, workers are striving to turn their tacit knowledge about a case into explicit knowledge so it can benefit the firm at large, the news source explained.
The problem is that many of those records are stored and managed in such a way that they are not easy to search and access. As a result, much of the explicit information generated within the firm is left unused because too much is kept in explicit form when it really is not necessary. This is where knowledge management and records management merge, as firms need to meld the too policies to create a system that is accessible and usable without storing so much data that it is too expensive and overly difficult to access and maintain.
Working with a records management company can ease the integration of records and knowledge management, helping businesses streamline their document storage systems, archiving processes, regulatory efforts and record disposal. This provides the foundation necessary for highly searchable, accessible records that can be used to enhance knowledge management efforts.