How to make the most of your Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)

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Australian business leaders are needing to act quickly and with agility due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with recent research showing 70% of Australian IT leaders believing the shift to working from home during this time has accelerated digital transformation within their organisations.

But it won’t be enough to think on your feet and pivot for the short-term. With over three million Australians looking to change careers following the pandemic, business leaders need to be thinking ahead on how to ensure the knowledge and IP of their employees isn’t lost throughout the workplace shifts today and beyond.

Many business leaders will turn to purchasing or upgrading their knowledge management system to future-proof their business against these changes. But how do you know you’re making the right investments? With the majority of systems taking more than six months to implement, with more than half taking over a year, many Australian businesses are wasting millions of dollars on systems that aren’t delivering the value they’re seeking.

Whether you’re in HR focusing on upskilling your staff and the usability of the company’s technology for all employees, or you’re in operations wanting to ensure your team’s hard work and core procedural IP isn’t wasted as contractors come and go, there are three key questions to ask when assessing what systems can help your enterprise quickly and accurately capture and transfer knowledge.

1.      How quickly can I get the system up and running?

A commonly time-consuming and resource-intensive project is system upgrades. When you are upgrading a new system, such as a CRM (customer relationship management) system, HRM (human resource management) system, or CMS (content management system), making the most of those investments will depend heavily on how many employees can effectively continue using the system and its new capabilities when the upgrade is complete.

Creating documentation that quickly shows in written, video, audio and/or visual formats how to use the system is critical to ensuring the resources and costs spent on the upgrade aren’t wasted. However, if that documentation takes months to put together, there is a costly lag in usability, creating a significant waste of resources and budget. This is why Sidekick Software is passionate about pioneering Accelerated Knowledge Transfer to ensure enterprises can document, share, and use knowledge quickly as your business environment changes.

Make sure your documentation programs do not take days to implement – they shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to be usable, and no more than a few minutes to demonstrate key features between employees.  

2.      Are technical skills required to use the system?

Many knowledge management systems require coding or technical expertise and, even for professionals who have these capabilities, training can take several days before they can effectively use the system.

Simultaneously, employees with limited or no technical capabilities can often rely on tools like Paint or Microsoft Word to develop how-to guides and procedural documents. While they don’t need training to do this, the excessively time-consuming and administrative nature of these tasks can drain the time and energy of team members who could be adding more business value by using their skills elsewhere.

Make sure your system offers the best of both worlds – a range of features that enables fast creation of detailed documents, without requiring any technical skills or coding capabilities. Anyone and everyone should be able to use the system and be able to show others in their team how to make the most of it as well.

3.      Can this knowledge management system create seamless workflows, from creation to management and publishing?  

Don’t fall for document management systems that only address certain parts of the documentation process. Behind the guise of being ‘best of breed’ in a particular feature, purchasing multiple systems for documentation purposes can not only become time-consuming and costly, but also often leads to disconnectedness in the process.

While the purpose of purchasing the system was to save time, employees can end up spending more time shifting between systems and training themselves on each one. Worst of all, the end output is a mix of styles, fonts, and formats from different systems and needs to be re-worked to look professional.

This is where an interconnected Accelerated Knowledge Transfer tool can significantly reduce the amount of time and resources required to effectively create and manage documents.

From the start, assess how an end-to-end knowledge management solution can cover the entire process from knowledge capture, storage, and markups, through to publishing in your preferred formats. If the system cannot address all of these needs in one place, the result will be a haphazard adoption of the system internally and non-standardised documentation, which will create a separate and new business challenge in itself.

If you’re looking for a solution that quickly creates beautiful, professional and standardised documents without requiring any technical training, contact a Sidekick Software team member today, or get in touch to hear about how other enterprises have been able to save significant time and resources by using our all-in-one platform.