Knowledge Management Forums

Knowledge management is the process by which organizations generate value from their knowledge-based assets. More often than not, generating value from such assets involves documenting the knowledge of employees, partners, and customers, and sharing that information with employees, departments, and even with other companies to develop best practices.

Knowledge management forums are the best place for information exchange, discussion and debate. Forums and bulletin boards are usually informal, but a good source of information. E-mails and messages published on bulletin boards are the primary source of knowledge for users. Many organizations encourage their customers to use forums as one of the alternatives for accessing support services.

Customers post their messages describing their problems and experts on the subject respond with solutions. Generally, these messages are public so other customers with similar issues can easily access them in the future.

However, such forums do not always constitute free websites. The forums take various forms. Such a form are ?Communities of Practice? representing a group of people working on similar projects or using similar tools. Forums may also represent people in a similar professional capacity who may or may not be in the same physical location. Several organizations have developed community portals that allow employees or members to post resources in the form of email, upload files, conduct online chat sessions, and manage contact information.

Another type of forum is the corporate intranet, which is an excellent option for a first-time knowledge management initiative as it provides easy access to quickly promote the system and encourage usage.

Yet another type of forum is the Yellow Pages and other directories. These are great options for organizations with knowledge bases that consist mostly of tacit knowledge or suffer from rapid obsolescence. The purpose of a knowledge management system in such cases is not only to facilitate the creation and reuse of knowledge, but also to provide a mechanism by which the knowledge source can be easily located.

Consulting firms are well known for using directories and yellow pages as a means of finding people with the right skills for specific needs. Knowledge management has thus proven to be a great source for extracting value from knowledge-based assets.

Thanks to Kristy Annely

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