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Knowledge management implementation normally begins with the help of a consultant or specialist who can help an organization to identify its key goals and challenges. When knowledge management is successfully implemented, it often affects each facet of an organization. In other words, strategies developed based on knowledge should impact Information Technology (IT) systems, executive decisions, training, and leadership. For knowledge management implementation to be effective, it also is commonly thought that all members of an organization should be dedicated to leveraging acquired knowledge to their benefit and that all members of an organization follow principles and practices dictated by new strategies.
Knowledge consultants have varying definitions for knowledge management. Generally speaking, however, knowledge management implementation describes a system in which members of an organization leverage knowledge to make informed financial decisions and to create business strategies that might increase profitability, improve efficiency, and cut operational costs. When knowledge management is successful, members of an organization have a better understanding of a market in which they operate, allowing their business to become more competitive.
It is common for knowledge management implementation to begin with the help of analysts who can collect and interpret business intelligence. This data can relate to factors such as market trends, competitor practices, and the status of a business that hopes to implement a knowledge management system. An analyst also might meet with executives and managers to discuss goals they hope to achieve since this information can direct an analysis.
Once an organization's decision makers receive reports including valuable data that has been organized and analyzed, they can work with business knowledge professionals to design strategies. The way in which a business is organized affects this stage of knowledge management implementation. For example, the owner of a smaller business might need only consult a few managers to determine which strategy might be most effective considering the structure and goals of an organization. For larger businesses, however, executives might need to consult and share knowledge with representatives from a number of different departments and entities.
Knowledge management professionals often consider the sharing of knowledge to be an essential part of knowledge management implementation. For this reason, organization leaders may be encouraged to use IT systems to share knowledge with all employees. Likewise, strategies based on this knowledge also should be passed down to all members of an organization. This allows employees to understand how practices might change and why these changes can be beneficial for a company.