How to Start Using Enterprise Knowledge Management System

By Monica Kohn   |   September 22, 2020
enterprise knowledge management system
The phrase “knowledge is power” dates back to the 16th century and is still as powerful a statement as it’s ever been. Who actually said it is up for debate, but there’s no arguing how relevant knowledge and knowledge-based management systems are to modern enterprises.

An enterprise knowledge management system (KMS) offers a wealth of benefits:

  • Personalized customer service interactions that build long-term relationships.
  • Faster agent and self-service support solutions.
  • Reduced service volume so agents can focus on urgent and complex issues.

Once you invest in a knowledge management tool it’s time to get started using your enterprise information portal to allow users to find and retrieve relevant information when and where they need it.

How to Implement an Enterprise KMS

Enterprise portal software is designed to make it easier to create, store, and share organizational knowledge. It can be used for everything from speeding up employee onboarding and training to improving customer service and centralizing siloed information. It also facilitates better decision-making and helps agents quickly locate expertise within your organization.

Here’s how to get the implementation of your enterprise knowledge portal right from the get-go.

Establish Goals and Objectives

Every business initiative should have parameters. What are the areas you want to improve through a KMS? Strengthening self-service, integrating AI into processes, and/or improving first call resolution are just some of the areas that benefit from an enterprise knowledge portal. Create a list of short and long-term goals so everyone’s clear on what’s to be achieved.

Develop a Change Management Strategy

Buy-in begins at the top and requires adapting to new ways of capturing and sharing information. As with any significant change, pushback or resistance is to be expected. Leadership should reach out to all departments and employees to introduce knowledge sharing goals and encourage open feedback.

Identify Current Processes

How does your organization currently create, categorize, and share information? Which, if any, of those processes can be replicated in your new knowledge management process? What gaps need to be filled to make adopting an enterprise portal successful? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when implementing a KMS if you already have some viable procedures in place.

Identify Core Capabilities

This will differ from enterprise to enterprise, but certain capabilities are central to successful knowledge management:

  • The ease of knowledge capture, including amending and updating knowledge as needed.
  • Using an omnichannel approach to simplify finding and accessing knowledge.
  •  Establishment of feedback mechanisms so knowledge can easily be improved.
  • The ability to track and measure initiative performance.

AI solutions like chatbots and virtual agents are now playing a much greater role in knowledge management, helping employees and customers alike to get relevant information more quickly.

Measure Effectiveness

You won’t know how well your KMS is (or isn’t) working if you don’t consistently assess its effectiveness. Capturing the right metrics is essential to getting a clear view of your KMS’ health. Common metrics include first call resolution, abandonment rate, average resolution time, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction.

Employee and customer surveys are also a good way to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your enterprise information portal. Ideally, there should be pre- and post-launch surveys so you can quantify the changes that occur once your enterprise KMS is launched. Good questions include:

  • How satisfied are you with the current information-sharing process across teams?
  • How much time do you estimate you spend per day looking for information?
  • How many times per day/week do you answer repetitive questions?
  • How often are you unable to find the information you need?

The important thing is to keep the two surveys short and consistent, i.e., ask the same questions so you can accurately measure changes.

Knowledge management is an ongoing journey where you need to occasionally consult your map to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. If a better path presents itself, it’s wise to change course and improve your KMS with additions, deletions, and/or enhancements. For when you do, the road ahead will be long and successful.