Role of Knowledge Management for Professional Services Firms
Why is Knowledge Management (KM) important for modern firms?
How much time knowledge workers spend looking for past information is difficult to measure. It is not surprising that such statistics are available sporadically. In 2019, Forbes Technology Council published a comprehensive chronological recap, stating that time spent has remained 25-30% in 20 years. While technology has advanced multi-fold during these years, the complexity of businesses and knowledge creation has also increased exponentially.
KM impacts both the bottom line and the top line of companies. It enables your consultants to create new presentations faster (better margins) and deliver more and better presentations (more revenue and sales). It ensures that employees don’t need to reinvent the wheel and they focus on the winning proposition in new projects. Further, in today’s era of high employee turnover, retaining organization knowledge and reusing it effectively is a centerstage topic. In our experience, the key challenges faced by a KM leader when envisioning a KM program are:
- Identifying process shortfalls and improving them
- Finding the right technology solution and driving adoption
- Identifying clear end user benefits and aligning the solution with them
- Aligning multiple teams with the common central goal
Components of an Effective KM Program
While success rates are low, there are several companies that have set and achieved their KM goals. KM for the global firms today is not a ‘technology’ only problem. An effective KM strategy has a programmatic approach, augmented by Digital Platforms and right amount of human intervention.
Successful KM programs are designed and focused on delivering the desired value to the end user. These KM programs consist of three intertwined pillars - Knowledge Process Re-Engineering, Digital Solution Deployment, and Change Management.
Role of Technology
Delivering end-user value to the end user is the ultimate and key mission of an effective KM program. To ensure this, it is critical that the technology solution is designed keeping the end user in mind. Publishwise is Evalueserve’s AI-powered platform that lets users lookup past content using human-centric modern search and recommends content faster using NLP.
- The search is powered by a semantic engine which supports smart synonyms, acronyms, automatic entity extraction, lemmatization and contextual search. This enables users to type in simple search terms and easily find content when they know what they are looking for.
- Publishwise’s recommendation engine helps users discover content, without them knowing what content exists. It uses various Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Deep Learning techniques and becomes better with user feedback.
Other than the above two core features, Publishwise has a human-centric design with extensive features such as customizable refiners, curated content libraries, ability to easily export and bookmark content, flexible access control, etc.
Role of the Knowledge Management Analyst
Any technical solution needs foundational data to work effectively. For KM projects, foundational data comprises of a tagged repository of past content, comprising past proposals, pitchbooks, case studies, frameworks, CV libraries and a business taxonomy. The KM analyst works with business and technology stakeholders to develop a foundational data strategy - setting it up for the first time and ensuring ongoing content tagging and harmonization. We spoke of the first component of a KM program as ‘Knowledge Process Re-engineering’. Evalueserve KM analysts identify these gaps during this phase and implement an apt solution such as described below:
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