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Technology tools/processes that offer greatest potential to enhance knowledge performance in an organization.

Introduction:

     In today’s organizations, where providing the best services and maintaining an up-to date knowledge bank is a necessity, work organizations all over the world strive to achieve high productivity and upgrade their performance output. This article deals with discussions about tools or processes that help organizations enhance their knowledge-based performance.  Knowledge performance is the measurement of performance for knowledge use, knowledge sharing as well as performance of a knowledge worker. All aspects of knowledge management can be viewed as separate entities and then applying technology innovations to accelerate every entity’s performance, a model or technique can thus be found out for organization’s success which in turn would provide companies with a competitive edge over other competitors.

Answer (based on research):

     Enhancing organization’s knowledge performance can be worked out in a number of possible ways by application of technology. Tools can be used inside the organization for making all the knowledge readily available, which would lead to less wastage of time and efforts, thereby increasing the performance. Models or frameworks can be designed or structure based on the organization’s working techniques and can be constantly revised to increase flexibility and bring uniformity in the entire workplace, which would increase internal performance and speed-up knowledge sharing. A step-by-step process can be set up and followed which would form a layered approach and division of tasks and further into subtasks would increase the productivity of company and also a knowledge worker’s performance.

The first technology based process for dealing with performance would be the activity of measuring knowledge. Various ways for measuring knowledge can be undertaken together in an organization and based on them a performance-chart, a graphical representation or a positive-negative task completion sheet can be prepared. Repeatedly analyzing how well have the organization has performed based on all measurements would gradually enhance the performance and make the organization highly productive and efficient.

Popular ways to measure knowledge can be:

1)      Measuring code reuse.

2)      Qualitative as well as quantitative measures.

3)      Measuring time, effort and personnel time saved.

4)      Measuring success rate of projects linked to KM.

5)      Reviewing individual knowledge-worker’s performance.

6)      Performing a risk analysis on the KM system.

7)      Asking users how the tools helped them achieve their business goals.

8)      Performing a KM audit.

9)      Evaluating the use of knowledge sharing inside the organization (Holsapple, Jones, 2005)

The above mentioned factors would serve as performance metrics in a model-based analysis. How successfully the model performs would depend on the best possible outcomes for these metrics. A representation of the summary can very well enhance the organization’s performance in every next cycle or next reading, which would give a need for the work organization to constantly improve and strive for the best results.

Establishing an Organizational culture is another process which offers greatest potential to enhance knowledge performance. Organizational culture refers to creation of highly productive environment at a work place which affects in turn an knowledge-based worker’s attitude and behavior towards the work thereby increasing his work performance.

Culture can be divided into four different types as:

1)      Hierarchy culture: Procedures are set-up to control what individuals do and effectively managers are appropriate organizers.

2)      Market culture: Success is defined in terms of market share and power of influence and the goal is to proceed in the market and market leadership.

3)      Clan Culture: A sample of a friendly and familiar place for working (where people share a lot of themselves). Cohesion and unity are high and employees’ spirit is significant. Success is defined based on internal conditions and atmosphere and giving importance to human individuals. The organization values team working, partnership, agreement and public congregation.

4)      Adhocracy Culture: Preparation for change and accepting new challenges are significant. Long-term emphasis of the company is on fast growing and obtaining of new resources. Success means producing of unique and new products and services. A risk-based approach is undertaken (Allame, Nouri, Tavakoli, Shokrani, 2011).

Adopting a continuous learning approach for the organization would be extremely beneficial in increasing the performance. Possible ways can be:

1)      Shared vision.

2)      Personal skill.

3)      Mental models: increasing the capability to see their assumptions.

4)      Clan learning.

5)      Adaptive to changes (Soon, Zainol, 2011).

Using tools to serve the purpose of knowledge-performance enhancement would be a very good practice to undertake. Today’s organizations rely strongly on knowledge-worker performance which is strongly influenced by knowledge sharing, team-work and collaborative activities. A number of collaborative tools can be readily made available to the workforce.

Social networking is something which offers great potential within an organization. Tools such as wikis would serve as a great UI or front end to the knowledge base. Smart tools which store an employee’s search for a current project would increase the performance in the long run as it would save time and provide “recommended searches/suggestions” the next time the knowledge worker logs in.

Collaboration tools could increase working together in groups through a wide number of applications. This would increase the overall knowledge performance within a team and therefore in the organization itself. A very widely used example of this is Microsoft SharePoint.

Blogs from experienced project personnel would serve as a benchmark for list of tasks to undertake and which tasks to avoid. Having a workforce which shares not only success stories but also team failures can help avoid many future failures. Less number of failures would lead to more successful projects and increased knowledge performance. The morale among knowledge-workers would increase and a “ready-to-share” approach will start to prevail which would enhance the overall performance of the work organization.

Word Press is a tool which can be effectively used for many of the knowledge performance enhancing techniques. It allows an option to customize as well as use built-in plugins for additional functionalities as needed. Hence, it would be possible to craft the use of a particular plugin or tool according to requirement.

Podcasts, a tool through which audio and video files could be downloaded onto computers as well as mobile devices, could be helpful for enhancing knowledge sharing and there in the knowledge performance.

Findings lead to the fact that people using social software to bypass existing organizational structures and create new ways for individuals to connect with each other do show enhanced performance. In such cases, individual’s desire to communicate and collaborate is greater than their loyalty to the organization and its processes (Payne, 2008).

Lastly, HRM (Human Resource Management) is a department which can be established to perform best practices which lead to increased individual as well as team’s knowledge performance. Best practices through HRM cover constant update to knowledge base as well as maintain satisfactory levels among individual knowledge workers creating a win-win situation.

The best practices through HRM can be termed as:

1)      Teamwork

2)      Performance based incentives

3)      Decentralized way of making decisions

4)      Constant training

5)      Internal communication settlements

6)      Internal opportunities (Chatzoglou, Theriou, 2008).

Conclusion:

      In order to enhance the performance, various aspects of knowledge management such as knowledge creation and knowledge sharing as well as other key features such as collaborative practices, team work should be kept at their respective best. To achieve these, models, technology innovations, processes are all necessary. Along with them, social networking and a wide range of tools offer tremendous potential to increase the overall productivity and efficiency, save time and effort, which all together leads to better knowledge performance. Knowledge workers must adapt a forever learning, changing and adaptive nature to update their knowledge base which would also enhance their knowledge performance. Hence, crafting technology into a tool or process as required and successful implementation of the same would be the ultimate step to achieve enhanced knowledge performance in a work organization.

References:

Allame, S. M., Nouri, B. A., Shokrani, S. A., Tavakoli, S. Y. (2011). Effect of organizational culture on success of knowledge management system’s implementation (case study: saderat bank in isfahan province). Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research In Business, 2(9), 321-347.

Chatzoglou, P. D., Theriou, G. N.  ( 2008). Enhancing performance through best HRM practices, organizational learning and knowledge management; A conceptual framework. European Business Review, 20(3), 185.

Holsapple, C., Jones, K., (2005). Exploring secondary activities of the knowledge chain. Knowledge and Process Management, 12(1), 3-31.

Payne, J. (2008). Using wikis and blogs to improve collaboration and knowledge sharing. Strategic HR Review, 7(3), 5.

Soon, T. T., Zainol, F. A. (2011). Knowledge management enablers, process and organizational performance: evidence from Malaysian enterprises. Asian Social Science, 7(8), 186-203.

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