Why is the resource “knowledge” still posing problems for today’s organizations when for milleniums, humans have been successfully practicing knowledge management? Data, information and knowledge have been preserved in mankind through many generations – even in times when paper was not yet available, when tales where still passed on at the fireplace or simply from parents to their children or from master to apprentice. The quality of these methods surely is debatable. Similar to playing “Chinese Whispers”, story telling or cave art surely caused a lot of information to fall by the wayside. But after all, we always find a way to preserve knowledge and to make it accessible and practicable for the next generation.
So where is the problem?
A common problem is the lack of awareness of the knowledge that is or should be existent within the organization, or what would have to be done to generate it. Existing knowledge is stored in different storage locations in an uncoordinated and unclear manner, making it close to impossible to retrieve. Storage processes and the generation of knowledge are unreproducable and responsibilities only moderately assigned. Against the trends towards “leaner” organizations and modern eletronic possibilities, we are, to this day, still wasting about 25 percent of our labor time on the procurement and conservation of information. An yet, when we leave the organization, we take the lion’s share of know how with us, and it is lost to the rest of the organization.
What can be done about it?
At punker, the path is clear: Documents and information that up until today were hidden deep down in conventional binders, folders and directories will from now on be integrated into a clearly structured, easily understandable knowledge and information management system that is interdivisional and accessible to all staff. Away from old structures towards an interactive source of information in the creation of which all employees are more than welcome to actively participate. The goal is to reduce the time it takes to find required information so that we have more time for utilizing and multiplying this knowledge. All punker production facilities and sales offices worldwide will be tied together with multiple language options. This way, processes can be optimized in real time via direct feedback without delay and the progress of internal projects can be documented “online”, facilitating internal communication tremendously.
During the next few weeks, we will be laying the groundwork for such an “enterprise wiki” at punker. After that, it is up to all of us to feed the system with the information required to face future challenges that accompany demographical change and globalization.
We will keep you posted on this knowledge- and value-adding project on this blog.
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