Thursday, April 16, 2015

Knowledge Management Tools

A Knowledge Management (KM) tool is essentially a way to capture the tacit knowledge to disseminate further and to decipher it in a meaningful way at the precise time. A KM tool can help interpret the immense knowledge lying around in the organization as well as in social strata.

Information is like a working capital in the business economy. We are in the age of big data and exponential information which needs to be converted into knowledge and this knowledge is a key asset for both organizations and society in general. In any business setting, a person or organization needs an effective set of tool(s) and great resources in order to achieve the goal of managing the knowledge being acquired or created, and move towards sustained profit. In today’s mobile world same can be said about the mobile apps.

To simplify, there is a glaring difference between a KM tool and a KM resource. A tool is a specific thing which is utilized in regard to the specific task undertaken. A resource on the other hand is a place to find the specific tool desired. Eg. An app is a tool on your smart phone while a search engine is a resource.

Social Media is ever evolving when it comes to both knowledge dissemination and retrieval, but you need to be on the social platforms and connected to enjoy it. It is probably the most restricted of the media to avoid viral catastrophes. The data result you get on various portals and search engines can be quite irrelevant when you make specific searches. When something big occurs such as world event or breaking news, people who utilize social media can spread information very quickly to almost any part of the world in a matter of seconds. Same can be applied to the enterprise wide knowledge. But many-a-times, organisations struggle due to lack of proper KM tools and resources as well, to make a positive difference to the business in terms of bottom line or to even save cost. Business units and departments in a same giant MNC’s are not are not fully aware of what is been pursued at different levels and end-up doing a re-work.

Thus, Social Media and Enterprise Collaboration can go hand-in-hand. It remains the most underutilised form of communication tool, which can be channelized by proper social media employee policy. Employees are the biggest carriers of such social broadcast of the business and can be exploited perfectly given the right policies.

In a series of how collaborative tools can be effectively used, we will see how you can use it for your own entrepreneurial benefit.


Podcasts are an audio or video recording created by individual or teams. They are created with the aim of educating and leveraging the knowledge learnt, to share insights and experiences with a wider audience. Video podcasts are also called as vodcasts. Podcasts highlights the unique experience and learning of an individual and teams and gives them visibility across the organization or outside. There can be various types of podcasts.

·         Project Learning Podcast
·         DIY podcast
·         Interviews
·         Discussions
·         Concept explaining podcast - Tutorials
·         Application podcast
·         Best Practices Podcast
·         Storytelling
·         Documentary

The objective of all these podcasts is to capture the immense tacit knowledge with the people and share it in a consumable format. The podcast also gives visibility to individual, teams and ideas within an organization.

How to create Podcast

The podcasts starts with an introduction of the team members by third person preferably a senior person or by any senior team member hosting the podcast. Always create a transcript (text script for the topic you want to record) prior to recording a podcast. This will make it easier for all the team members to refer it while recording podcast.

While recording a podcast, general questions mentioned below can be considered. These are typical questions to capture the information about your project, best practices followed and any kind of product or idea generated.

Questions to be asked in Podcast

1.        Can you briefly tell us about the project/concept/idea?
2.       What are the best practices and the unique learning?
3.       Highlights or USP of your project?
4.      Any special achievement by someone?
5.       How were the challenges tackled and cost saved?
6.      How was Increase in business/revenue achieved?
7.       Was there any recognition to anyone?
8.      What are the Quality benchmarks?
9.      What are the technologies used and how?
10.    What are the challenges faced by the team/individuals in project?
11.     Your involvement in the domain area?
12.    What is your value addition in the domain area and to the client?
13.    How do you ensure improvement?
14.    How do you take care of customer satisfaction & customer delight?
15.    What are the things that you want other people to learn from you? DO’s
16.    What are the things you will not advise other people to do? DON’Ts
17.    FAQ’s for new product or service

How to record a podcast?

Book a quiet meeting room where there are no disturbances at all. Slight noises of moving chairs, traffic on the nearby road or repair work on other floor/room can also get recorded. It is best to refer to the transcript prepared and refer it during the recording so that the podcast is recorded smoothly in one flow. Make sure to rehearse that you sound natural in the conversation.

Audio Recording -
1.        Due to easy availability, use your smart phones to record the podcast. You can use any Nokia, Sony Xperia or iPhone for best results.
2.  Do you know that your laptop are recording devices? Go to start and search for Sound Recorder. Make sure your microphone is working.
3.       Record it from an exclusive voice recorder available.

Video Recording -

1.      For a video podcast you can use your personal handycam or good quality HD recording from your smart phone.
2.     A MS PowerPoint presentation can be converted into video presentation with voice-over, to create an e-learning presentation. Go to Slide Show tab - Record Slide Show.
3.   Many organizations have Microsoft Lync Messenger for internal communication. The Lync meeting option can effectively record your entire meeting session with the live screen grab and the voice in an audio-visual format which can be shared later.

You have recorded a podcast now what?

Anyone who has an access to the Google accounts can publish it on the YouTube, SoundCloud or on the internal streaming portal, can publish the podcast. You can get loads of user-friendly sites and apps for recording podcast. Ideally the podcast should not be more than 10 - 12 minutes. It should have a transcript and a suitable description, speaker name(s).  A video podcast has a higher viewership than an audio podcast. Make sure you save all the keyword tags while uploading and publishing it, so that it can be searched and re-used.

I hope this has given you a fair idea of using podcast as not only as an effective KM tool but can also be used as an effective marketing tool. You can use the podcasts for promotion, branding, educating and much more, the possibilities are infinite. Soon will come up with a post on another KM tool, do leave your comment and suggestions. 

#knowledgemanagement #podcast 

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