What does a knowledge manager do?

Effective Knowledge Management is a critical driver of success for both employees and customers. However, it is not a spontaneous process. It requires someone to take the initiative and establish the necessary processes. To achieve this, companies should designate a knowledgeable and capable individual to the role of knowledge manager. But how do you determine who is the right fit for this important position? Keep reading to discover the answer. 

What makes someone a good knowledge manager?

One crucial characteristic shared by successful knowledge managers is their high visibility. As ambassadors for leveraging knowledge within the company, knowledge managers must always maintain approachability for their co-workers and proactively connect with individuals when necessary. They can also take on the role of supervising editors responsible for processing knowledge and managing related processes.

Alternatively, they can choose to be actively involved in the editorial work themselves. In both scenarios, determination is a fundamental skill for successful knowledge managers. Additionally, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role. For instance, when employees withhold knowledge due to job security concerns, it is important to alleviate their anxieties. Moreover, the ability to interact effectively with individuals of different personality types and make their knowledge accessible is vital. Being well-organized is another essential competency, as is the skill to differentiate between tasks of varying importance and prioritize accordingly.

Maintaining a lean Knowledge Management process is an art that requires constant vigilance from knowledge managers. They must diligently filter out unnecessary information, ensuring that only the most essential knowledge enters the system. Additionally, knowledge managers must prioritize keeping content up-to-date at all times. Equally important is providing editors with the necessary training to effectively manage and process knowledge. This is a crucial key to achieving the goal of lean Knowledge Management.

Last but not least, knowledge managers should possess exceptional resilience and unwavering composure in the face of challenges. 

What are the core responsibilities of knowledge managers?

The responsibilities of knowledge managers can be categorized into monthly tasks and daily activities. Key among these is maintaining regular communication with editors, often through editorial meetings, to ensure effective collaboration. Additionally, knowledge managers must prioritize quality control and provide training to editors as needed. Reviewing metrics is also crucial to gain insights into the most accessed texts and frequently used search terms. This data can inform decision-making and improve the Knowledge Management process.

On a daily basis, the knowledge manager serves as the primary point of contact for all Knowledge Management matters. If they are actively involved in knowledge work, they also take on the responsibility of creating and publishing texts. Furthermore, it is essential to continuously populate relevant tools with processed knowledge and regularly gather new knowledge. The knowledge manager takes the lead in these activities, with their editors supporting them in driving the Knowledge Management process forward.

What are the biggest challenges that knowledge managers face?

Generating awareness and promoting their initiative is of utmost importance for knowledge managers. The key here is to have the perseverance to gently nudge people without causing any aggravation. To achieve this, knowledge managers should embody the role of an ambassador within the company. Those who understand the value of well-managed knowledge and appreciate the person behind it will quickly embrace the new approach. However, it's important to remember that not everyone may be receptive initially. Skillful knowledge managers possess the tact and finesse to navigate these situations with ease. 

Which steps do knowledge managers need to take to successfully establish Knowledge Management processes in their organizations?

The implementation method chosen can have a significant impact on the success of Knowledge Management. By starting with a well-structured approach, adjustments can be minimized in the future. Knowledge managers need to excel in creating effective structures, often acting as a bridge between the company and external consultants who are involved in deploying a professional Knowledge Management system.

However, even in situations where the knowledge manager is faced with a chaotic deluge of information rather than organized knowledge, there is no need to despair. Starting from scratch is not necessary. Instead, it is crucial to focus on implementing robust project management and seeking expert guidance, just as when beginning the Knowledge Management process. When colleagues have already invested significant effort in documenting existing knowledge, the knowledge manager must approach the change process with empathy and understanding.

Following the implementation, the knowledge manager must also embrace the role of a vigilant guardian, alongside their ambassadorship. This responsibility calls for swift action when incorrect practices are identified, all while maintaining an accessible and supportive approach. It is crucial to strike a balance between being a friend and ally while gently guiding individuals in the right direction.

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Hendrik Buske

Written by Hendrik Buske

For Hendrik Buske, Customer Service Management is not only a job, it is his passion. For years he has supported and transformed the customer experience management and cusomter service strategies in leading service organizations. It comes as no surprise that he - trained industrial engineer that he is - sooner or later found his way into the field of Customer Service Management in the software industry. At Serviceware, he deploys his knowledge and vigor to support strategic developments for Customer Service Management products.

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