Skip to main content
What is a knowledge manager, and does your team need one?
Share on socials

What is a knowledge manager, and does your team need one?

A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
13th May, 2024
A book with a lock in the middle of its cover and a key next to it on a stylised background
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
13th May, 2024
Jump to section
What is a knowledge manager?
Strengths
Responsibilities
Key skills
Tools
Be your own knowledge manager

If you’re struggling to keep information accessible, hire someone to manage it for you! Learn more about what a knowledge manager does and whether you need ones in your company.

Have you ever searched your Slack, calendar, or Notes app for information? You’ll know that if knowledge is inaccessible or outdated, your knowledge workers fall behind. At Kolekti, we're obsessed with efficient work management. That’s why today, we ask what a knowledge manager is. Could your business need one?

The benefits of an effective knowledge management system are well known. Would a knowledge manager be able to provide further guidance and improvements in helping collect, connect, and distribute knowledge in your business?


What is a knowledge manager?

A knowledge manager owns the process of sourcing, sharing, and promoting company knowledge, ensuring everyone in the organisation has relevant, accessible, and effective information.

Knowledge managers are great communicators who connect teams, find skill and information gaps, and work to create organisational memory in the right information architecture while also getting employee and stakeholder buy-in.

“You find that information is only of value if you give it to people who have the ability to do something with it. The fact that I know something has zero value if I’m not the person who can actually make something better because of it... instead of knowledge is power... sharing is power.”

– Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan (TED Talk)

What a knowledge manager can bring to a company

Businesses may find they have invested in a knowledge base or wiki, but no one is reading it. Perhaps the same questions are asked over and over, information quickly dates, or silos and knowledge hoarding still exist despite the right tools.

This all points to the fact that you need someone who can make knowledge their business, ensuring continuous improvement and quality management of institutional knowledge.

A knowledge manager can bring a range of benefits:
  • Reduced turnover: When employees can access information, it enhances morale.
  • Reduced duplication: For example, consolidating information from remote or agile teams.
  • Optimisation: Leverage existing knowledge to ensure it’s enhanced and used.
  • Security enhancements: They can dictate and manage the security of documents.
  • Identification of gaps They find knowledge strategy weaknesses.
  • Improved efficiency: Faster decision-making means improved overall productivity.
  • Speedier onboarding: They help new employees get up to speed quicker.
  • Improved customer experience: Customers can find information with ease, helping to increase self-service.

Responsibilities of a knowledge manager

  • Develop a knowledge strategy: Organise, create, manage, and implement the knowledge around your business.
  • Enhance information: Ensure information is useful and comprehensive, identifying information blocks, missing frameworks, or ways to connect communication channels.
  • Communicate broadly: Encourage widespread use of the company’s knowledge base, communicate across the business, and find knowledge owners/knowledge hoarders.
  • Define a knowledge framework: Connect old tools with new ones, recommend new processes, and optimise existing procedures.
  • Deliver a knowledge ecology: Manage knowledge end-to-end, including processes, policies, procedures, and participation.
  • Become a champion of change: Be open and aware of the realities of the business while being an active listener who can engage with stakeholders.

Key skills of a knowledge manager

A good knowledge manager is organised, open, resilient, and open to change. They are also great listeners and advocates for users.

They will also be patient, as they will know they will face challenges, from losing knowledge (when subject matter experts leave), as well as being unable to find information.

A knowledge manager's job description often asks for communication skills. Although they may have a background in business communications or technical writing, they may specialise in this area.

Tools a knowledge manager might use

A knowledge manager is likely to use a few different knowledge management tools, including:
  • A Knowledge Management System (KMS) such as Confluence.
  • A Document Management System (DMS), such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Analytics to help them understand how users navigate a knowledge management system (such as Confluence Analytics).

When companies might not need a knowledge manager

If you are a small business, the requirement may not be right for you to have a full-time knowledge manager. In this case, you can help yourself by having the right templates and support in the form of the tools you need to save and expand business knowledge. Ensure you have regular meetings to gather information and ideas, and manage and source content. You can even create a knowledge base yourself in just a few steps.

Learn more: How to create a Confluence knowledge base

In summary

A knowledge manager is a key person in businesses of significant size that plan to grow. The savings in efficiency, boosted morale, and productivity can’t be underestimated, so we say keep your eyes peeled for that perfect person.

We create tools to help people capture knowledge

Check out our Confluence Apps to see how we can help you with your workload - free trials are available now.
Written by
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
Content Marketing Manager
Holly is dedicated to writing valuable, accessible guides that help users understand their tools better. She champions products that help modern workers do more with Confluence, monday.com, and beyond.

LinkedIn →
Knowledge Management