What Is Explicit Knowledge: A Complete Guide With Examples [2024]

Are you just getting started with a knowledge base management system for your company? Then you must know that explicit knowledge is one of the most significant and fundamental types of knowledge you may capture and transfer to help your business. And understanding it in depth will help you secure your organization’s success. So, in this guide, we’ll go over all you need to know about explicit knowledge, including its benefits, examples, and comparisons to other types of knowledge.

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A Quick Overview Of The 3 Core Types Of Knowledge

The first step to developing a strong knowledge sharing and management strategy for your company is understanding the different types of knowledge. And while there are 7 types, the 3 core ones that you must know about are:

📃 Explicit Knowledge [Documented information]: 

Explicit knowledge is one that is simple to express, write down, and share information and data. Suppose, you have created a new application for WordPress and written down detailed documentation on how to use it – that documentation is your Explicit Knowledge. There is obviously more to this type of knowledge, but we will come back to that again later. 

📃 Implicit Knowledge [Applied Information]: 

This is, essentially, the practical application of Explicit Knowledge – or, in other words, the learned skills or know-how. The best practices, methods, and skills that are transferable are examples of implicit knowledge.

When you take written or documented knowledge and apply it to a particular situation, you are gaining Implicit Knowledge. So following our previous example, if one of your customers read the documentation to work with your WordPress app, then they are gaining Implicit Knowledge. 

📃 Tacit Knowledge [Information Learned From Experience]: 

And finally, the knowledge that you have gained from personal experience is Tacit Knowledge and it is the most difficult to express. As an example, we can say, it is the knowledge you have gained while you developed your app through trial and error. 

Further In-Depth Explanation Of What Explicit Knowledge Is

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So, now that you have a basic idea of the 3 core types of knowledge, let’s get into further detail about Explicit knowledge. Also known as Expressive Knowledge, this type of knowledge is any information or data that you can document, store, and share with others. You can easily express and transfer this knowledge to your customers, or your organization’s team and employees. 

Information that can be arranged, stored, arranged, interpreted, and communicated effectively makes up explicit knowledge. This type of knowledge typically serves as a resource or documentation for others, in the form of databases, manuals, books, or tutorial videos. Even the financial report detailing your company’s revenue and expenses is an example because others can access, review and process this information.

Benefits Of Capturing Explicit Knowledge For Your Business

You might be wondering why you should record and communicate explicit knowledge now that we’ve established what it is. Here are four key reasons why:

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⭐ Create An Internal Knowledge Base For Your Employees

Creating an internal knowledge base with the diverse knowledge of your organization, products, or different services and making it instantly accessible to your employees can help your business improve in many ways. New employees can learn how your company works and their tasks, while existing ones can sharpen their knowledge and skills.

When your own company has internal documentation of knowledge, it becomes easier to acquire ideas about the company’s present status, new and ongoing projects, etc. Not just that, they will be able to get access to any information and resource they need while providing service in order to make faster, more astute decisions for your organization. 

⭐ Maintain Clear Communication & Improve Customer Service

And as mentioned just above, documenting the Explicit Knowledge for your company helps to improve communication between the employees as individuals can view, read, and understand the same knowledge as all others and be on the same page. 

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It also helps in providing better customer services to the buyers because all the employees in your support team can easily access all types of information and data without having to seek seniors’ help. They can then clearly explain what needs to be done or fixed with clear communication skills. 

⭐ Prevent Any Small Or Major Error & Increase Credibility

Following the pursuit of clear communication, documenting your policies and procedures as Explicit Knowledge for your team ensures that employees are less likely to make any errors. Employees can consult the existing documentation when doing a task or providing services to customers in order to implement properly defined procedures and get their work right.

⭐ Keep Track Of Work Progress With Ease & Avoid Duplicacy

You can maintain a precise track of the work progress of numerous projects and tasks if you organize Explicit Knowledge in your own company’s knowledge base under your brand name. This way, the solutions that have been achieved in the organization can then be documented and used whenever they are needed again.

Employees can learn from the successes of others in the firm rather than having to come up with a fresh solution from scratch every time similar problems arise. And, if at all, significantly less time will be wasted recreating existing work. So, this type of knowledge can help make sure no data or information that has been documented will be replicated by members of your own team.

⭐ Protect Your Company Against Any Major Knowledge Loss

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You can also help protect your company or business against major knowledge loss with the help of Explicit Knowledge storage. Wondering how? Well, if a pivotal team member of your organization leaves, they can leave a substantial knowledge gap behind them – especially if they were the only ones who knew how to handle a critical aspect of your business. But if you already have the valuable knowledge documented, you can ensure that does not happen and no one can replicate it using other means. 

⭐ Improve & Develop More Robust Products & Procedures

And finally, one of the top advantages of Explicit Knowledge is that you will be able to create standardized methods and procedures that allow your organization to accomplish exceptional work. All you need to do is create a system for capturing, storing, organizing, and conveying your company’s collective stored knowledge.

And then you can use it to generate new ideas and improvement methods, ensuring that your business grows exponentially with time. 

Effective Ways To Capture & Store Your Company’s Explicit Knowledge

So, by now, you know that Explicit Knowledge can play a great role in driving your organization or company’s growth, and there are quite a few reasons why it’s worth capturing and storing. Now let’s dive right in and discover how to actually do it:

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🧲 Make Sure Your Work Documentation Is Precise & Up-To-Date

Try to write and capture important Explicit Knowledge in live time, as documentation or books whenever you work on something new, and ensure that all of them are always up-to-date. 

Also, comb through your documentation list, and try to fill in any gaps in your organization’s knowledge are:

✅ Inquire with your personnel about knowledge gaps and what needs to be updated. 

✅ Examine consumer comments and feedback to discover where they can benefit from more information. 

✅ Analyze the performance of teams in your organization that could benefit from more information.

🧲 Create Guidelines For Explicit Knowledge Content Creation

The Explicit Knowledge of your organization is the dynamic resource that changes as different employees and team members affect the development and structure of your company. That’s why, as your business expands, developing a content development and creation structure is essential for growth. 

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Without an established structure that is followed by the entire content creation team, you’ll wind up having staff writing information in diverse formats and styles which might eventually hinder workflow. You need to set and maintain a complete knowledge management system that allows you to have full control over the formatting and structure – which goes a long way to keeping your documentation uniform.

🧲 Segment & Categorize Your Documentation In A Knowledge Base

It’s no pleasure navigating through a sea of knowledge and documentation in search of a small piece of knowledge – especially if there are many stored in your company library. However, as your business develops, it’s normal to find the stored documentation in a mess, so much so that finding what you or your team is searching for becomes nearly impossible.

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And as we have already established, if the right information isn’t on hand at the right time, it’s of little use to your employees or customers. So the proper solution to this problem is correct segmentation and categorization from the very start in a complete Knowledge Base. 

Use a powerful knowledge management solution, such as BetterDocs, that makes it easy to organize, categorize, and navigate through hundreds of documentation in your knowledge base. You can even separate documentation for external and internal use which will help both customers and employees quickly find precisely what they’re looking for.

How To Transfer Explicit Knowledge With Complete Ease?

Just as there are ways to capture and store knowledge, there are different types of knowledge transfer that can occur within your organization, and between you and employees:

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➡️ Transfer Of Explicit-To-Explicit Knowledge:

This involves taking the explicit knowledge that already exists in your documentation or notes and using it to create a new form of information. This can mean that you digitize your hand-written documentation and store it on your online Knowledge Base or website, or vice versa, or convert the documentation to a video. Sharing documentation online or digitally with others can also be an example.

➡️ Transfer Of Explicit-To-Tacit Knowledge:

Explicit-to-Tacit Knowledge Transfer is then a process known as Internalization, in which an individual attempt to increase their knowledge in a certain sector by absorbing explicit knowledge until it becomes a Tacit skill that they can apply through experience. For example, reading documentation and practicing the steps from it again and again, until the process becomes one of his skills. Watching tutorial videos or reading certain books can also be a great example of this.

➡️ Tacit-To-Explicit Knowledge Transfer:

And finally, Tacit-to-Explicit Knowledge Transfer is known as Externalization and occurs when an individual takes learned knowledge and writes documentation or book, or creates a video. They organize what they know in a way that others can understand and benefit from. Documented news in the media, product reviews, technical reviews, traceability matrices, and journal and article writing are some examples.

Strategic Steps Involved In The Best Explicit Knowledge Management

Documenting and optimizing your company’s Explicit Knowledge will always be a difficult task. But this challenge requires proper planning and strategy to handle and overcome, as well as the right usage of a reliable knowledge management system, like BetterDocs. Because when done correctly, it will enable your company to fully utilize its knowledge and leverage it to achieve real business success.

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🎯 Set Goals For The Right Method Of Knowledge Capture & Transfer

By now you can already tell that, first and foremost, you need to set specific target goals to capture and transfer your work’s Explicit Knowledge. It’s critical to understand when and how your company loses expertise, as well as what information your employees require to execute their tasks. Try to come up with short- and long-term goals based on these hypotheses.

🎯 Identify & Then Fill Any Existing Knowledge Gaps In Quickest Time

The next step is to keep detailed track of where your knowledge gaps are in the knowledge base and which documentations need updating as we have already mentioned earlier. Go through all your documentation categories and see which topics are missing, or how one doc can be improved further. You can also ask your employees which kind of knowledge they’d want to see documented, as well as look at some of your procedures to determine which tasks should be recorded.

🎯 Pick An Advanced Tool To Capture & Share Explicit Knowledge

However, you cannot manage your Explicit Knowledge if you don’t have the right tools and solutions to capture your knowledge and present it in a presentable manner. Therefore, a Knowledge Management System is a vital component of your strategy, and that’s why you need a tool that can enable you to manage knowledge centrally while also enabling contributors to access the system. 

And no other solution is a better knowledge management system than BetterDocs. Check out this blog to learn more about all the outstanding features and facilities that this amazing platform brings you for your WordPress websites, WooCommerce, and Shopify stores.

🎯 Use Analytics & Features To Collect Insightful Feedback

To create the best documentation for your website, you need to regularly analyze and improve your documentation by evaluating the performance of your documentation with in-depth analytics & reports. You can even take feedback from your customers, website visitors, or your teammates asking if they find your content useful and easy to comprehend.

Explicit Knowledge

Documentation tools like BetterDocs can help you instantly collect insight feedback and analyze them to create excellent Explicit Knowledge for your websites.

Manage Your Explicit Knowledge With Ease Using BetterDocs

And with that, we conclude our complete guide on Explicit Knowledge. We hope this article was helpful for your knowledge base management in business; let us know by commenting below. Or, take your management system to even higher levels of success using the ultimate documentation plugin, BetterDocs.

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