ISO 9001:2015-requirements for managing knowledge
For the first time the new ISO 9001:2015 explicitly demands an adequate management of organizational knowledge. The norm’s requirements in chapter 7.1.6 refer to knowledge which is necessary for the operation of processes and to achieve conformity of the organization’s products and services.
Definition of knowledge and competence
The ISO 9001:2015 does not require the introduction of knowledge management as a management discipline. However, a comparison of specific norm requirements with common knowledge management models shows that the requirements of the revised norm include the most elements of a comprehensive knowledge management.
Requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for managing corporate knowledge
(see Schachner W.: Wissen der Organisation, in Koubek A. Hrsg.: Praxisbuch ISO 9001:2015,
Hanser Verlag München 2015, S.127 ff.)
The norm explicitly demands the determination of necessary and existing knowledge, the acquisition of necessary complementary knowledge, the provision of knowledge and the sustainment of knowledge.
Chapter 7.1.6 (“Organizational Knowledge”) does not specifically demand the application/use of knowledge; however, chapter 7.2 (“Competence”) requires to ensure that employees possess the required expertise. Thus, the norm’s requirements for dealing with knowledge cover nearly all of the “Building Blocks of Knowledge Management” according to Probst (Professor for Organizational Behavior and Management at the University of Geneva). This model which is widely used in practice includes eight building blocks (see Probst 2006):
- Knowledge Identification
- Knowledge Acquisition
- Knowledge Development
- Knowledge Distribution
- Knowledge Use
- Knowledge Preservation
- Knowledge Measurement
- Knowledge Goals
Only the setting of objectives for the management of organizational knowledge has not been explicitly demanded in ISO 9001:2015.
intergator: Unlocking knowledge in compliance with the norm
intergator has a particularly high potential to support enterprises in an ISO 9001-compliant management of organizational knowledge.
Following below the most important potentials are explained:
1. From a knowledge perspective intergator’s core contribution towards meeting the norm is its ability to provide employees with all (digitally available) information relevant for action- and decision-making in one surface. This is possible due to the application of approximately 100 standard connectors developed by interface projects and more than 500 convertors: These allow for all systems and data sources of the enterprise used for running business operations to be connected to intergator and for any file types from these data sources to be recognized, indexed and processed.
2. intergator’s special ranking mechanisms (ranking by metadata, categories, user profile, user action, etc.) ensure that information with the highest relevancy for action- and decision-making is top-listed within search results. This feature of intergator is particularly useful for less experienced employees to quickly identify existing and primarily necessary knowledge for task completion.
3. The targeted integration of external sources (clients, partners, market) facilitates the incorporation of needed external knowledge into the own knowledge landscape. External knowledge can therefore be used and applied together with existing internal knowledge.
4. While original files remain in their primary sources, by means of intergator file contents are brought together on an indexing level, analyzed, processed and presented in unified new structures and categories. This function is available regardless of whether homogenous or heterogeneous structures and categories are the basis of the various primary sources. Established processes and process steps within the enterprise can as much be used as “new” navigational elements or facets like defined roles or core competency topics. This enables employees, for example, to filter all for a role in a success-critical process step needed information with only a few clicks and to apply it immediately.
5. Based on sophisticated analytics functionalities and the evaluation of various log files from intergator it is easy to display (charts) which processes/ process steps, core competency topics etc. are comprehensively backed-up by knowledge and where there is further need for building-up or procuring knowledge.
6. By means of highly personalized dashboards intergator becomes a „co-worker and intelligent assistant“: Integrated into work processes (role-, process-, or enterprise-related) its dashboards continuously provide the latest action- and decision-relevant information. Singular dashboards can be made available for singular users or user groups. For these singular users or user groups different access rights can be defined which allow for an even more accurate information and knowledge distribution.
7. New knowledge can be easily captured in intergator’s light-weight Content Management. Here intergator becomes a data source itself. In Content Management newly stored knowledge is immediately integrated into all search inquiries.
8. The coordinated application of several intergator instances guarantees also for large companies and huge amounts of data a failsafe performance, availability and a corresponding scaling of the provision of information and knowledge.
9. Through various Web 2.0 elements (tagging, bookmarks, sharing) and collaboration elements it is possible to augment existing information with personal notes and to share this with other users.
10. Innovative ways of knowledge representation and navigation (in particular, intergator’s navigable hyperbolic tree) make it possible to search and use very deep and less or unknown data structures.
11. Via the recognition of experts (Expert Finder) intergator facilitates the quick identification of experts for a particular topic in the enterprise. intergator substantially contributes towards a fast access to implicit knowledge and the correct knowledge holders.
12. Maximum benefit can be achieved with intergator when the process of its adaptation and integration into the company is thoroughly accompanied on a communicative level. intergator can only provide optimum support for the dealing of knowledge in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 when employees acknowledge intergator as a tool for knowledge management and when they understand how and in what ways intergator can be best utilized. Through its intergator Academy interface:projects offers a comprehensive know-how transfer to support clients in building-up expertise for the implementation, use and further development of the intergator solution.
intergator enables organizations and enterprises to establish a solid foundation for an ISO 9001:2015-compliant dealing with their organizational knowledge. This does not only apply to large companies and multinational corporations. Small companies can achieve this foundation with the intergator mini appliance.
(Whitepaper on ISO 9001:2015)