Rebecca Lane

By: Rebecca Lane on September 16th, 2022

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3 Types of Knowledge Management Software and Tools

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Neville Longbottom receives a remembrall. A remembrall is a magical tool that turns red when the person holding it has forgotten something. The only thing is it doesn’t remind you what you have forgotten.

Remembrall Neville Longbottom

When you start working for a new company, it is intimidating to try to memorize everything there is to know about the company and your job. Often employees can only manage to remember that they’ve forgotten something — just like the rememberall — but they can’t put their finger on it.

That’s one reason company’s turn to knowledge management software. Knowledge management software and tools help align your teams and provide your employees with the resources they need to succeed.

Unfortunately, there is a wide variety of knowledge management software options — and they all fulfill different roles. 

So, which one does your company need? 

Working for ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software that helps you train employees to be knowledgable and consistent — I’ve encountered many of these options in my research. There are many powerful tools on the market. And, honestly, I’d recommend adding a few to complete your technology stack.

In this article, I go over three knowledge management software and tools. This will help you understand the basic differences and roles of these knowledge management options. That way, you can decipher which is the best fit for your company’s needs.

What are knowledge management software and tools?

A knowledge management tool is a technology platform that helps companies gather and distribute information both internally and externally. These are digital tools that store information that is easily shared with others. 

The purpose of a knowledge management tool is to help align your company by managing the information you share. It helps companies execute their knowledge management strategy.

As a general overview, knowledge management software helps companies create, organize, and share information with their teams and/or customers.

Each knowledge management platform has its own offerings. However, some common features include search and navigation features, usage analytics, content/document management, and permissions management. 

Types of knowledge management tools

There are a variety of different knowledge management tools that fulfill different roles and functions in a company. Some help your company stay aligned on projects, some help with managing files, and others help you take notes. 

1. Knowledge base software

Knowledge base software is a cloud-based system where you can create, store, and share your documented materials. It is a one-stop shop for all your company’s procedural knowledge. 

The purpose of a knowledge base is to centralize all of your company’s information and resources. With a knowledge base, your end-users have 24/7 access to answers

Also, a knowledge base typically has interactive elements, such as checklists, workflow articles, or other features that allow users to click for additional information.

Information stored in a knowledge base

The knowledge base is the home for:

  • Job aids
  • Policies
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Reference guides
  • Call flows
  • Call scripts

Good fit for

Use knowledge base software if: 

  • Your company has a lot of procedures
  • Your company has complex procedures

2. Document management system

A document management system (DMS) is a digital library for all your company’s documents. It is used to store and share documents across your organization. It is a filing system for all of your company’s documentation and resources.

With a DMS, you typically create your documents outside of the system. Some traditional resources include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, or other documents. Once you’ve written your documents, you upload them and file them in the cloud-based DMS.

Information stored in a document management system

The resources you store in a DMS include:

  • Text documents (like Word or Notes)
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • PDFs
  • Excel sheets
  • Contract templates
  • etc.

Good fit for

Use a DMS if:

  • You don’t have many standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Your procedures are simple
  • You aren’t willing to transfer your documents to an interactive format

3. Content management system

A content management system (CMS) helps you manage content by creating a website. Instead of needing to code a website, the CMS has easy-to-use editors for you to write web pages.

Using a CMS, it is easy for your team to craft digital content and publish it to the web. A CMS allows for multiple content authors and content collaboration.

Information stored in a content management system

In a CMS, you store:

  • Files
  • Blogs
  • Web content

Good fit for

Use a CMS if:

  • You want a website
  • You want customer-facing content
  • You aren’t creating policies, procedures, or customer aids

Simplify knowledge management with the right tools for your company

No matter your company’s knowledge management needs, there is a knowledge management tool out there to help simplify your knowledge management strategy.

When it comes to aligning your company employees or allowing customers to self-service answers, knowledge base software is a powerful solution.

With a ScreenSteps knowledge base, it is fast and easy to document and share your policies and procedures. Employees can access the knowledge base articles in as few as two clicks. 

Think a knowledge base could help you organize your documents? Read this article to compare some of the top knowledge base companies, including features and price.

See Best Knowledge Base Companies

About Rebecca Lane

Content Marketing Manager