Breaking Down Governance in a Knowledge Management System?

4 minute read

Team Panviva

The entire basis of a knowledge management system is that it is efficient, predictive, all-encompassing — but a KMS needs structure and control for it to truly be all of these things and more; that’s where governance comes in as not just one of the three vital pillars, but perhaps the most vital one.

Putting the Management in Knowledge Management System

Companies that are constantly experiencing changes and evolving — such as those in the finance and healthcare sectors — can benefit greatly from knowledge management systems but it’s the governance that ensures the right information is being published and accessed by the right people. Not all information is meant for every employee; hierarchies exist within companies for a reason.

Through governance, certain information can be restricted to only be accessible by those who need it, when they need it. This is done by clearly defining everyone’s role within a company to ensure there are no complications. These limitations aren’t just for sensitive data, though, but for delivering abbreviated knowledge or nuggets that have been rearranged for different types of competency levels and roles across the omnichannel. This becomes more beneficial to employees and customers than slabs of uncurated text.

Compliance Driven Knowledge

Governance plays a key part in compliance-driven knowledge and having a clear hierarchy of employee roles helps fast-track the review and implementation of new information. Something Panviva’s knowledge management software supports is the storage of content versions.

This ensures that when knowledge is updated, the previous iteration is archived and, more importantly, can be reinstated at any time if required. This rollback is part of our audit trail which guarantees a clear timeline for the information — presenting how each version has progressed; something that is useful for both internal and external audits.


Reporting is used to confirm who is accessing what information, how frequently, and at what times. Think of it as a regular check-up — a function that can be enacted or triggered to display statistics and information relating to documents. Maybe there was a certain document that a team was meant to read; executing a report will show you who on the team has viewed the file. Similarly, you can compare results and statistics between sales teams, for example.

Key Roles

A knowledge management system’s governance must be handled by a variety of experts in different roles. The three key roles in governance are content creatorsubject matter expert, and approver/owner.

Content Creator

Content creators — or as we like to call them knowledge ninjas — are more than just the authors of the content — they’re the architects. They create content based on interviews with the subject matter experts and ensure the document is formatted in a way that’s easy to find and digest by the end-user. Once they have written the bulk of the content and have structured it — it can go through the next phase of editing.

Subject Matter Expert

The subject matter expert reviews what the content creator has formed and fills in the gaps — ensuring the information is relevant and accurate, providing answers to end-user questions, source content, and references where possible. They do not have the authority to change the layout — they are strictly there for verifying accuracy.


An approver or owner is the chief, and accountable for all published content; they are responsible for final approvals. Once they approve a document, it can go live.

Reviewing Content

Content should be reviewed to ensure constant relevance, compliance, and accuracy. There are two types of reviews — periodic audit-led reviews and change-led reviews.

Audit-Led Review

Audit-led reviews are regular, scheduled reviews that not only ensure the content is still compliant and true but also still necessary. The frequency of these reviews will vary depending on the industry and should be handled by the appropriate employee/expert.

Change-Led Review

Whenever a change to policy or information is made, the content must be updated to appropriately reflect that change. Panviva’s knowledge management software utilizes a manual workflow feature to ensure that the document in question is passed between the right people who can add their own review comments. Each time a change is made, an update is sent to the relevant, governing parties.

Panviva — the Knowledge Management Experts

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level and consolidate your information into a single, cloud-based source of truth, then we highly recommend you consider our knowledge management system solutions. With Panviva, you can enjoy streamlined onboarding processes, improved self-service CX & EX practices, and easily accessible information by employees and customers alike.

Contact us today to discuss a product demo or talk to one of our representatives.

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