T0-4 Measuring the Impact of a KM Initiative

If you are not clear about the business value of your KM initiative, then you will also find it difficult to measure its impact. Selecting a KM initiative from gut feel, or from fascination about a new technology or from reading about a KM best practice, but not being clear about its link to business results your company desires will result in also not being clear about its business impact.

Here are examples of how you measure the impact of a KM initiative, based on the link (–>) between it and desired business results:

  • Enhancements in the company intranet –> Less time wasted hunting for information
    (Impact measures: reduction in percentage of working hours used in looking for information, extra days per year saved and equivalent amount of monthly payroll saved, additional productivity from extra days saved; compare this with cost of installing/training in intranet enhancement; caveats: to ensure attribution, interview/survey each user if he had actually used the enhancement; it can happen that the financial gain is not entirely attributable to the intranet enhancement: see previous blog on “Interactivity and Context”)

  • e-Orientation of new recruits, including training in effectively using company intranet –> Shorter learning curve
    (Impact measures: after most of the new recruits complete their learning curves, interviews/survey to estimate person-days they saved compared to former recruits who did not use e-Orientation, convert person-days to money values; money saved from shorter face-to-face briefing of new recruits; compare these savings with cost of developing/testing e-Orientation package)

  • “Ask the Experts” program –> Faster and better resolution of a high-value business process problem
    (Impact measures: compared with pre-program baseline data, shorter resolution time and less frequency of rework, and money value of shorter downtime resulting from both; compare this with the cost of setting up the program including an official customized/detailed expertise directory plus the money value of experts’ time used up; caveat: these financial measures do not reflect the value of ego-boost to the company-acknowleged experts and enhancement of knowledge-sharing culture/habits)

A footnote: the Asian Productivity Organization or APO — an inter-governmental network of 19 Asian governments — is convening a third study meeting on KM Measurements at Taipei, Taiwan in the third week of November 2009. The first two were held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines.


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