Wednesday, 14 July 2010
I have blogged many times about the value of business metrics as a way to frame the KM conversation. Here’s another example.
A Community of Purpose in an organisation was looking at knowledge sharing between four countries; two where the business was well established, and two where the business was just starting. One of the first steps in knowledge sharing in the Community was to develop metrics; a way of benchmarking the countries, to determine who should learn from who.
As one of the community members reports, "the metric discussion really allowed us to move to a different level of performance, and to start learning from each other. The question 'why is country X better than Y?' starts a conversation between X&Y, and countries A, B and C too. One of the things I would emphasise is the precision of the metric is not nearly as important as the conversation around it".
The key metric in this case was a simple ratio of money spent in the country against value created. The community set themselves a target of adding €1.5 for each €1 spent. However when they plotted out this metric they found that the well established countries C and D were below the target, while the new countries A and B were claiming that they would create value very fast.
This obviously did not match the track record, and so kicked off a discussion in the community about what the newer projects could do differently based on the learnings from the past.
Without the metrics, the discussion would have had less focus, and less power.
Posted by Nick Milton at 06:47