Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Performance Metrics and KM

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.


Matthew Mezey said...

Hi Nick,

Any chance that you could get a Twitter account and set it up to autotweet when you put up each new blog post, or even when a comment goes up?

More people would read your stuff that way!

And – more importantly – it would be easier for me to follow it ;-)

BTW, I plan to plug your blog in the next issue of Library & Information Update magazine – in particular the post on 'not invented here'.

By the way, what intrigues me currently is that individuals at differing levels of measurable leadership maturity apparently have very different information sharing styles.

I talk about this in a blog post about Charlene Li's book 'Open Leadership':

Scroll down the section titled 'Your information sharing approach depends on your leadership maturity'.


Matthew Mezey
(Chartered Institute of Libray and Information Professionals)

Nick Milton said...

Thanks Matthew

all my blog posts are currently autotweeted by knowledgetank, and I tend to tweet the ones I am particularly proud of. If you follow me at @nickknoco you will get the good posts, but I will certianly investigate autotweeting. Thanks for the suggestion!

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