Friday, 5 November 2010

Company satisfaction with KM remains low

Pointed out by David Griffiths in the KMRussia conference last week - Bain & Company has surveyed executives around the world for the past 17 years, about the management tools they use and how satisfied they have been with the performance of those tools. 
They focus on 25 tools, honing the list each year.
Every year, KM has been on the list. Every year since 2002, it's usage seems to be around the mean, or above the mean. Every year, satisfaction with KM seems to be below the mean (I know the graph gives satisfaction scores of about 3.5 out of 5, but compared to other tools, this is low; 3rd or 4th quartile).
Interesting, eh? People still see it as important, but they can't get it to work. This suggests that there's still a market there for KM support and services. Either that, or KM doesn't work (which I know is not true, having seen it work many times).


James Sullivan [311 Consultant] said...

KM, like most things in business, lives and dies by the old maxim "garbage in, garbage out!"

Companies (and governments) understand the potential of KM, but usually aren't willing (or able) to put in the enormous effort required to "purify" the knowledge before populating the knowledgebase. And for many, keeping the knowledgebase current is often an after thought,if it is done at all.

Nick Milton said...

I think that's partly true James, but only for those companies who see KM as being all about "populating knowledgebases." There's a lot more to KM than populating knowledgebases (which as you say suffer from GIGO, and which are mostly information bases anyway), and I am not surprised that companies that take this route are disappointed.

Suresh Nair said...

KM really works. The problem with it is, people use knowledge of others but do not want to/ forget to acknowledge. KM is such an important activity, but I fail to understand, why people have a second thought about it. No statistics or a graph will give a clear picture of utility of KM in an organisation. Its like somebody asking people how much do you use your "eyes" or "ears" to look around or hear - it is just not quantifiable...

The performance management/ performance appraisal system, prevalent in organisation, promotes individual performance year after year, makes them, work in a selfish manner and tempts them to take full credit of the job done. Its a known fact, that no one alone can do a job completely and to the satisfaction of the user unless many people are involved.

In an organisation context putting in the thought process together for the accomplishment of a job is KM - can anyone deny that its on the low?

Nick Milton said...

I think you are right about the performance management system when it is used to reward individual performance (and even worse when used to reward internal competition - see here

However I have seen performance management be a powerful driver for KM, when used to reward peer group performance and not individual performance. I will write a blog post about this shortly.

Suresh Nair said...

Thanks for the link. I liked the weedkiller usage. In organisations, one need to create curiosity to learn. Only curiosity can create the pull - However hard KMers try to push they are bound to fail.

Nick Milton said...

"one need to create curiosity to learn"

I completely agree, and explored the same idea in this video

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