Monday, 26 September 2011

KM, the regular health-check

Group Audit There is a lot of value in a KM audit, so long as you do it regularly.

In this post, I suggested that there are two types of KM surveys; the audit and the assessment. I said the first was like counting the apples in your orchard, the second was like reviewing your farming methods.

It is the assessment - the methods review - that has the most value, in that it tells you how to improve your knowledge management approach. However the audit is also valuable, so long as you run it on a regular basis.

The audit measures the current management status of various knowledge topics - are they documented, are they covered by communities, are they held only in the heads of a few people approaching retirement? When you introduce your improved KM approaches, the audit should show improvement.

Our favoured approach to run the audit on an annual basis. It works like this
  • The KM team works with the knowledge owner, or process owner, to audit their own knowledge area.
  • Based on the results of the audit, they identify actions for the following year
  • The next year, the audit should show improvement
  • The KM team can use the audit results, and the change in results over the year, to construct a KM dashboard for reporting to senior management. If KM is working, all audit scores should show an increase over the previous year.

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