Monday, 3 December 2012

Proportional spend in KM programs

You know how Knowledge Management is often referred to as requiring equal attention to People, Process and Technology?

(In Knoco, we add another element and say "knowledge management requires equal attention to People, Process, Technology and Governance).

The test of whether you truly believe this, is whether your KM program investments equally in the three (or four) elements.

Most of the time, we find that the companies we speak with spend far more on technology than on the other elements, and most of the time we find that their Knowledge Management program suffers as a result. Technology alone will not deliver knowledge management, and an overspend on technology is usually a bad strategic move.

We don't have a lot of statistics on the proportional spend from KM campaigns, but the attached diagram shows the proportions from one program we were involved with, about 7 years ago. In this program we can see

  • 34% of the spend was on Technology (ideally, should have been 25%)
  • 8% of the spend was on Processes (ideally, should have been 25%)
  • 58% was on People and Governance (ideally should have been 50%)
Now this is not as balanced as it could have been, but it avoids the normal Technology Trap. Did it succeed?

We are happy to say that this KM program is still very much alive and well and delivering Big Value, 7 years later. A balanced spend certainly seems to have contributed to their success.

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