Monday, 15 December 2014

Suitable KPIs for your KM team

How do you measure the performance of a Knowledge Management team? What sort of KPIs would you assign to them?

The answer to this question depends on the stage that KM implementation has reached. I suggest some KPIs below, depending on the different stages your implementation has reached.

During the strategy phase

KPIs are difficult during the strategy phase, as the KM team have not yet delivered anything - they are still planning. At this stage there is probably only one objective; "Deliver a well-researched Knowledge Management strategy and implementation plan that has the support of the key business stakeholders". This will be easier to accomplish if your key business stakeholders are acting as a steering team for the KM program. The KPI will be the level of support for the strategy.

During the piloting phase

 Part of the purpose of the Knowledge Management pilots is to deliver tangible business value through operation of KM within the pilot areas, with a secondary purpose of refining the Knowledge Management Framework prior to roll-out. The primary objective during the piloting stage is therefore the amount of value delivered.

This was the primary KPI for the BP KM team during piloting in 1998, when we were charged with delivering $100m of value to the organisation through KM pilots.  The secondary KPI for the KM team at this stage should be the number of elements of the Knowledge Management Framework which have been tested in action within the business, with improvements made as required. The target should be 100%.

During KM roll-out and transformation

During the roll-out phase, purpose of the KM team is to spread the KM transformation across the entire organisation, while continuing to add business value. The team therefore has three primary KPIs,

  • The percentage of the organisation which has reached a defined KM level, 
  • Activity metrics such as number and value of lessons, maturity of CoPs, and
  • The value added by KM to the business.
You can also add activity metrics such as the number of training courses run, the number of communities launched and so on.

During KM operation

After the roll-out and transformation phase, Knowledge Management becomes part of normal business, defined by a set of expectations within a Knowledge Management policy. At this stage, the role of the KM team is to support the business in compliance with the policy, and hence deliver value to the business.  Suitable KPIs for the KM team would be the following;
  • The level of business compliance with the expectations in the KM policy
  • Support activity metrics (such as training courses run, KM roles 
  • Addition activity metrics such as number and value of lessons, percentage of embedded lessons, completeness currency of knowledge bases,  maturity of CoPs, etc
  • The value added by KM to the business

2 comments:

Sumi said...

Hi Nick, Thanks for sharing this. I was wondering how you would capture value of lessons? Would this be through ratings? User feedback? Another measure I would add here for KPI is efficiency.

Nick Milton said...

Thanks Sumi

You get the value of lessons in two ways

1) a projected value, where you look at the impact the lesson had on a project (lost time, saved time, wasted cost, saved cost etc) and project that forward by estimating the frequency of recurrence. imagine a lesson saved a project $100k on a particular activity, and the activity is repeated (in other projects) 10 times a year. The potential value of that lesson is $1 million.

2) An actual value, where the lesson is re-used (either directly, or through embedding into process) and results improve as a result. This is more accurate than the projected value but it sometimes can be difficult to isolate the impact of one lesson when many lessons are applied together.

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