Wednesday 7 October 2015

How KM governance evolves as KM becomes embedded

One of the KM elements we looked at as part of our 2014 global KM survey was KM Governance

We asked the respondents to identify which of 12 KM governance elements they applied as part of their KM program.  we also asked them to assess the level of maturity of their KM program.  Among other things, this allows us to see how KM governance evolves as a KM program becomes more mature.

The 12 incentives were as follows (listed roughly in order of application).

The maturity levels were as follows:

  • We are investigating KM but have not yet started 
  • We are in the early stages of introducing KM 
  • We are well in progress with KM 
  • KM is embedded in the way we work

The figure above shows how the use of these elements varies as KM maturity increases.

Firstly every element increases in use from the "early" stage to the "well in progress" stage. The increase is greatest for the KM Success stories (unsurprising, as you need to be in progress in order to deliver success), and least for the KM business case. Although business cases are uncommon, they tend to be developed early.

It is more instructive to see the change in governance elements from the "well in progress" stage of active KM implementation, to the "fully embedded" stage.  You can see some of the changes from the graph above, but to make it easier to see, the graph below shows the percentage change in each governance element between "well in progress" and "fully embedded".  These are analysed, with some suggested explanations, below

The following governance elements increase considerably as KM becomes embedded

  • KM reference materials and training, needed to support the knowledge workers
  • KM success stories and metrics, needed to keep the focus on KM
  • KM strategy, KM policy and KM Framework, needed to define the way in which KM is expected to be applied

The following governance elements neither significantly increase nor decrease in application as KM becomes embedded (both of these are replaced, to an extent, by the Strategy, Framework and Policy)
  • Senior champion
  • KM vision

The following governance elements decrease as KM becomes embedded

  • Separate KM incentive system, as this should now be subsumed into normal business incentives
  • Separate KM champions, as there will now be defined KM roles in the business
  • A KM Business case. Once KM is embedded, the time for a business case is past. 

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