Friday 2 June 2017

Do your KM metrics cover seeking and using as well as sharing?

When it comes to determining Knowledge Management Metrics, make sure you cover the Demand side as well as the Supply side. 

Image from wikimedia commons
The most difficult aspect of Knowledge Management to address is re-use, and yet re-use of knowledge is the whole point of KM. All of the discussing, capturing, documenting and storing of Knowledge is in service of re-use. Therefore when we metricate KM, we need to think about metrics for Knowledge Demand and Re-use, and not just Supply.

It is easy to create metrics for Knowledge Supply, for example:

  • Number of lessons added to the Lessons Database
  • Number of blogs
  • Frequency of articles on the community blog
  • "Best blog post"
  • Number of new items in the portal
  • Frequency of edits and updates to items on the portal
  • Number of wikipages
  • Individuals who make most contributions to the knowledge base
  • "Best knowledge base article"

It's not so difficult to cover the demand side as well, through metrics such as:

  • Number of questions asked per month on the community forum
  • Time between question and first answer
  • Number of answers per question
  • Number of readers of the community blog
  • Number of reads per knowledge asset or knowledge article
  • Frequency of searches of the knowledge base
  • Search success rate
  • "Time to find" knowledge
It's a little harder to measure re-use, but it can be done through metrics like these:
  •  instances of lessons reuse
  • evidence of Community value, delivered through solutions to members’ problems, and presented as success stories
  • user feedback and satisfaction ratings
  • number of lessons which have been embedded into procedure 
  • average time taken to embed lessons

The demand metrics and re-use metrics can be very interesting. For example one of the ways the World Bank disseminates knowledge to external stakeholders is by publishing reports. It would be easy just to measure the number of reports created, but in addition they commissioned a study of "Which World Bank Reports Are Widely Read", which was able to analyse which of the reports were widely downloaded and cited, and which remained unread.  A lot of effort and knowledge goes into these reports, and the last thing the World Bank wants is to create reports which are never downloaded.

Demand-side and re-use metrics such as these are very important to the success of your KM program.

Make sure your metric system is well balanced, covering supply, demand and re-use.

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