Thursday 11 January 2018

How well distributed is your KM budget?

There are 4 legs on the Knowledge Management table. Are you investing evenly in each of them?

Knowledge Management  requires equal attention to the four key enablers of People, Process, Technology and Governance.

The test of whether you truly are paying equal attention is whether your KM program investments equally in these four crucial elements of the KM Framework.

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 12 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%)
This is a more equal spend than we see in many organisations, but there still seems to be an under-investment in process (process definition, process trial and testing, ad training in KM processes.

We are happy to say that this KM program is still very much alive and well and delivering value 12 years later. A balanced spend seems to have contributed to their success.


Unknown said...

While I agree the spend on processes looks significantly less than ideal, there must be phases in the development of a KM system where these commitments would change. Is the 25% for a mature, established system, or across the process of getting a system to maturity?

Nick Milton said...

Its really about getting the system to maturity Mike. After maturity, almost all the spend will be on governance and governance roles.

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