Thursday 7 October 2010

Efficiency or quality?

An interesting article here that claims that claims that KM delivers only efficiency improvements, and not quality improvements. This is based on a study if several IT projects, looking at their use of a "KM system".  I quote

The research results show that mean team knowledge use is positively related to improved project performance, but not ‘significantly related to the quality outcome’. As the paper says, delivering defect-free code requires that team members solve their assigned tasks, but ‘also successfully integrate the tasks’.

However whan you look at that they mean by a KM system, they mean a database containing documents, white papers, and bits of code. This is a long long way from a complete KM framework.

In a way it is good news that even this truncated and stunted KM system delivers some benefit. I wonder what they would have gained if they had used a full KM framework? I bet they would have seen quality rise, as well as efficiency.


Md Santo said...


Dear Nick,

I agree the needs in balancing efficiency and quality, considering “Human being is KM regulated by Nature” despite “Human being itself by nature is a KM model” wherein the very basic of nature behavior is the act of balancing efficiency and quality

Md Santo

Ved Prakash said...

Dear Nick,

Here's an insider's perspective on the article to give the full picture(Harvard will be publishing the final paper sometime this quarter).

Actually the article does say that for more complex programs, there is a positive correlation seen with quality. This has to be also seen in the context of Wipro knwon for delivering projects with best-in-class quality (Wipro also happens to be the world's first software services company to be certified SEI CMM and CMMi Level 5), with the result that lesser complexity programs very often have absolutely minimal post delivery defects registered and hence difficult to find a significant impact of KM on this parameter. That KM has an impact on quality goes without saying.

Wipro's KM program started 11 years back and is much beyond codified KM (if that is what is inferred from the article). This includes governance on various aspects, collaboration, social media, tacit forums and even KM practiced externally with stakeholders. Wipro has been a Global, Asian and Indian MAKE Award winner as well over the past several years. We could connect up separately to give you an overview of Wipro's KM.

CKO - Wipro Technologies

Nick Milton said...

Thanks for the clarifications Ved

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