Measuring Knowledge Management ROI

Mounted skeletons of Tyrannosaurus (left) and Apatosaurus (right) at the American Museum of Natural History

I was having a conversation the other day which reminded me about a similar conversation that I’d had a couple of years ago — regarding organizational insistence upon measuring the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of knowledge management. Back then I’d said that continuing to fixate on a supposed need to determine ROI was a little like asking for the same regarding having a telephone or email — where at this stage of the game if the organization is still unsure if they receive a “pay back” on having a phone or email…well, I’d kind of think of them as a bit of a ‘dinosaur brain’ anyway. It seems that not much has changed in that regard – organizations are still trying to determine the ROI of…sharing knowledge.
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Tire Slashing 101 – Defining Knowledge Management

Tire Slashing 101: Knowing who didn't do it helps.

You can learn a lot about the need for an effective vision to support your KM implementation by learning a bit about “tire slashing.” And here’s what you need to understand about both.
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Why KM “Maturity Models” Don’t Work

Do "Maturity Models" Leave You....

Knowledge Management “maturity models” simply don’t work in KM. Now let’s talk about why.

In yesterday’s blog post I’d briefly mentioned something I referred to as the “Knowledge Management Strategy Maturity Levels” and someone asked in an email whether or not that was the same as applying the “maturity model” concept to KM. I replied that it wasn’t, and then thought that this might be a great opportunity to discuss the whole premise of being able to somehow apply a “maturity model” approach or concept to KM and why that doesn’t work.

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Knowledge Management Metrics – Focusing on What’s Important

Do you measure what's important or do you just measure?

When considering what to measure related to Knowledge Management, it is important to ensure that we measure the right things. The biggest challenge is, of course, to know exactly what are those “right things.” But it’s easier than you may think to find those right things to measure.
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Informing and Knowing: IM vs. KM

The Tree of Knowledge.

I get asked this a lot and so I thought that it would make for a nice short and to the point blog post: What is the difference between “Information Management” and “Knowledge Management”? And I’ve found that this easy explanation has proven to be helpful enough so that I’ve always got it handy as a backup slide when I’m giving KM presentations or training.

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KM Bamboo Tools! Plant Yours Today!

The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends. (Chinese Proverb)

Okay, I’m just going to lay it out there. Bamboo is not really native to North America. It just seems like it is. Mostly because it has fairly quickly worked its way to just about everywhere. Bamboo certainly has many uses – from culinary to medicine to construction to furniture to textiles to paper to….well, you get the idea. Lots of uses. And how does this fit in with KM? Well, it’s an invasive species and so it can also cause a lot of trouble if it goes where you don’t want it to go. You try to get rid of it…but it just keeps on popping up everywhere. Which is a lot like what can happen when organizations allow knowledge management tools to go untended.

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Here’s Your Sign – Yes, in Knowledge Management Too!

Here's your sign!

I’d like to dedicate this particular post to a great comedian Bill Engvall, and his routine focused around “Here’s your sign.”   This post is for those who in implementing Knowledge Management, truly need their sign, and especially for this “poster child” that really needed a sign.


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KM – Peeking Behind the Curtain

Many organizations take a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to implementing Knowledge Management collaborative tools. That approach is not particularly “smart” but I think that there is another whole issue at play, and it involves a little “peek behind the curtain” of those providing knowledge management tools.

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KM Failures or Failure to Do KM? (Or failure is easy when you have no KM vision!)

Train wreck at Montparnasse, France (1895).

I read an article the other day which made the claim that “About half of company knowledge-management initiatives stagnate or fail.” I asked the author of that article for the source of that statistic and I learned that it came from, well let’s just call them “X.”

Wow. A 50% failure rate? Would you willing take on something – voluntarily, with other choices readily available — if you knew that the failure rate was 50%? That sure doesn’t make much sense to me. Does it make sense to you? Seems like a bunch of potential candidates for the “List of business failures.”

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