Tools & Resources » Phase 3: Introduction

Phase III: Monitoring and Evaluation - Examining Your ROI From KM/KT Efforts

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Why measure the impact of knowledge management?
Measurement is undoubtedly the least developed aspect of knowledge management, which is not surprising, given the difficulties in defining it – let alone measuring it. Without measurable success, however, enthusiasm and support for knowledge management is unlikely to be sustainable. And without measurable success, you are unlikely to be able to identify what works and what doesn’t, and therefore make an informed judgement about what to carry on doing and what to change.

What can be measured?
Given that the whole point of knowledge management is to improve the performance of an organization and to help it to achieve its objectives, the best and most logical approach is to tie in the measurement of the impact of knowledge management within an organization’s overall performance measurement systems. This can be done
either at a corporate level, or at an individual project or process level. However, one limitation of this approach is that if knowledge management practices are made an integral part of work, you cannot be sure of the relative contribution of those knowledge management practices to the success of a project or process, versus other factors. In view of this, a two-pronged approach is recommended that seeks to measure both outcomes and activities: