As those of you who practice KM, or anything else for that matter , know - within the corporate world the success of any initiative is determined by how you can measure it's ROI. Now this does not mean that if you haven't been able to capture metrics your initiative has failed. Here i refer to the ability to "prove" that it has been a success.

The first step to that is to define metrics around your initiative that you can use to track progress and when necessary take corrective action.

The question today is “How do you determine, in numbers, the effect of a KM program?”.

So, how do you gather metrics on Knowledge Management initiatives? and by that i don’t just mean capturing how many hits you get on your portal or which document was used the most. This could also be keeping track of how many knowledge sharing sessions were conducted within projects or how many components and ideas were re-used.

Metrics and Knowledge Management

These numbers do not mean anything unless put in meaningful context.

While metrics are important there isn’t any fixed way to capture the benefits of KM, that i know of. Due to the variable nature of Knowledge a standardized metrics capture process might not give you an accurate picture of the benefits of knowledge transfer and its re-use.

Now while implementing a KM initiative isn't straightforward, trying to quantify knowledge transfer in a large organization is even more complex. However we all understand that at the end of the day its a numbers game and without the metrics and the dashboards that our senior management have gotten so used to having its difficult to demonstrate success of a KM initiative (I'm discounting user feedback).