- You might be at the start of that journey and your CFO / line manager is asking what this "knowledge management stuff" will generate or produce for the organisation.
- You might be at the end of your first year and facing a First Year Performance Review and suspect that you will be asked this question
- You might be several years into your KM journey and while management were happy to hear success stories, now they want to hear about hard numbers
Determining ROI on knowledge management activities can be difficult and not as "scientific" as in other business activities. In part this is due to the outcomes within each department / business unit being due to a number of activities that will be going on at the same time so to try to claim that 100% of the improvement is due to KM is wrong and inaccurate.
To get over this I prefer to use a balanced scorecard approach and I like to talk about before and after introduction of KM. So for example I would include that before the introduction of KM it took 27 weeks to do that activity, but now it takes 21 weeks. I wouldn't claim that the reduction in time was totally due to KM but that it had an contributory contribution.
In the balanced scorecard it would include things like;
- hard numbers from departments focusing on incremental change eg before and after numbers
- endorsements from business unit leaders, department heads and functional leaders
- success stories