Knowledge Management Measurement

After determining your organization’s strategic knowledge management (KM) objectives, the next step is to start measuring progress toward those goals. In fact, organizations should evaluate their KM maturity at the outset of any KM implementation to set a baseline and help inform plans for the future. From there, organizations can develop measures that identify weaknesses and track accomplishments.

Knowledge management funding depends largely on the KM team's ability to provide concrete evidence of the difference KM is making. Although knowledge may seem like an unquantifiable entity, tangible measures can be used to track the progress of KM initiatives and their effect on overall performance. APQC has helped organizations understand and report these measures for more than a decade.

When developing metrics to assess your knowledge management program, remember to:

  • keep it simple—people need to understand what is being measured and how the results will be used;
  • measure the use of knowledge—this is more important than measuring employee participation or even the final impact of your efforts; and
  • share success stories—in addition to quantitative measures, organizations need examples of concrete accomplishments.

Measurement makes KM feel real and helps business leaders see how your efforts benefit both the organization and individual employees. Outline the measures you plan to implement in your initial business case, and adjust those measures as needed based on the progress you make.

Continue learning about KM in APQC's Knowledge Base or by following the links below: