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Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management

  • ID: 42752
  • Report
  • September 2003
  • 127 pages
  • American Productivity & Quality Center, APQC
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Knowledge management has become a widely adopted business practice and imperative, yet organizations still struggle to measure the gains it promises to offer. Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management, this 11th consortium benchmarking study on knowledge management, focused on this critical missing link necessary to sustain and justify knowledge management efforts.

The discipline of knowledge management has evolved rapidly through practice. Unlike the mid 1990s, practitioners now understand how systematic knowledge management processes impact the flow of knowledge between people and units in organizations. Organizations have better methods and models to recognize knowledge gaps in business processes and envision how knowledge management can impact them. In addition, software applications have better tools to track participation and utilization than in the early days of KM. The combined progress now allows sophisticated KM practitioners to understand and measure knowledge sharing and use. What has been missing is the way to tie KM process measures to organizational outcomes. Closing that gap is addressed in this report.

This report details the measurement practices, business case, and results associated with KM programs, the core group, and activities, including:
1. communities of practice,
2. facilitated best practices transfer,
3. expertise locator systems,
4. content management systems,
5. After-Action Reviews,
6. lessons learned, and
7. decision support systems.

Knowledge management can produce amazing benefits, but if there are no measures and compelling results, initiatives can be short lived. Adapting the best practices from this report can ensure that KM initiatives support the organizations goals, and are grounded by meaningful measures that lead to better outcomes and broader application.

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