Employee Satisfaction Survey, ROI, Good Practice in KM, KM Systems — Value Shop Creation
KM Question of the Week
A: You can use an Employee Satisfaction Survey on an ongoing basis to set a baseline and measure progress. It allows you to learn how your users view your program, what is perceived as working well, and what you need to improve. This should be conducted with a representative sample of the population on a monthly basis after the start of a KM initiative. If the results reach a fairly stable level, then the frequency can be reduced to once a year. Include the results in your regular program metrics reporting.
Here is an example of an Employee Satisfaction Survey from pages 61–62 of Implementing a successful KM programme. You can adapt this as necessary to your situation.
- How satisfied are you with your manager’s support for you spending time on knowledge sharing and reuse?
- How satisfied are you with your ability to access knowledge resources when you are not connected to the network?
- How satisfied are you with the ability of knowledge reuse activities to save time and/or effort in your work?
- How satisfied are you with your ability to find the information and knowledge you need to do your job?
- How satisfied are you with the system availability of the online knowledge resources you use most often?
- How satisfied are you with the experience of searching repositories to find reusable content?
- How satisfied are you with the experience of locating an expert?
- How satisfied are you with the ease of collaborating with internal colleagues?
- How satisfied are you with the ease of collaborating with customers, partners, and external colleagues?
- How satisfied are you with your ability to join, participate, and derive value from communities of practice?
- How satisfied are you with training and documentation for using knowledge resources?
- How satisfied are you with the services provided by the knowledge help desk?
- Do you have a success story you can share with using the knowledge resources?
Finding out what your users are struggling with, what they would like to have provided, what they are using, and how they like what you are providing to them is an important part of being responsive. You should avoid appearing isolated, arrogant, and disinterested to your constituents. But realize that you will never be able to satisfy everyone, or satisfy anyone completely. Strive for continuous improvement, and ensure that people at least acknowledge that you are trying to do so.
KM Blog of the Week
Several blogs have recently commented on KM, social computing, ROI, and financial measurements.
Now I know a number of people have been trying to get organizations to adopt metrics for human capital, intellectual capital and other areas, that are not converted to financial terms. But there is a long road ahead to get them to any sort of level that has them even appearing in Annual Reports.
If social computing is supposed to revolutionize the way we share our knowledge, connect with others, collaborate, communicate and innovate, then I think it is about time we move into the 21st century, progress further in that Knowledge economy and try to figure out how to get the most value out of it, because figuring out its ROI, in my opinion, is going to be a waste of time, energy and resources.
The assumption is that ROI is always about payback. While that is often true, you need a value figure with which to develop the calculation. Forrester has already tripped up over this one, concluding, as do many others, that the benefits (are these the same as value?) are “soft” and therefore difficult to measure. The fact something is difficult is not an excuse yet this is how ROI is positioned.
Which Luis replied to: Making the Business Case for Social Computing — Part Deux
If ROI wants to make a stand in the world of Enterprise 2.0, it needs to evolve. It needs to progress further into becoming ROI 2.0 (Yes, I know, you saw that coming, didn’t you?) and stop thinking that the only thing to measure the intangibles is following the same approach as with tangibles, because that is going to fail. It has for the last few years with traditional KM and I am sure it would fail again, again and again. We now have a precious opportunity to make things different; this time around with how social software is taking by storm the corporate world, getting everyone excited, once again, around the subject of knowledge sharing and collaboration (Not sure about you, but it was about time!). So let’s try not to repeat KM history again by making the same good old mistakes we have all along.
The success or “return” of a KM program is the cumulative benefits — both short and long-term on the company and its employees. This is a very hard concept for line-of-business managers to grasp. They understand it when they feel its absence — the recent rebirth of KM within American companies runs a parallel course to the enthusiasm for the business fads of downsizing, rightsizing, and outsourcing in the late 80s and 90s. Many companies followed the trend only to find that the intelligence of the corporation had left with its employees. The need for knowledge management became apparent.
Andrew’s post was featured in two other blogs:
I suspect this will resonate with most KM practitioners, who must balance the demands of their managers to provide an empirical measure of value with the cumulative benefits to the organization of establishing a learning and sharing environment. In other words, you don’t dig up a tree to measure the roots in order to verify that it is growing!
While ROI in itself is not bad, applying it to KM is problematic because KM isn’t only about dropping money to the bottom line this quarter. Or the flavors of KM that drop money to the bottom line may not be the most interesting or the most useful in the long run. And the more interesting aspects of KM: enabling curiosity; expanding access to knowledge and people; etc. are rather difficult to measure and attach to bottom line growth.
KM Link of the Week
My colleague Sanjay Swarup sent this link to me. I also featured it a year ago.
- Part 1: Knowledge Management Framework
- Part 2: Organizational Culture
- Part 3: SME Implementation
- Part 4: Guidelines for Measuring KM
- Part 5: KM Terminology
KM Book of the Week
The main objective of knowledge management is to support the creation, transfer, and application of knowledge. Researchers and practitioners have emphasized the important role of knowledge management in electronic business and IT outsourcing relationships. This book is based on the premise that it is difficult, if not impossible, to manage an organization without at least some understanding of knowledge management and knowledge management systems.
The book combines knowledge management with other subject areas within the management information systems field. The scholarly value of this book can be found in insights generated from the contingent approach to linking knowledge management to other IT management topics and its uses.
Section I — Introduction and Background
1. Chapter I — Value Shop Configuration
2. Chapter II — Knowledge Management
3. Chapter III — Knowledge Management Systems
4. Chapter IV — Knowledge Technology Stages
Section II — Knowledge-Intensive Value Shop Activities
5. Chapter V — E-Business Knowledge
6. Chapter VI — Outsourcing Knowledge
7. Chapter VII — Insourcing Knowledge
8. Chapter VIII — Governance Knowledge
Section III — Knowledge-Intensive Value Shop Organizations
9. Chapter IX — Police Investigation Knowledge
10. Chapter X — Law Firm Knowledge