Re: Weighing the benefits of productivity improvements #value
Anderson, Andrew (Tac Anderson) <tacanderson@...>
I have always enjoyed the debates here in this group but have seldom joined in since I’m more of a KM hobbyist than professional.
I’m going to take Bill’s approach and be the contrarian here. Using cost savings as a justification is a 0 sum game. It becomes a race to the bottom and ultimately is as quantifiable as marketing. That is to say, not impossible but very difficult.
Enterprise search sucks. Even Googlers think their intranet search sucks. Internal search just doesn’t scale yet at the middle of the curve. It’s handling too much info for basic search and not enough for Web type search.
The real advantages of KM, IMO, is the expansive nature of the learning. It’s about innovation and the ability to connecting the connectors. What you should be focusing on is the quality of the information people are co-creating, sharing and discovering. You should be focusing on the ability for people to find and discover other people across the organization based not on roles and job descriptions but on the knowledge they have and are willing to share.
I would look at things like # of non core team participants, cross collaboration, etc. Just like the challenges I face in Marketing if the measurements aren’t set up in advance they’re meaningless afterwards. You need to be able to look at your power users and measure how their productivity has increased, because collectively, for every hour your power users save finding something your laggards will waste.
Management raises the level of productivity of an organization through hiring, motivating and firing the right people. KM raises the productivity of the individual and at best the work team.
I guess what I’m saying (speaking from an outsiders perspective) is that the benefits of KM are very difficult to measure in aggregate unless a base line is established in advance and every stakeholder buys off on KPI’s. KM is better measured on a granular level.
sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf
Of Bill Ives
I agree with Andrew on the time savings ROI - It is meaningless. It does not go to the bottom line. What are the people going to do with the time savings? leave early? It is more effective to tie the performance improvement to bottom line measures such as increased productivity on factor x or less money spent on factor Y. The time savings ROI has been around for a long time and given KM a bad name. I am surprised to see it still being used. Sorry to not agree but this hits a hot button for me (it has been around for so long) and I am a big believer that real measurable savings can be found from KM or enterprise search. Finding it is a good test that we are employing the initiatives to address business issues. Bill
On Aug 14, 2008, at 12:25 AM, Andrew Gent wrote:
Yao and Bill,
With improved enterprise search ... knowledge workers can reduce the amount of the time spent on search ... a saving 10% of the time (1 hour per week) can be translated into potential saving of $1,425 a year per worker.
Now having said all that, it
occurs to me that there are two types of conversation like this. The
justify-your-program discussion with your direct manager and the justify-your-expenditure
discussion with upper management. What I have just described is the latter,
which is why justifying KM programs is so difficult. Saved time and
unmeasurable performance improvements simply don't go over in budget