Re: Knowledge Management Maturity Baseline #maturity #institutionalization

Patrick Lambe

I heartily endorse Chris’ advice. 

There is no such thing as a "standard baseline" for KM, nor are there standard maturity markers. How could there be, if KM itself is by nature so context sensitive? 

There is no one size fits all KM in the real world. There is only KM that fits the challenges, needs and opportunities of your present context. So where a maturity model (I prefer capability framework) works at all, it is about characterising your current position in relation to needs, challenges, opportunities and strategic goals, identifying where you want to get to, and identifying capabilities that need to grow.

Maturity model descriptors can be mined from multiple sources, selected and used where relevant, but this needs to be a participatory process from within the organisation. You can use a technique such as the River Diagram technique to assess current capability gaps and capability goals, and then you can build out progress markers.

There are other issues with maturity models as well. When applied across a large organisation they tend to “flatten out” (i.e. average out) interesting and useful differences in KM capabilities across the organisation, thus concealing them. Those differences are your opportunities to transfer capabilities internally, so you’re not doing yourselves any favours by concealing them in the process. Maturity models should be handled with great care! More on this at 


Patrick Lambe
Straits Knowledge

phone:  +65 98528511

knowledge mapping:

On 13 Apr 2021, at 8:36 PM, Chris Collison <chris.collison@...> wrote:

Hi Jonathan,
Interesting report.  I am more persuaded by value created from accelerated onboarding than the piecemeal consolidation of hours (the 5.3 hours don’t all come in a convenient lump!).  I think people generally things to do in the ‘waiting time’ – some of which is productive, and some of which is a distraction which is good for wellbeing.
On the maturity model front, my advice would be to gather some examples (Straits Knowledge, APQC, UK Gov, other examples etc) and use them as references/sources in a workshop where your stakeholders build their own.  That way they get to contextualise the facets of KM most relevant to their organisation.  The ‘what does good really look like?’ conversations which arise from the process pay a huge engagement dividend, and it gets you over the passive resistance response of “oh but that model doesn’t quite fit us…’
Kind regards,
From: <> on behalf of Jonathan Norman <jonathan.norman@...>
Reply to: "" <>
Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 13:15
To: "" <>
Subject: [SIKM] Knowledge Management Maturity Baseline #guidelines #institutionalization #maturity
I saw this intriguing piece of research - which was published a year or two ago: Inefficient Knowledge Sharing Costs Businesses $47 Million Annually ( and I wondered whether anyone has come across any kind of KM maturity baseline for teams and organizations? Any advice or links gratefully received. Jonathan

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