Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 5 Issue 8
Investing in knowledge: Achieving and measuring ROI
A point raised by Curve Consulting’s recent survey of law firms (and as mentioned in the news story on this page) is that, while many of the top legal practices claim to be committed to the implementation of knowledge management and recognise its importance in the modern economy, very few actively measure the return on their investment. As a consequence, firms have no real way of assessing the impact of their knowledge management programme, and therefore of keeping the initiative on track and moving in the right direction. Longer term, funding may even slowly dry up if managers are not given evidence as to the tangible business gains their commitment to knowledge management is generating.
While Curve’s survey was limited to law firms, the findings relating to KM metrics and ROI apply just as strongly to businesses operating right across the economic spectrum. There is no doubt that it is an extremely difficult topic. After all, how do you measure and quantify the value of a discipline that deals so exclusively in intangibles? Yet it is an issue that is gaining in prominence, particularly as the streamlining imperative gathers force, and one that every organisation that is serious about knowledge management must address at some point. Our ROI special focus begins on page 8.
Over the next six issues, and as part of our build-up to KM Europe 2002, we will also be talking to each of the leading KM practitioners who will be making a keynote presentation at the event: Dave Snowden, Dan Holtshouse, Karl-Erik Sveiby, Tom Stewart and, this month, Tom Davenport. Turn to page 30 for the first instalment of ‘The knowledge’.
Finally, Knowledge Management is delighted to announce the imminent publication of The Knowledge Management Handbook. The handbook will represent the first comprehensive guide to the KM marketplace, offering a complete listing of the leading KM vendors, consultants and solutions. It will be distributed free of charge, so for details of how to obtain a copy, or to secure a listing for your company, drop me a line at email@example.com.
A sound investment? Analysing and maximising ROI from knowledge management tools
Before committing to the implementation of an expensive knowledge management system, it is essential your organisation knows where the return on its investment will come from. Andre Valente and Thomas Housel present a framework aimed at making it easier for companies to identify potential returns, and to select the right tool for the right job in the first place.
Dynamic knowledge systems: Achieving real ROI from KM technology
Implementing any advanced knowledge management system usually requires an organisation to commit to a considerable initial outlay, but the returns KM technologies generate are typically vague and ill-defined. Boris Pluskowski outlines how dynamic knowledge systems, so often overlooked by businesses, can generate immediate, measurable benefits, providing evidence of ROI that can prove invaluable at the beginning of a KM initiative.
Intellectual property and the knowledge economy: Towards a more proactive approach to IP management
Recent events have highlighted the importance to businesses of recognising and actively managing their intellectual property. Richard Poynder outlines some of the most important issues surrounding IP, and describes a number of emerging technologies that can help organisations cope in an area in which the rules are constantly changing.
Investing in knowledge: Achieving and measuring ROI
In most organisations, recent economic conditions have precipitated a clampdown on any corporate activity that is deemed not to add directly to the bottom line. Simon Lelic talks to representatives from Aventis, Centrica, Entopia, Knowledge Management Software and Primus, and asks how KM practitioners should approach the task of demonstrating the returns from an investment in knowledge management.
Par for the course? Exploring the value of academic qualifications in KM
In September 2000, Jela Webb enrolled on the University of North Londons MSc Information and Knowledge Management programme, the first course of its type on offer in Europe. As the two-year programme draws to a conclusion, she looks back at the core areas she has studied and assesses the value academic qualifications can add to the practical skills of a knowledge manager.
Realising the true value of KM: An intangible standards approach to ROI
Intangible resources are what make up the true value of any organisation, yet they are almost uniformly ignored by established accounting procedures. Ken Standfield describes how the International Intangible Management Standards Institute has worked to address this imbalance, and outlines the importance of intangible assets to any attempt to measure the return on investment of a knowledge management project.
The winning formula: A blended approach to cross-platform content
E-learning has become more than a buzzword. By combining the latest technology with carefully crafted educational content, this innovative approach to employee and corporate training is delivering visible results. According to Piers Lea, matching the audience to the platforms used is key to ensuring that learning content created for these initiatives is engaging, relevant and effective.[ Web only article]
5 minutes with
Jacquie Bran, project manager for the Knowledge Management events team, talks to Dominique Foucart, corporate programme manager with MobiStar, one of Belgiums leading wireless operators, about the lessons the company has learnt through building and applying a taxonomy to its intranet, K Village.
Book review: Benchlearning: Good Examples as a Lever for Development
Ana Neves reviews Benchlearning: Good Examples as a Lever for Development
Country focus: USA
Simon Lelic talks to Bruce Taylor, senior correspondent (North America) for Knowledge Management, and discusses the impact of KM in the United States.
The knowledge: Tom Davenport
Simon Lelic talks to Tom Davenport, co-author of The Attention Economy and one of six keynote speakers at KM Europe 2002.