Enterprise KM Metrics

There is a lot of deceptive nonsense about knowledge management (KM) measures and metrics. Let’s face it, for typical commercial business activities there is only one enterprise KM metric – discounted cash flow (DCF).

Sure, there are other lofty Enterprise KM Metrics like triple-bottom line (TBL), people-planet-profit, etc., but they all depend on DCF. Without DCF there is no commercial business and certainly no KM. Period.

For government and institutions, a lot of specious KM Metrics seemed to have captured the imagination of misguided management.  In the so-called KM Section or the KM Office, all that matters is how fast can management obsolesce bureaucratic activities and free people from Byzantine obstacles…

ALL KMers (and business people), govt and biz, must always ask, every day,

How fast can I engineer myself out of a job?”

In addition, for the “KM Office” the only question is:

“How effective are we in using applied KM to achieve subsidiarity and distributed phronesis?”



Everything else is just whistling past the graveyard


Too often the motor response of the “KM Section/KM Office” is to protect and defend its dubious role with specious metrics. This is patently dysfunctional and must be promptly eliminated and people dismissed. The only ‘track’ for KM in a bureaucracy, institutions and business is,

“…extending the number of important operations
which we can perform without thinking about them.”

A.N. Whitehead

Even if there is the tiniest ray of light between the so-called ‘KM metrics’ and organizational impact and outcome, then KM is an abject failure and must be shut down today and its people immediately reassigned.

Remember, KM is not records mgmt., library science, archive, document control… These trailing corporate hygiene activities and cost centers are all legitimate and essential, just not KM. In short, KM is a leadership discipline squarely focused on the future, delivering foresight, impact and positive outcomes. 

Finally, since we all agree organizations are simple human (social) networks, then  key metrics of organizational capabilities are network measures. No exceptions.

Resilience, flow, prestige, centrality, subsidiarity,  etc.,  determine DCF in business, and mission effectiveness in govt, institution and individuals. These critical impact all organized human endeavors. Organizational network analysis is a leading technique. See your next KM Silicon Valley confabulation below.





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