Knowledge Scorecard …Posted: September 12, 2008
No, i am not coming up with a new knowledge scorecard. Rather, some of the things i have been reading about … about measuring knowledge. Rather interesting reading, though i would think they are based on assumptions which we might want to question.
The first assumption of measuring the knowledge inventory of the organization, is that the knowledge, and the person who holds the knowledge are two separate, independant things. Not only does this treat knowledge as a thing, it also makes the assumption that you can have knowledge even if you abstract the knower from the scene. This may not be an assumption that may be quite valid. Of course, when we talk about explicity knowledge, we assume that this assumption is valid, but having said that, once we believe that all knowledge is directly or indirectly tacit, this assumption breaks down. The question that then comes up is how does one measure something which doesnt exist on its own.
Another assumption is that knowledge is a “thing” which can be measured. This assumes that knowledge is an object which can exist by itself, which, as we have seen, is not something which is necessarily correct. Add to this the idea that what you cannot measure, you cannot manage, and the mix becomes heady … but then, the question to ask here would be … is the term management apt when it comes to KM?
The answer to this measurement dilemma, though, can be simple … we can measure something based on its manifestation. What is the manifestation of knowledge? Improvements in the way things are done. Great … this is a nice, indirect way to measure … after all, if there is no mechanism to directly measure something, then we use something indirect to measure it … think dark matter! Only thing is, this indirect measurement must change in different scenarios. In other words, something which is relevant to the context in which we are measuring it, as i have written before!