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Knowledge Management Maturity Model

Market intelligence supports that a large percentage of organizations actively engaged with knowledge management (KM) have a dilemma in identifying the value generated (positive, negative or neutral) to enterprise productivity and profitability. This condition, for the most part, results from a lack of structured and down-to-earth approaches, methods, and tools to effectively measure and understand the qualitative and quantitative outcomes of the KM program. This situation brings to mind a favorite quotation of Lord Kalvin (1824-1907), an Irish mathematical physicist and engineer who is widely known for developing the basis of Absolute Zero. The quote is as follows:

“If you can measure that of which you speak and can express it by a number, you know something of your subject; but if you cannot measure it, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory.”

The effectiveness and maturity of corporate knowledge management (KM) programs are dependent on successful and positive interactions of a broad array of capabilities that cross business processes, infrastructure and people. Though, there is no generally accepted method or best practices for assessing the KM maturity, there are similar methods emerging from leading consultants that address this important measurement area.

Knowledge Compass has created a holistic model methodology and tool that assesses the critical area of knowledge handling within the enterprise. Our approach provides transparency among key enterprise KM-centric activities and establishes a maturity model that provides for immediate answers and ongoing measurement of the organization’s KM maturity level as viewed through successful impacts on productivity and profitability.

The systematic model is constructed around six levels of increasing maturity. These levels are conceptually derived from the broad framework of Carnegie Mellon’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for software engineering.

KM Maturity Model Definition

A knowledge maturity model defines stages of maturity that an organization can expect to pass through in its road to improve its overall knowledge-centric practices and processes and ultimately business performance.

Knowledge Compass KM Maturity Assessment

Knowledge Compass offers a KM maturity assessment service that reviews a client’s current and projected business and support infrastructure and creates a customized knowledge maturity model for their current business environment and a set of recommended actions for eliminating risk and exposure for reaching higher KM maturity model levels.

The assessment covers both the perceptual and factual pillars within an organization’s key business and support areas. These areas represent distinct themes within the client’s infrastructure and form the unit of assessment. In summary, they represent the major building blocks in establishing the KM capability.

The assessment employs a specially designed tool used to gather and evaluate the key factual and perceptual information required to create the customized maturity model. The tool includes 140 specific ‘achievement elements; that focus on the best KM practices used by best-in-class companies.

Knowledge Compass – KMmm ® Model

Knowledge Compass developed and supports the Maturity Model Assessment Service with their KMmm ® Model; key components include:

Maturity Model Levels

# Level Description
1 Informal KM not supported as a corporate program; non-systematic and ad hoc knowledge handling practices underway
2 Breakthrough KM approved and funded for business unit initiatives; KM deployment program created and packaged
3 Community KM program implemented in individual business units with standardized practices, processes, and technologies
4 Enterprise KM established as corporate program with centralized leadership & governance; business unit KM practices, processes, and technologies standardized, and homogenized across the enterprise
5 Managed KM program is stable and continually measured for progress and variance for KM performance goals and metrics
6 Optimized KM program established as corporate Best Practice; continually evaluated and benchmarked for KM practice and process improvement

KM Assessment Areas

  1. Strategic
  2. People
  3. Process
  4. Technology

KMmm Assessment Tool

KMmm Assessment Methodology

The Bottom Line

Successful use of the Knowledge Compass KMmm ® within an assessment of an organization’s KM infrastructure should provide:

  • Set-up of KM Maturity Model
  • Identify current level of organization KM maturity
  • Identify necessary actions to progress to next higher KM maturity level
  • Crate  plans to move to higher maturity levels, Project Plan, and ROI, and Risk Analyses
  • Set baseline for ongoing KM maturity measurement and reporting
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