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External audit, assessment and benchmarking of your Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is a change process, and the first step in the change is to determine out the current status - to see what is already being done, what works well, where the barriers and gaps are, and where the strengths are. This is where you need a Knowledge Management Audit or Assessment. You can start with a simple self-assessment, and our Free self-assessment tool can help you here. But for a full diagnostic assessment - objective, skilled and diagnostic - you really need external help.

If you are investing in a detailed and diagnostic audit or assessment, then look for one that fulfils the following criteria.

  1. It should be based on sound theory. Avoid assessments based on empirical rules, and look for one with a robust theoretical basis.
  2. It needs to be based on in-depth interview, rather than questionnaires or group work. People "don't know what they don't know" when it comes to effective KM, and you need to dig beyond the superficial answers to find the root drivers and blockers.
  3. It needs to be tried and tested. The assessment methodology should have been tried and tested in many settings and to have proven it's worth.

Assuming that the audit or assessment methodology has been applied consistently to other organisations, then the results from your assessment can be directly benchmarked against your peers or competitors. The Knoco assessment has been applied to nearly 40 organisations, providing an excellent database for comparison, to help you understand where you rank against other KM initiatives (see below).

Example benchmarking plot against 15 criteria

The KM Assessment will also identify a range of potential actions which can be taken to improve the flow of learning from experience through to response. The actions are listed and presented, based on their impact and difficulty of implementation (or impact and urgency) as shown below

Example action plot

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Last updated Jul 2010. Contents Copyright Knoco Ltd.