All Life Is Problem Solving

Joe Firestone’s Blog on Knowledge and Knowledge Management

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Why No Impact Modeling?

August 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments


I’ve been busier than usual for the past week and will be even busier for another week; so I have to postpone further work on my KM 2.0 series for awhile in favor of some posts that require less effort. This one will pose a question. Why don’t we see much impact modeling in Knowledge Management?


In past blogs, and various papers, I’ve characterized KM as the set of activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing knowledge processing, and I’ve also talked often about the three-tier model just below.


Both notions imply that KM activities have impacts on knowledge processing, knowledge outcomes, business processes (including the decisions and actions that comprise them), and business outcomes. Even if others view KM differently, everyone who practices KM assumes that KM activities have their effects, or at least combine with other things to have an effect. To put this another way, anyone who practices KM must assume a conception such as that illustrated below:


So when we plan KM interventions and when we evaluate results after the fact why aren’t we modeling impact? And as long as we’re not doing that, how can we expect to make the case that KM works?

Tags: KM Methodology · KM Techniques · Knowledge Integration · Knowledge Making · Knowledge Management

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