This month, like many others around the globe, I’ve been watching the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. One thing that always strikes me when watching these events is the incredible journey that leads up to the athletes’ eventual goal—all the years of practice, training, and mental preparation that goes into a minute-long race or five-minute skating performance. I think those of us working in knowledge management (KM) can learn something from this. What we do behind the scenes, to prepare for our “big event” is just as important—if not more—than the actual endpoint.
As my colleague Saori Ohkubo announced last month, the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) has recently published the Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Knowledge Management in Global Health Programs. This guide—which is an updated version of the popular 2007 Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Health Information Products and Services—was developed as a practical tool to help global health practitioners design, implement, and measure impactful KM activities. All indicators from the previous guide were reviewed, updated, and revised for the new version. Some of the indicators remain very similar, but the new guide does contain some new indicators as well, including an entire section on measuring KM process.
As those of us who work in the KM field can attest, the way KM activities are started (by assessing situations and planning activities), carried out (by synthesizing and sharing information), and sustained (by improving KM culture throughout organizations and structures) is crucial to their success. Measuring this process—and using such information to feed back into the organization and project—can ensure that a KM project supports stronger and more meaningful outcomes and outputs, and thus has a greater overall impact.