Knowledge Management

Many individuals have stated: if you can’t measure, you can’t manage what gets measured gets done

Lord Kelvin once said When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. It may be the beginnings of knowledge, but you are scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of a science

In the emerging field of Knowledge Management (Liebowitz 1999:2000; Von Krough et al 1999), metrics are needed to further convince management and stakeholders as to the value of knowledge management initiatives.

In software management, metrics are typically direct measures or indirect measures. Direct measures will normally be size-oriented metrics like thousand lines of code per person per month, defects (thousand lines of code), and others. Indirect measures are function-oriented metrics such as the number of user inputs and outputs, function points per month, years of experience, number of dollars invested / used, years of education/research/management, and the like.

There can also be human oriented metrics that look at process measures. Some of these metrics fall into the knowledge management field, as they attempt to quantify and measure human intellectual capital and knowledge assets.

Inevitably this is an emerging field and as time passes further academic study will be available to researchers. A good starting point is the Journal of Knowledge Management published by MCB University Press, Bradford UK

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