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immediate downloadReleased: 2003-07-15
PD 7502:2003 Guide to measurements in knowledge management

PD 7502:2003

Guide to measurements in knowledge management

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Standard number:PD 7502:2003
ISBN:0 580 33342 6

PD 7502:2003

This standard PD 7502:2003 Guide to measurements in knowledge management is classified in these ICS categories:
  • 01.140.20 Information sciences
  • 03.100.99 Other standards related to company organization and management

This Published Document (PD) gives guidance on how to measure the effectiveness, efficiency and value of KM within and between organizations. The PD is therefore intended for employees, managers, directors or anyone else involved in a programme of measuring KM in or between organizations.

The PD combines both desk and primary research and also offers a comparison of different models and case studies. It explores the possibility of measuring both KM as a process and knowledge (or “Intellectual Capital”) as an asset. (Readers should note, however, that although this PD touches upon various management sciences, including asset management, it does so only by way of example or analogy.)

Just like the Sixties, the Nineties are over. From free love to free information, it was all quite a ride. But that was then, this is now. It’s time for definition, time for metrics, time for standard processes. – Gerry McGovern, New Thinking, March 2003 -

This Guide to Measurements in Knowledge Management is intended to provide its readers with a practical introduction to measurement in the context of KM, and in the related area of Intellectual Capital (IC). The authors have therefore included the following in this guide:

  1. A discussion document to help readers understand the context for KM measurements (clause 3) and IC measurements (clause 4);

  2. A selection and classification of models used in KM and IC measurement (clause 5);

  3. Primary research findings, based on interviews with leading figures in the KM and IC fields (clause 6);

  4. An overview of emerging developments and trends in these fast-evolving fields (clause 7);

  5. Summaries of case studies in KM and IC measurement from organizations across a wide range of industries (appended to each clause as “Good practice examples” and “Talking points”);

  6. “In brief” summaries of key points at the end of each clause;

  7. Annexes describing how KM and are covered by the media, suggestions for further reading in the area of KM/IC measurements and the questionnaire used during the primary research for this guide;

  8. Notes and references.

Readers should note that this guide is intended as a:

  1. “Child” document to Knowledge Management – a Guide to Good Practice, an overall introduction to KM published by BSI in 2001 as a publicly available specification (document PAS 2001).

  2. “Sister” document to other children of PAS 2001, which currently include:

    • Vocabulary of Knowledge Management

    • Managing Culture and Knowledge: Guide to Good Practice

    • Introduction to Knowledge Management in Construction.

In the hope of encouraging a public debate on KM and IC measurements, BSI will provide readers with a framework for feedback, ideas and questions relating to this guide. Readers who would like to get involved with further KM projects should contact BSI at

The authors of this guide are not recommending any particular measurement approach to KM or IC. Their aim is simply to provide “informed clarity”. They are therefore presenting readers with a range of alternative tools and approaches, which should to allow them to either get started in KM measurement, or take their current measurement activities to a new level. In the interest of impartiality, it should be noted that many people believe in the value of KM, but many remain sceptical about how far one can actually measure such value. They point to the danger of false measures (for example, the number of “hits” on a website or KM system does not in itself measure that system’s real value to the user) and remind the user that popular measurement tools such as the Balanced Scorecard (see clause 3.4.3) are discretionary rather than mandatory, and have yet to prove their staying power during economic downturns.

Nevertheless, there is a growing body of both anecdotal research (see clause 6) and published research (see clause 5) that appears to indicate that KM and IC measurements are here to stay, and that organizations of all types – public and private, large and small, commercial and academic – should understand where this field is heading and feel informed enough to make their own decisions. This is, in short, what this guide aims to do.

This document gives guidance on how to measure the effectiveness, efficiency and value of KM within and between organisations. Combines both desk and primary research and also offers a comparison of different models and case studies.