Friday, September 30, 2005

Measuring the effectiveness of portals

The last quarter of 2005 is about to start and like last year I am starting to panic about measures again. Before I know it the ill fated e-mail will come from my boss saying "lets sit down and review your annual performance" which in my world equals word-to-word as "the performance of your site."
No sweat! This year I am not as unprepared as last year. And this is because of many factors some of which I will discuss as I explain to you what I have in place.
First - there are two major components of my measurement scorecard. 1) Impact on Revenue, 2) Increased site activity
This post will cover the 1st measure.
Strangely enough in my case the impact on revenue is the easier one to calculate. Be warned! it is a primitive method used very infrequently these days, its called "talking.":-)) In the past we had always focused only on the customer...lets get the information from the customer. Here is my lesson learned. The customer's response was always circumstantial, sometimes accurate but usually it was a narrow answer like " I thought I could benefit from the study topic." or "the KSN will be a good resource for the company."
Here is what we did this year to get a better sense of the customer's reason to buy.
We put together a small survey with one or two questions and NOTE - instead of asking the customer we ask the account managers. There is only one main question. What factors do you think influenced this customer's decision to buy an APQC membership? The options we gave them are our major product areas such as KSN, OSBC, Events, Consortiums, and Consulting. The account managers are given a 100 points. They divvy up the 100 points between these product groups. The logic behind this is that the account managers are the ones that have been courting the customer for a while, they have proposed all our products and services and we hope that our members find each and every one of them valuable but there is always one that triggers the decision. The account managers weight that point the most heavily.
We follow exactly the same process for renewing members. If an account manager has been doing his/her job it means they have been in touch with the member regularly. They know what the member(s) has been involved in and they know whether or not that member is going to renew next year. Having them fill out the same survey for their renewals tells me how valuable the KSN is in impacting a renewal and it tells my boss how much his account managers know about their customers. Pretty cool! huh!
We started this in January this year and I am pleased to say that the KSN has consistently stayed over the 50 point mark. Isn't that incredible. Of all the members that have signed on and of all the members that have renewed, on an average the KSN has impacted 50% of those decisions.
My goal this year is to finish collecting this data for the rest of the year and then make a business case that says if the KSN impacts membership revenue by 50% - don't you think my budget should reflect the same:-)) Of course I don't want 50% of the revenue as my budget I just want to have a solid basis for saying give me more money so I can improve one of our most important products.
I hope that some of you can adapt this to your organizations and use it to monitor impact on revenue. If you all have any questions, feel free to write. Any suggestions to add would be greatly appreciated.
Activity measures on my next post. Stay tuned....


Zuki said...

Wow - you're blog is full of good info. It's getting hard to find blogs with useful content and people talking about Knowledge Management these days. I have just started my Latest Knowledge Management News blog and would really appreciate you coming by - thanks again

Mikey said...

Found a lot of useful info on your site about Knowledge Management - thank you. Haven't finished reading it yet but have bookmarked it so I don't lose it. I've just started a Knowledge Management blog myself if you'd like to stop by

Weedlet said...

Great work on your blog - it was very enlightening. You've got a lot of useful info on there about Knowledge Management so I've bookmarked your site so I don't lose it. I'm doing a lot of research on Knowledge Management Exposed and have just started a new blog - I'd really appreciate your comments

Jeevan Kamble said...

Excellent BLOG on KM!
Please Farida this is my request if you can be more clear on measuring portal for revenue basis. Also how these collecting of points will directly count for the
dollars or represent the savings interms of dollars what parameters you are going to aim from points.

Yohanan Ouaknine said...

I just opened a new blog in hebrew about knowledge management at the following adress
The blog is in hebrew and i'm looking for some interesting articles to translate. Please let me know if i can translate any of your articles and put them there (with full credits of course).
Thank you
Yohanan Ouaknine - Yohanan Ouaknine's KM cards or - האתר של יוחנן ועקנין - ניהול מידע

Thank You,

Daddy Background said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daddy Background said...

Hello Farida!
(I just met a girl named...)

Very interested to have found your site and the article about blogging as KM. I will be meeting with my CoP this afternoon (topic: Excellence Frameworks) and will mention the Blog. I recall how we had experimented with linking our CoPs to newsgroups and KM portals a couple of years ago. While it had never occured to me to Blog for KM (you see I have a couple of personal ones), this seems to be revealed as a great fit to the casual culture of a CoP.

We've been getting more involved with APQC lately ... I'm hoping this will mean we get to meet again sometime in the near future.

Jim Lee, PMP said...

Daddy Background.... that has to be Ken. If so, glad you wrote and that you are getting involved with APQC again. Nice to have you back!

Anonymous said...

Regarding "First - there are two major components of my measurement scorecard. 1) Impact on Revenue, 2) Increased site activity" I'm wondering if those two measurements aren't of CONTENT management, not knowledge management practices.