• David Griffiths

What is your Knowledge Cycle Time, and what is slowing it down?

High-performance KM programmes focus on knowledge cycle times, what's yours and what is slowing it down?


Knowledge Cycle Time is perhaps the most potent KM performance indicator that is too often absent from KM dashboards and performance reports.

The cycle time starts with an individual or team identifying a knowledge gap; you do not know how to solve the problem, take the decision or seize the opportunity presented to you. The 'solution' is burried or is not available within your known network, nor is it 'findable' in the organisation's online knowledge portal.

Through research, collaboration or experimentation, you develop or find a solution that is tested and proven to work. What is the time lag between your 'solution' becoming available and you making it visible for action by others in the organisation? You might find it useful also to consider 'impact' and 'repeatability'. The higher the impact and potential for a reoccurrence, the greater the need for a rapid knowledge cycle; what is the cost of any delays to knowledge sharing?


The greater the impact and repeatability, the greater the cost of delays between the solution being available and shared. So, what could cause a delay? As a starting point, think, CAR.

  • Competence - for example, a person doesn't believe they have the technical writing skills to share the knowledge for action by others. 

  • Autonomy - a person feels as though knowledge-sharing is imposed on them, as opposed to it being a decision of their taking. Here, it would be best if you considered the difference between reward and values-led knowledge sharing approaches.

  • Relatedness - the person doesn't relate to the need to share the solution, where, for example, they failt to see how they contribute to the success of the wider organisation; they don't see themselves as being part of something bigger.

The faster the knowledge cycle time, the stronger the signal that KM is delivering against the 6 Vs of high-performance data, information and knowledge programmes. 

Back to the opening question, what is your average knowledge cycle time, and what will you do to speed it up? More importantly, what is the cost of doing nothing?

What will opportunities will you discover in the unflattening of Knowledge Management? If you are interested in Knowledge Cycle Times or perspectives on the unflattening of Knowledge Management, drop me a line and start a conversation (david@k3cubed.com).


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