This is the first in a series of four blogs exploring the potential return on investment for implementing SharePoint Syntex and other upcoming services from Project Cortex.
The SharePoint Syntex product, along with the upcoming Topic services coming out of Microsoft’s Project Cortex, will be game changers for organizations using Microsoft’s Office 365 platform. These Content Services, which Microsoft is grouping with its Workplace Analytics offering as “Knowledge and Insights,” solve several challenges that anyone involved in implementing, supporting, and assuring adoption of Microsoft 365 in an organization will understand:
In future blogs, I’ll explore each of these points in detail. But in this first installment, let’s begin with the end in mind: Return on Investment (ROI).
Without the right focus, “attempts to quantify a return on KM investments in such cases are likely to measure things that don’t matter and miss things that do,” according to Don Cohen in a classic article in Harvard Business Review. He goes on to note “measures of KM activity—say, the number of documents downloaded from a repository… don’t tell you if access to those documents contributed enough to organizational performance to offset the costs of providing them.”
According to a Tip Sheet entitled Effective Measurement of Knowledge Management Initiatives from APQC, an organization specializing in benchmarking, business process improvement, and Knowledge Management, “The goal is to tie trends in activity measures to business outcomes. Clear business outcomes provide the ROI to justify investment in targeted KM approaches as well as the infrastructure, people, and technology that any successful initiative requires.”
Here are a few thought starters as you think about your strategy for knowledge management with Content Services:
Finally, it’s perfectly acceptable to include some ‘soft measures’ in your ROI thinking; success stories, project retrospectives, and general user satisfaction surveys are all critical if they are targeted and combined with ‘harder’ metrics specific to your objectives.
SharePoint Syntex is available for purchase for all Microsoft 365 commercial customers.