We are often asked by our clients to help them build their business case for knowledge management investment for their contact centre / service desk operation or channel shift strategy.
What is a Knowledge Management Business Case?
Every organisation is unique and the starting point of every project is different, a business case is about predicting the impact and benefit of a project while at the same time foreseeing the relevant cost and time implications. It is is a way to communicate the case for going ahead to budget holders and key decision makers. Often this is where it ends.
At worst the business case is a glorified internal sales document, designed to “seal the deal” and obtain stakeholder support and a budget for implementing something that has already been defined. It need not be like that. A robust business case is an opportunity to validate the drivers for success and for identifying and reducing any project risks.
At best a business delivers a blueprint for implementation based on real experience that is obtained in the intended environment. The business case becomes a tool for identifying and managing the risks associated with the implementation of a knowledge management (KM) solution.
Do I need a Business Case for Knowledge Management?
The importance of a Knowledge Management business case is fundamental. However, providing enough evidence to secure funding for a new IT project can begin before any engagement with potential vendors. There may be an existing knowledge management system, which is at the end of its life and needs replacing. Perhaps there is already buy-in from management due to previous experiences in implementing a knowledge management system and an understanding of the benefits and importance of Knowledge Management. Knowledge Management may already be a vital component of your strategy to enhance self-service and increase efficiencies in the contact centre / service desk.
Any of the aforementioned scenarios may well be enough to build a Knowledge Management business case and secure budget for an investment. If budget can be secured prior to an evaluation process a thorough bid process can determine the most suitable solution and vendor for the project. For other situations, there may be a need to take this a step further and evaluate the preferred solution through a trial deployment. This allows a Knowledge Management business case to be built and presented to stakeholders.
What are the Risks for Knowledge Management in Business?
We have all heard the statistics; 50% of IT projects end up costing more than was budgeted before they go live. Another 50% fail to deliver the promised benefits. On top of that 80% of IT projects are behind schedule before they start delivering promised benefits.
With those odds, it is no wonder that more and more companies want to invest the time in developing a business case long before a software purchase is sanctioned. So what does it take to create a robust Knowledge Management business case that meaningfully predicts the cost and benefits for implementing such a system?
The white-paper explores the experiences and lessons learned from our customer base, the benefits of knowledge management and offers practical advice in the creation of a robust Knowledge Management Business case in a customer service environment.
Join the discussion – What are your own experience of using a business case to drive your implementation? What insights did you get and what actions did you take as a result?