KM Benchmarking

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For results of the discussions, cf. end of this page

Project Outline

Title of the Project

KM Benchmarking

Project leader:

Marc Steinlin, IngeniousPeoplesKnowledge (South Africa)

Brief description:

Quickly measure the "state" of an organisation with regard to where it stands on the KM Benchmark. This is relevant a) to identify where it should invest most, b) to do an actual benchmarking against other organisations and c) if you do a baseline study before an intervention and another after, you should be able to identify an impact (--> sort of evaluation)

Current stage:

Several institutions have been working with the "Learning NGO Questionnaire (LNGO)" by Bruce Britton/INTRAC and have made their experiences. It would be interesting to pool those, discuss applications, further ideas and variations. If someone knows about comparable or complementary tools, we could make a rough comparison.

Estimated work time needed:

about 5 hours

  • Output: Guidance in the application of the LNGO tool - further ideas for its further development

Experience/skills sought in potential collaborators for the project:

People who have been or are going to be involved with benchmarking KM in a organisation.

Logistical needs:

If possible, a LCD projector, 2 pinboards with cards

What would you like to see come out from the workshop?

A short guide / ideas on how to use the tool in various situations and contexts; more ideas to experiment with in future applications

  • Sign-up sheet (to participate in this session, please write ** Your name):
    • Amanda Cunningham
    • Bruce Britton
    • Connell Foley
    • Hailu Araya
    • Jaap Pels
    • Julie Ferguson
    • Marc Steinlin
    • Reza Salim
    • Steff Deprez
    • Urs Karl Egger
    • Daniela Herzog
    • Michael Schueber
    • Annette Schut
    • Galina Voytsehovska

Workshop Facilitation Format

I have made a small inquiry with those listed above. I offered two option for the format of the workshop:

  • We do sort of a Mini OpenSpace. This means we would gather on Monday and co-create a working agenda based on what concerns each of us, what we feel we have energy for. This works perfectly (I have successfully run Open Space with a group as small as 7 people - with great results!). I would offer to facilitate that.
  • We already start setting up an agenda before the workshop, ie. in the two months to come.

A few people have responded to me, all unanimously supporting the OpenSpace option - basically because we're most really busy and haven't got much time for preparation work; and because the OpenSpace experience shows that we often can save ourselves the effort ;-). If you have any objections, please let me know (


(PS: for those not familiar with the OpenSpaceTechnology (OST): this is the website to go:

Results of the Workshop

More Information on the LNGO Questionnaire

In January 2008, a discussion took place on the KM4Dev Mailing List on certain adversary effects observed in the application of the LNGO questionnaire. Find a summary of the discussion under:

The Miracle of the Spider

Material for KM Benchmarking

Among other, this workshop will revolve around the Learning NGO Questionnaire of Bruce. For those who are not acquainted with it, you can find his paper The Learning NGO, which he published in 1998, on the website of INTRAC:

You can download the questionnaire itself from here: Media:Learning_NGO_Questionnaire.xls
This is an Excel-Workbook. On page 1 you find the actual questionnaire. If you fill in all (sic!) the questions, you get a valid result on the second worksheet and a graphical representation of the result on the third worksheet.

I think it would be advisable if we all could acquaint us with this tool before the workshop.

You can find another paper of Bruce Britton on the issue of Organisational Learning (Organisational Learning in NGOs: Creating the Motive, Means and Opportunity) on the INTRAC website:

Other Experiences:

Jaap Pels: I worked a lot with the following benchmark questionnairre (Dutch, English, French, German and we had it translated into Chinese) :

Results are put into spreadsheet and deliver indication of where to plan KM efforts.

Dorine Ruter: During a recent meeting (12 June) of a Dutch NGO learning network on organizational learning, this Learning NGO Questionnaire was discussed. I just wrote a post about this on my blog. ( - Not to promote the blog, as it's rather empty these 'days', but just to share the experiences of people in that group!) Though I'm in the Knowledge Expeditions project, I would love to hear results of this project group and forward this to the learning group again, i.e. any reporting will be much appreciated!

Michael Schueber has developed a systematic approach for operationalising KM and Organisational Learning, called "Strategic information and knowledge management inquiry (SIKMI)". You can download the concept paper and a catalogue of sample seed questions to be used by the facilitator.