KPIs for Org Learning LO26603

From: Mark Spain (
Date: 05/01/01

Replying to LO26531 --

Hi LOers

Here's a summary of the responses I received to the question "Can any
members of the of the LO list please give me examples of any effective
KPIs for organisational learning or recommend a process to identify them?"

Gavin Ritz replied

This issue is a very contentious one. If you give me more details about
your organisation, its viable unit (what produces your systems). Then I
can analyze your innovation, creativity content structures.

Also the KPI's are generally only extensive variables and one needs to
search for competency based capability measures too (generally intensive

Together as a ratio one can ascertain your transformation capabilities
(factors) which would be much more helpful to R&D type organisations. e.g.
it is nice to know how many projects where successful or failed but much
more meaningful to know over time the skilled knowledge ratio to failure
rate or success rate.

Gijs Houtzagers ( relied

The process:

First you have to define the processes that are part of the area you want
to manage and measure.
Second: decompose these processes into activities that are performed by
various people
Group these activities in main and sub activities
Define the most important steps
Get commitment on these steps
define required output for the steps in terms of goods, services or
information. This output is your performance area.
Than you start to define the KPI's for the performance area:
in terms of quality ( how wel does something happens according to your norms
and that of the customer/employee in question, how often does something not
happen, how often it is deliverd on the righ/wrong place and time
in terms of quantity (how many is succeeded, how mauch time was invested)
in terms of costs (costs of work done, investments and out of paocket costs,
indirect costs, opportunity costs)
After defining the KPI's you will have to choose wich KPI's you will use.
To many of them will diffuse the overall look, to few will means a loss of

My own views are
Organisational learning is evidenced by new behaviours eg.
 - cross functional collaboration,
 - how "errors" and other "undiscussables" are discussed in public and how
people are given the time to correct them,
 - how assumptions of organisational success are tested,
 - how reliably and regularly KPI's are controlled and used for learning
by staff,
 - trust to share data on performance between key groups,
 - treating people with dignity and respect as well as improved quality,
cost and timeliness to produce outcomes that satisfy customers.

We could list the behaviours that we desire (ie that produce
organisational learning) and rate ourselves regularly against this
standard (as well as provide reward and support for all to reach the
standard). This KPI is best measured by perception. The judge will need to
be oneself and one's peers (including customers and key stakeholders).

Other evidence is the change in the corporate memory of myths and stories
of organisational learning over the organisation's past that all staff are
aware of.

Possible Performance Indicators

It is difficult to measure the impact of organizational learning, as it is
a cultural change, however it is possible to design performance indicators
for the various components which underpins organisational learning:
    * organisation is rated as responsive and flexible by stakeholders in
    * The number of times practices in one area/division have been adopted
in other divisions/areas
    * An increase in participation of individual learning (personal and
professional development, non-technical) from approximately 1 day per year
per staff member to 4 days per year by the 2003/2004 financial year.
    * An increase the use of team learning or performance monitoring
instruments to one assessment per year per team by the 2003/2004 financial
year (such as the Team Effectiveness questionnaire).
    * The number of Divisional web sites that confirm to a defined minimum
standard of information content and share common look and feel.
    * The number of pilot programs in divisions that have implemented
organizational Data Management practices.
    * The number (or %) of cross divisional links in divisional www pages
and the number of hits from other divisions.
    * The number of cross-divisional colloquia and staff on project teams.

If anyone can add more insight to the issue of how an organisation can
monitor its performance in organisational learning I would be most
grateful to hear from you and engage in alearning conversation with the
network. Is it possible to bring clarity to this question or is
organisational learning a fuzzy process step on the way to reaching a goal
that can be made more clear? How do you know you are on the path? How do
you know if you are making progress? Can you ever reach the goal?

Autumn leaves floating to the ground
Life is good!

Mark Spain


Mark Spain <>

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