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Lose the man, not the manpower

Even under normal circumstances, when a recession is causing massive layoffs, organizations must deal with the effects of employee turnover. Capturing their collective knowledge before they leave must be an essential part of normal business operations.

Failing to do so can have a detrimental impact on the organization's ability to maintain productivity levels and remain competitive. That's where a social knowledge management solution can come into play, as I'll explain here in our next installment of How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Network Needs.

In a very real sense, "do more with less" has become a necessary reality. Organizations must identify those areas of their business operations where productivity levels need to be increased in order to account for the shortfall in personnel. The example below illustrates this, using the same 30 percent metric for time wasted on searches from an earlier example. (Click the image to enlarge.)

In many cases, CIOs are forced to fill organizational gaps by implementing more effective technology solutions. As can be seen in the example above, even though the workforce has been cut by 20 percent, the implementation of an effective social knowledge management solution, with its recognized improvement of 40 percent in operational productivity, effectively lowers the organization's productivity by only 5 percent.

This is seen through the 'effective workforce' numbers. In a 100-person organization with 70 percent productivity, the 'effective workforce' (i.e. a measure of the workforce's actual productivity) is 70.

Now say the headcount is dropped from 100 to 80. By implementing a successful social management solution, the 'effective workforce' only drops from 70 to 66, instead of to 56, minimizing the impact of this reduction.

In economic environments like this, a critical element to any organization's viability is managing the risk associated with diminished revenues and forced reductions in workforces. CIO's and information managers are tasked with preserving the organization's collective knowledge and critical IP to make sure that not only are remaining employees more productive, but that knowledge doesn't leave the organization.

Managing the risk poorly can have significant negative effects on the organization's ability to be competitive, innovative, and produce high quality products or services. Improving knowledge capture and reuse and preserving critical IP is an essential element of managing an organization's risk.

SKN Value Prop: Social technology can fill knowledge retention gaps and foster better organizational workflow to help weather workforce shortages.

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