3 Reasons KM Is Going to Get More Important in 2015

Lauren Trees's picture

Looking back at the past year, knowledge management feels reinvigorated and seems to be gaining traction across industries. Why the increased interest? There are many reasons, but here are my top 3 contenders:

  1. Complexity amplifies the business case for knowledge management. As work becomes more multifaceted and faster paced, an increasing number of organizations view a proactive strategy to manage knowledge as a business imperative.
  2. It’s harder to rely on the expert in the corner. Organizations that used to store critical knowledge in the heads of long-tenured employees are recognizing that this knowledge should be documented and shared. This is partly because complex, global work demands networked and always-available knowledge, but the increasing rarity of people who spend their whole lives with one employer also plays a part.
  3. It pays (literally and figuratively) to define collaboration broadly and encourage it aggressively. From crowdsourcing to open innovation to enterprise social media, organizations are embracing the benefits of soliciting input from large, diverse teams and getting people to work together in new ways. (Which is good, because that’s the modus operandi for many Millennials anyway.)

Given all this, I think 2015 is poised to bring further attention to knowledge management programs and tools. APQC is running its 2015 Knowledge Management Priorities Survey through January 16, so please weigh in on what you’re seeing at your organization. It’s a quick survey, and everyone who participates will get a report summarizing the results. We’ll also post some highlights from the results here.

The survey is part of a larger project to look at where experts and practitioners think knowledge management is headed, so if you have credentials and a strong point of view about the future of KM, please get in touch with me at ltrees@apqc.org to be interviewed. We’ll be talking to as many different voices as possible and releasing the results over the next few months.



Anonymous's picture
Good Read. I participated in the Survey and am looking forward to reviewing the results.
Lauren Trees's picture

Thanks so much for participating in the survey! We are almost done collecting data and should have the first set of results ready by the end of January. I'll send all the results out to everyone who contributed data and also post some highlights on the blog (as well as APQC's Knowledge Base).

Lauren Trees, KM Knowledge Specialist, APQC

Anonymous's picture
Dear Lauren Trees,thanks for your initiative make the survey of KM priority on2015,could you please give me the consept or strategy analysis on your survey in accordance with area of survey,like USA,Europe,Asia Pacific but not include Africa or Midle East Asia or East Europe or South of America and with area of business like :energy,oil and gas etc. KM is a complex and rather difficult to generalize ( unique and complext and also intangible) for that specification be owned on KM and with 3 reason as you used on your frame work analysis,could I have more information from your concerning with your concept and your strategy analysis as wad mantion on above,I inform you I was participate on your survey. Regards Sahat P H
Anonymous's picture
Thanks, I participated in the survey. I have some reserve about the degree to which participants may be aware of what initiatives their organization are undertaking and the effective impact of km tools within their organization. The questions are very explicit but I think care should be taken in the wording of the results. Thanks
Lauren Trees's picture

I really appreciate all the feedback, everyone!

In terms of how informed the survey participants are: Obviously when you’re talking about plans and expected impact, it’s an imprecise science. Strategies and plans change all the time, and not everyone in an organization knows what’s planned at any given time. That said, we are primarily targeting the survey to KM directors and managers, so most should have a good feel for the major initiatives their KM programs expect to tackle in 2015. When it comes to longer-term trends (such as how machine learning might impact KM systems), it’s a matter of collective prediction and opinion, which is all we’re really trying to gauge. We are conducting some interviews with experts and thought leaders to pair with the survey results; hopefully by combining the data with their responses we can make some interesting inferences about what is going to happen over the next few years. But we always try to contextualize the results so people don’t make more of the data than they should.

Sahat, I’m not sure I fully understand your question, but here goes: for the survey we are casting a broad net in terms of regions of the world and industries. When we analyze the data, we’ll look at the differences between regions and industries in order to provide that more nuanced picture of what’s going on. The KM trends and pace of change in, say, the electronics industry may be very different from oil and gas based on the KM objectives and maturity in those industries. As long as we collect enough data from each sector (hint hint: Please take the survey, everyone!), we’ll be able to provide insights at the industry and regional level.

Lauren Trees, KM Knowledge Specialist, APQC

Jean-Claude Monney's picture
Laura, I can't agree more with you on these 3 reasons. I want to add that it's not only complexity, but like I shared at the KM conference last year, it is the combination of 1./ Acceleration of change 2./ Complexity 3./ Ambiguity 4./ Uncertainty. This is the new normal. In addition, there is an internal pressure for productivity and the traditional levers of productivity are running out of steam, hence knowledge collaboration as the new way to improve productivity AND innovation!
HolzapfelH's picture
Not having been privy to the survey discussed by the participants, may I inquire about the following; 1. What the influence of information security, regulated by government policies are on the collaboration of knowledge through the advent of a plethora of possible ways today? I have only exposure to South African law. 2. If collaboration is a game-changer, then what is the reason that few organisations have active collaboration programs or processes in place? 3. Are there any recorded metrics for the value delivered through collaborations, which can be sourced?