The APQC Blog

Knowledge Management Tools for Expertise Location

As many of you know, APQC held its 18th (!!) Annual Knowledge Management Conference in Houston last week. This is my sixth conference, and it’s always one of my favorite weeks of the year—getting to hear what’s going on in people’s KM programs, what challenges they’re facing, and all the success they’ve achieved.

This year’s KM conference was particularly special for me because it was my first time presenting. Along with Senior Consultant Darcy Lemons, I spent an hour talking about the results of APQC’s recent Trends in Expertise Location survey. We explored how organizations identify experts and knowledgeable people, how they surface expertise, and how they connect knowledge holders to those in need of help.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a tidbit of data, showing the knowledge management tools and approaches used to connect employees to experts and expertise. The comparison is between organizations that said they were very effective at meeting their expertise location goals and those that said they were somewhat or not effective.

Knowledge Management Tools and Approaches Used for Expertise Location

KM tools for expertise location include communities, discussion boards, and profiles

As you can see, organizations in the very effective group are much more likely to use communities of practice and discussion forums for expertise location. These organizations have also embraced newer tools like blogs, wikis, and social networking, but these complement—rather than replace—the “classic” KM approaches. We didn’t see a very high percentage of organizations using microblogging for expertise location, though other research we’ve done suggests that tools like Yammer are slowly catching on.

If you’d like to see more results from the survey, check out our Trends in Expertise Location: An APQC Knowledge Management Metric Report. This report is available to the public only through the end of this week, so hurry! (If your organization is a member of APQC, relax—you’ll be able to download it any time.)

And if you want to know more about what happened in Houston last week, many of the KM conference presentations are already available to APQC members. We’ll be publishing lots more content over the coming weeks, so stay tuned to this blog for updates.