Research

APQC’s research team applies proven research methods to develop solutions, strategies, and tools to solve your real business problems. Working alone and in partnership with member organizations and industry experts, we discover and capture the key processes and enablers behind successful practices. We then disseminate that knowledge to other organizations to help you meet today’s challenges while helping you transform your organization for future success and competitive advantage. Explore the findings and results from our research in our vast Resource Library, and check out our upcoming and past research below.

 

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Evolving Practices in Enterprise Risk Management

In the fall of 2020 through the Spring of 2021, APQC partnered with Dr. Paul Walker to carry out the Evolving Practices in Enterprise Risk Management study. The purpose of the study was to understand current practices and tools for ERM and how these practices are evolving in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This white paper summarizes the results of the study.

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Financial Management (FM)

Research Description

In the fourth quarter of 2021, APQC conducted its annual survey of finance professionals to explore the focus areas, initiatives, and challenges APQC members and customers are addressing now and into 2022.

Research Description

In 2021, APQC conducted research to study leading new practices (service delivery and organization structure, processes, tools and technology, and measurement/evaluation) for internal controls, in particular, how new digital tools and technologies like robotic process automation and AI are increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and impact.

Research Description

The realm of corporate business travel research has a long-existing gap that needs to be addressed, which is what is the ROI of T&E spend? Furthermore, the nature of T&E spend has been evolving as the financial impacts on companies of all sizes across all industries continue to unfold. There is also a need to benchmark how companies are leveraging technology to manage and mitigate spend, mitigate fraud exposures, and process expense reports. In the Spring through Summer of 2021, APQC partnered with Ernie Humphrey, CTP, CEO of Treasury Webinars, as the subject matter expert leading a survey research project to understand best practices and new developments for T&E in the next normal, especially since the pandemic.

Research Description

Business closures over the past year necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in many back-office professionals working remotely, and APQC’s research finds that the virtual work phenomenon is expected to continue, with more and more finance professionals working in hybrid work environments (e.g., part-time in the office, part-time virtual). And as a result, many finance processes, such as closing the books, and the external audit of the financial statements, by necessity were also conducted virtually over the past year, resulting in some unanticipated challenges that had to be dealt with as well as unanticipated benefits. The purpose of this research collection is to convene/curate content to help finance functions conduct their processes better in the more virtual world of the future.

Research Description

In partnership with ERM subject matter expert and thought leader Dr. Paul Walker (Schiro/Zurich Chair in Enterprise Risk Management at St. John’s University), APQC launched its Evolving Practices in Enterprise Risk Management study to understand the current practices and tools of enterprise risk management (ERM) at organizations and how these practices are evolving in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project gathered both survey as well as interview data and focused on the following scope areas: ERM processes and practices; what organizations do to drive a culture of ERM; ERM tools and technology for understanding, modeling, and reporting risk; and how ERM teams measure their success and demonstrate the value of ERM in their organizations.

  • Future of Finance Talent

    Previous APQC research has shown that future finance professionals will need skills in the areas of business process management, technology and automation, and advanced analytics. To expound on these findings, APQC will conduct new research into the talent needs of the future finance function. This research will explore the most important skills for future finance professionals to possess and which talent management approaches—recruiting, development, and retention—finance functions are using to prepare. The research ultimately seeks to identify best practices for recruiting, developing, and retaining finance talent to meet evolving business needs. Using the research findings, organizations will be able to benchmark the preparedness of their own finance talent and the adequacy of their current finance talent management strategies.

    Share Your Talent Story

Knowledge Management (KM)

Research Description

A lot has changed in the last 18 months. Rapidly shifting markets, along with the rise of remote and hybrid work, have caused many organizations to reevaluate their priorities when it comes to knowledge management and collaboration. At the same time, new technology continues to push the envelope in terms of what KM can accomplish. This research is designed as a “pulse check” on KM’s current state and an exploration of what the future holds.

Research Description

Wasted time, duplicated work, and inefficient processes have a bearing on an organization’s bottom line. Small inefficiencies add up—and they also impede innovation, agility, customer experience, and other drivers of competitive advantage. In this research, APQC sought to gauge the impact of inferior knowledge and process management on individual employees and—by extension—business outcomes. This research assesses the relative value of various interventions to better define and standardize work and connect employees to one another and the information they need to work effectively.

Research Description

APQC recognized six organizations as recipients of its Excellence in Knowledge Management recognition in 2021. This research highlights best practices, insights, and case studies from the Excellence in KM recipients. Learn how mature, successful KM programs evolve their strategies, leverage communities and experts, embrace emerging technology, and measure value.

Research Description

In early 2021, APQC and search solution provider Sinequa partnered to survey high-level knowledge management (KM) and IT leaders in large organizations about their projects and priorities. The goal was to understand the strategic outlook for enterprise information management and search, including: the challenges employees face finding information, business priorities and planned investments, who makes and influences decisions, the impact of recent business disruptions, tools and solutions currently in place, and measures of success.

  • Keeping Content Fresh and Findable

    This study is designed to uncover the latest best practices for managing all forms of enterprise content, including customer-facing, formal internal, and user-generated content. The project will look at how organizations formulate their content strategies; steer the content lifecycle; and ensure content can be easily found, accessed, and used.

    Participate in a Case Study
  • Knowledge Management Benchmarks and Metrics

    KM programs are changing quickly, and KM leaders need up-to-date benchmarks to understand those changes guide their programs in the best possible direction. This research will explore how KM programs are currently structured; the investments they are making in people, process, and technology; and how those investments translate into ROI.

    Contact Lauren Trees
  • Knowledge Applied

    This research project will focus on KM’s relationship with internal customer groups and how KM is applied in different parts of the business. The goal is to understand which areas of the organization are ideal strategic targets for KM, which require specialized KM support, and how KM should work with each stakeholder group to help it protect and manage its knowledge. The research will also provide insights to business stakeholders looking to improve KM in their areas, either through local efforts or partnership with enterprise KM.

    Contact Lauren Trees
  • Excellence in Knowledge Management 2022

    This research project acknowledges organizations that have attained Level 3 and above on APQC’s KM Capability Assessment Tool. The KM Capability Assessment Tool looks at everything from the organization’s KM strategy to how KM is funded, the governance in place, the processes and approaches, the technology, and the sophistication of your measures. Developing a successful, sustainable KM initiative is not easy, and we love to showcase everyone who puts in the hard work to make it happen!

    Contact Lauren Trees

Human Capital Management (HCM)

Research Description

This research showcases findings from APQC's Current State of the HR Function Survey. Use the resources in the collection to understand how top performing HR functions handle core aspects of HR, including strategy, structure, staff, processes, technology, and analytics.

Research Description

Based on the results of APQC's spring 2021 State of HR Survey, this research details how HR functions today are handling strategy, structure, process, staffing, technology, and analytics. This content to get answers to questions about: -HR centralization, collaboration, and process standardization, -HR skills gaps and development programs, -HR restructuring plans and objectives, and -HR's role in organizational digitalization.

Research Description

APQC's HR Customer Satisfaction Survey asked workers across industries and job levels about their experiences with HR. Their answers shed light on ways to improve and maintain a satisfying HR experience for employees.

Research Description

This research study explored current DEI measurement practices and their relationship to DEI actions, outcomes, and challenges. The findings guide organizations in measuring and benchmarking DEI to ultimately make progress towards their DEI goals.

  • Workforce Transformation

    As organizations build digital capabilities and adopt digital business models, their talent needs are changing—skills, roles, structure. This research will explore two aspects of this change: upskilling and reskilling.

    Contact Elissa Tucker to Provide Input Into the Scope of This Research
  • Benchmarking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    A number of trends are driving the need for diversity and inclusion benchmarks. This research will collect a set of D&I benchmarks that align with APQC member needs.

    Contact Elissa Tucker to Share What D&I Benchmarks You Would Find Useful
  • People Analytics

    This research will look at where organizations are on the people analytics maturity curve and explore what cutting edge people analytics looks like today. It will generate resources to help organizations assess and improve people analytics capabilities.

    Contact Elissa Tucker to Collaborate

Process and Performance Management (PPM)

Research Description

In December of 2021, APQC conducted a survey to understand the common challenges and priorities of process and performance management (PPM) practitioners. This study explores trends in process work and the intersection with data and technology for process management professions in the new business environment, and reveals the top five priorities and challenges in process management, organizational performance management, and more.

Research Description

An end-to-end process mindset is often necessary to help organizations achieve their goals because strategic goals are rarely functional in nature. They are large-scale issues such as improving organizational agility, becoming customer-centric, or entering a new market. Such goals rely on understanding how the organization creates value and aligns the purpose of its processes.

  • BPM and Top Technologies

    Technology & process have become closely entwined. And teams have had to expand their toolbox over the last few years to include an array of new technologies as well as support organization’s implementation of technologies (e.g., ERP and automation). According to our recent research, most process teams continue to work on adopting and integrating key technologies like data visualization, automation, workflow, and collaboration tools into their toolkits.

     

    This project looks at the trends purpose, ownership, adoption, and challenges  in key technologies for process teams.

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More
  • Process Supporting the Business

    Amid the widespread changes of the last few years, organizations have a higher-level of understanding of the value process and performance management disciplines provide. Particularly the ability to create clarity around how work gets accomplished, fix broken processes, engage people in change, and stay flexible enough to support a range of priorities. 

     

    This project explores the myriad ways that process professionals are tapped to support a growing array of projects (from operational improvements to organizational transformations). 

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More
  • Benchmarking 2022

    If the rate of change outside is greater than the rate of change inside, organizations will quickly be surpassed by the competition.  Benchmarking accelerates the rate of change and supports large-scale transformation—it’s also now being performed at a rapid, cost-effective pace.

     

    Benchmarking is here to stay. However, the process for how we benchmark and what we benchmark has shifted. Our goal in this study is to understand the impact and importance benchmarking has on your ability to make important and informed decisions.

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More
  • Managing Mergers & Acquisitions

    Since early 2021 mergers & acquisition deals have been on the rise. 2021 saw $5.1 trillion in M&A transactions. Though the price of these deals is also on the rise, the volume and size of the deals are expected to continue to increase in 2022.  However, organizations continue to struggle with ensuring they reap the value of these pricey endeavors.

     

    Most often deals tend to fall apart in the integration phase of a merger or acquisition. Whether it’s underestimating the costs of integrations, setting unrealistic timelines, struggles with merging cultures, or miscoping the integration process approximately 70 percent of integrations fail.

     

    This project is a combination of survey and interviews to understand organizations’ M&A activities and key practices to ensure integration success.

    Take the Survey

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Research Description

Organizations need strong foundational processes in place to help them persevere in times of disruption and rapid change. Today, customers have higher expectations of speed and transparency in their business transactions, similar to their day-to-day personal consumer transactions. APQC and DSCI conducted order-to-cash research to learn how organizations are handling the process in terms of governing, measuring, automating, and improving it as an end-to-end process. This research collected data from a global cross-industry audience on practices and performance measures.

Research Description

APQC's Supply Chain Management research team wants to ensure our research agenda reflects the priorities and challenges facing our members and other supply chain professionals. We recognize that many things changed and shifted in 2021, and we would like their input to guide our 2022 research agenda. This research generated actionable guidance for how to address the biggest challenges and the top priorities for the various areas in supply chain for 2022. It includes data on what the end of 2021 looked like as far as achieving goals and responding to disruptions, gathered insights on the changes and challenges facing supply chain in 2022 and beyond, and insight on priorities in supply chain planning, sourcing and procurement, logistics, order management, manufacturing, product development, and innovation.

Research Description

Supply chain leaders are well-positioned to play a critical role in helping organizations achieve their sustainability goals, especially by virtue of their work with suppliers and visibility into logistics and transportation processes.

  • Analyzing Benchmarks in Supply Chain

    This project includes an in-depth dive in benchmarks in supply chain management. It includes key benchmarks in various process groups, as well as tune-up diagnostics and guidance for improving performance on selected KPIs.

    Contact Marisa Brown
  • The People of Supply Chain

    The third biggest obstacle to improving supply chain processes is a disengaged workforce. Companies are worried about The Big Quit. Even before COVID, there was shortage of personnel in key parts of supply chain like truck drivers. This year-long project will focus on bringing attention, empathy, and focus to what people across the supply chain do to keep global business moving. It will delve into human-centered challenges and solutions as we look at what's happening in supply chain as well as examine future skills needed for success and how leaders can better develop and grow their staff.

    Share Your Story
  • 2022 Logistics in the Spotlight

    Logistics—the core of supply chain—moved up on APQC’s 2022 priorities survey (tied for second place) and encompasses much of what has been disrupted due to COVID (e.g., inventory management, distribution, warehousing). This research aims to guide APQC members in improving how they measure, assess, and execute logistics within their supply chains.

     

    The four logistics process areas this research examines are:

     

    provide logistics governance,

    plan and manage inbound material flow,

    operate warehouses, and

    operate outbound transportation.

    CONTACT MARISA BROWN

Sponsored Research Opportunities

APQC’s sponsored research program is a fee-based opportunity for professional services firms, associations, and technology providers to sponsor and participate in APQC research or data collection opportunities. Promote your brand, develop thought leadership, and access exclusive research through this program.

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