Research

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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

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.

Research Description

APQC's financial management research team conducted a survey to better understand the priorities and challenges that finance professionals expect to experience in 2021.

Research Description

This collection curates the latest finance shared services centers benchmarking research from APQC and sponsored by ScottMadden, including key benchmarks, top-performer analysis, and practices related to scope, governance, location trends, and technology and analytics.

Research Description

Planning, budgeting, and forecasting have been rated as the top areas of interest in the last two years’ Financial Management Annual Priorities and Trends surveys. Interest from members in this topic is very high, and therefore APQC needs to keep the content fresh and plentiful in this topic area. The purpose of this project is to update APQC’s existing content with the latest data in planning and management accounting produced by OSB, to include new statistical analysis, leverage APQC’s case study examples collected over the last two years, and also try to secure one or two additional case study vignettes understanding how organizations are adjusting their financial budgeting and planning processes given the current pandemic and associated economic downturn.

  • New Developments in Internal Controls

    The purpose of this study is to understand how internal control systems can be dramatically modified to take advantage of new technologies being used in finance. These developments are changing the way finance teams design and execute their internal control systems. This project plans 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. It will also address how the overall internal control framework is being transformed to take advantage on the ever evolving technology landscape.

    View Published Content

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

Digital transformation, social distancing, and “work from anywhere” are expanding the prevalence and scope of virtual collaboration. APQC surveyed more than 800 people to understand their experiences collaborating virtually with coworkers. The results emphasize how people are collaborating differently, what's working and what's not, and the need for better norms and guidelines for the digital workplace.

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.

Research Description

Some KM programs move efficiently from concept to reality, whereas others spend years sputtering and never get off the ground. This research looks at three organizations that quickly ramped up their KM plans, put initial projects in place, and started delivering business value. The findings focus on ways to avoid stagnation and roadblocks when developing a KM strategy and program.

  • 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

Human Capital Management (HCM)

Research Description

Find out how organizations are conducting workforce planning today, the extent to which organizations are using traditional versus more agile workforce planning methods, and how well workforce planning is meeting business needs. Also learn how workforce planning affected organizations' responses to COVID-19.

Research Description

Talent optimization is all about making the most efficient and effective use of talent in support of an organization’s business strategy. This research is based on responses from 520 organizations that completed APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking® Talent Acquisition and Optimization Survey during 2020. Topics covered include: how organizations set talent optimization strategy, what information they use to make talent optimization decisions, and how effective they are at making and then executing these decisions.

Research Description

Whether you are trying to make the business case for investment in new HR technology, establishing HR function performance targets, or working to increase HR’s ability to make strategic contributions, having an understanding of how your HR function performs relative to peers is critical. This research leverages data from APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking® database and best-practices from APQC's Resource Library to help you assess and improve HR operations and strategy.

  • HR Transformation

    As organizations change, their needs from HR change too. This research will gather information on how technology, analytics, and digital business are affecting the HR function. It will report on HR function structure, staffing, delivery models, and performance – looking at both current practice and future plans.

    Research in Progress
  • 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 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

Process and Performance Management (PPM)

Research Description

APQC is conducting a research project to look at the fundamental components of measurement and identify best practices for picking the right measures, ensuring they are consistently used, and drive effective decision making.

Research Description

APQC conducted a survey to understand business process management programs’ practices, strategies, and resources. The survey used APQC’s Seven Tenets of Process Management as a structure for assessing key areas such as governance, strategy, change, improvement, measurement, tools, and models.

Research Description

In December of 2020, 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.

  • Seven Tenets Thought Leadership

    Process management programs/departments are often developed or gain prominence because of an organizational need. Some of these needs could include, standardizing across business lines, urgent improvement, or to support a new technology project. As a result, organizations often fail to establish a sustainable approach that continues to provide value after the initial effort.

    APQC’s Seven Tenets of Process Management are tools that can help organizations overcome the issues where so many organizations go wrong: stopping at the design stage or haphazardly conducting one-off process improvements. APQC is conducting an ongoing series exploring the Seven Tenets in depth. This project includes a deeper dive on each tenet throughout the year. This series will include videos, blog posts, new research, and collaborations opportunities.

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More
  • Strategic Planning and Organizational Agility

    Organizational agility is defined as the ability to identify opportunities and risk quickly and execute on the opportunities and risks that align with the organization’s overall strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call that organizations need to ensure their organization for the next black swan event and bolster the flexibility of their decision-making practices and responsiveness to the implementation of new initiatives. Hence, APQC is conducting a research project to identify the key characteristics that drive organizational agility.

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More
  • Best Practices in Process Frameworks

    This bi-annual project uses a survey and case studies to explore how organization use process frameworks, considerations for implementation, and provides guidance on overcoming the challenges of adoption.

    Contact Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland to Learn More

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Research Description

In its seventh annual Supply Chain Management Priorities and Challenges research, APQC asked supply chain professionals about their expectations and trends for the year ahead. With input from 455 participants representing more than 23 industries, APQC evaluated: how supply chains performed in 2020, changes and trends impacting supply chains, the biggest obstacles to improving supply chains, and organizational focus areas and priorities for supply chains in 2021.

Research Description

In 2020, APQC conducted research with 1,000 respondents to examine the use of AI across the supply chain and explores trends in AI and its adoption and impact on employees in supply chain.

Research Description

As organizations seek to navigate disruptions, innovation is key to driving successful, long-term change. This APQC research includes on-demand webinars, slides, and articles containing strategies for surviving and thriving through disruption. Gain insights into how lessons learned from past disruptions can help pinpoint the best opportunities for growth, and see how change creates opportunities to apply innovation.

Research Description

The complex nature of supply chain management requires collaboration across locations and functions, as well as with external partners. There is a need to connect people to critical knowledge and one another to drive success. This research features insights, guidance, and tools for sharing knowledge and improving collaboration in supply chain management.

  • 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 to Learn More
  • Building and Maintaining Sustainable Supply Chains

    APQC has been hearing about the need more insights into “sustainability” across the supply chain. This is a broad umbrella that includes environmental factors, social issues, and corporate governance (ESG) commitments and goals. There is increasing conversation about seeking lower carbon emissions, ethical sourcing, and improved human rights throughout the end-to-end supply chain. APQC is seeking to synthesize the latest insights from secondary research as well as conduct a survey to gather fresh data on the current state of corporate practices.

    Coming Soon
  • Share Your Story

    APQC conducts monthly webinars in supply chain and we are interested in hearing your story as a supply chain professional. Our audience is eager to learn from experts in all areas of supply chain including: procurement /sourcing, logistics, supply chain planning and management, and pivoting in supply chain during and post-disruption. We encourage you to reach out to set up a quick email chat/call to see if you'd be a good fit for our engaging monthly webinars.

    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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