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State of knowledge management

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Presentation to the SIKM Leaders Community on March 21, 2017

Published in: Business
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  • Now that we have a better handle on the management of global knowledge, we need to begin thinking about the valuation of actionable knowledge. Money has a time value as expressed in interest rates and the CPI but there is currently no universal way to express the time value of actionable knowledge. I think that will be the next wave in KM
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  • You buried the lead, Stan. Bots and Cognitive Computing applications require a knowledge architecture and appropriate content. There will be hundreds of bots that will act as metadata driven channels to information. The information will need the structure of an ontology to connect context to the user intent. KM is / will be more important than ever in this emerging application space.
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  • Thanks, Stan! Should I be depressed yet? ;)
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State of knowledge management

  1. 1. Knowledge Management: What is the current state? Stan Garfield SIKM Leaders Community March 21, 2017
  2. 2. Negative Indicators
  3. 3. 1. Some KM channels have slowed down or disappeared • Blogs – fewer are being started or maintained • Books – fewer new ones are being published • Communities – many local KM communities have become inactive • Conferences – no more Working Knowledge Research Center (which Tom Davenport used to co-lead with Larry Prusak), Braintrust, Enterprise 2.0, and some other similar events • Periodicals – no more Inside Knowledge or KM Review • Sites – fewer are alive or maintained
  4. 4. 2. KM programs and jobs continue to be eliminated or reduced as part of cost-cutting at major organizations • Some KM programs have been abolished • Some prominent KM thought leaders have been laid off • Very few Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) are left • KM still struggles to find a home in organizations, and is often moved around and added to groups which don't understand or appreciate it
  5. 5. 3. Technology and tools still dominate some KM programs • People and process elements are neglected • Vendor hype for tools continues to overstate the ease of implementation and the resultant benefits • KM is thought of as a KM system (tool), not as an ecosystem • KM efforts often fail to meet expectations
  6. 6. 4. Leaders are not on board • They have a short attention span for business fads suggested by analysts and consultants • They don’t articulate a vision for how they want KM to work • They don’t lead by example
  7. 7. 5. There is insufficient revenue to sustain a substantial KM practice in most large consulting firms • KM practices don’t exist or are very small • They are focused on one area, such as technology or HR • KM consulting is mostly left to one-person or small boutique firms
  8. 8. Positive Indicators 1. KM communities continue to thrive 2. Many new LinkedIn posts about KM are being made 3. I regularly receive requests to present, publish, discuss, answer questions, and to be interviewed about KM 4. New entrants into the field of KM continue to appear in forums, conferences, and email requests sent to KM experts 5. KM jobs continue to be posted and filled 6. KM conferences continue to be held with good attendance 7. Universities are offering additional KM courses and KM degree programs 8. The increased use of social business tools such as enterprise social networks has improved knowledge sharing inside and across organizations 9. Communities of interest and practice continue to be created and used, including a wide variety of forms. 10.Organizations are still pursuing KM implementations
  9. 9. Observations 1. The fundamental requirements for KM don't go away, even as organizations eliminate some KM programs. The need to share, innovate, reuse, collaborate, and learn is timeless. 2. Many IT departments don't get the idea of KM or social business; they are trying to cut costs, consolidate, and survive. So a separate KM program is needed to champion collaboration, communities, and connections. 3. Communities are not a new concept, but they still have great potential for enabling conversations, group learning, and the asking and answering of questions. Sometimes, the old proven, but not cutting-edge, approaches work best. 4. KM is a relatively stable profession, but does not grow very much. 5. Most people have still not heard about KM.
  10. 10. Observations (continued) 6. Google replaces the need for some internal KM. 7. The term “knowledge management” is still around, unlike “Enterprise 2.0.” Other terms such as big data, cognitive computing, and analytics may also change or fade away in the future, but KM seems to have stubbornly survived. 8. Social business has great potential for KM, but it has to overcome problems • Many people are reluctant to use social tools, including most leaders • Enterprise social networks are viewed with skepticism: something else you have to do, a waste of time, and/or not serious • Internal blog and wiki usage never took off in most firms • Email is still the killer app for collaboration. In most organizations, 100% of the people use email, while fewer people use more modern technologies.
  11. 11. Recent Trends 1. Knowledge retention - the aging workforce will soon retire, and to take advantage of their knowledge and experience, we need creative approaches like keeping them connected to their former communities 2. Analytics - data mining, trends, statistics, and correlations used to make better business decisions 3. Cognitive Computing - supporting decisions and enabling action 4. ESNs (including Yammer and Workplace by Facebook) - connecting people, giving them a voice, and allowing them to express their individual personalities to increase trust 5. Slack and other chat tools - better interaction than using email 6. Gamification - motivating desired behaviors in fun ways 7. Aggregation - using tags, activity streams, and API calls to deliver relevant information feeds through multiple channels. 8. Customization - allowing individuals to interact with potentially overwhelming flows of information in an optimal way, filtering out the noise and delivering just what is most needed
  12. 12. Conclusion 1. Saying “KM is dead” is like saying “email is dead” 2. Some may be tired of it, and it may seem like yesterday's news 3. The need and the opportunity to respond to that need are persistent, even as the supporting technology evolves 4. Changing the name of KM is often suggested, but the term “knowledge management” has stuck for the past 20 years 5. It will probably be with us for the foreseeable future, and what we call it is not as important has how we do it
  13. 13. LinkedIn Post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/knowledge- management-life-support-most-organizations-stan-garfield
  14. 14. For additional information • Join the SIKM Leaders CoP http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sikmleaders/ • Twitter @stangarfield • Site http://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/ • Implementing a Successful KM Program https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/implementing- successful-km-program-100th-post-20-years-stan-garfield Implementing a Successful KM Program (author) Successful Knowledge Leadership: Principles and Practice (chapter author) The Modern Knowledge Leader: A Results-Oriented Approach Gaining Buy-in for KM (chapter author) Managing the ROI of Knowledge Management (chapter author) The Case against ROI

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