Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Trends in KM maturity - preliminary results from free online survey

Last week we released the 2014 Knoco Survey of Global KM Status (please take part!), and today I want to look at some results from an earlier survey, which demonstrate just how valuable it can be to collect such data.

The graph shown here represents some first pass results from our free online survey of KM maturity, which is a much smaller and less comprehensive survey, but which has been running for about a year.

Although the datasets are still small, there are some interesting results emerging.

The survey rates KM maturity against 10 elements, giving marks from 1 to 5. The 10 elements are
  • Learning Before
  • Learning During
  • Learning After
  • Communities of practice (CoPs)
  • Ownership of Knowledge (k ownership)
  • KM roles
  • KM technologies
  • Behaviour and culture
  • Governance
  • Business alignment
Here's what we see so far.
  • On aggregate, taking all responses (grey bar) the highest score is for Technology. Technology is not an issue for the majority of the people replying to the survey.
  • The second highest is culture and behaviours. Culture, long considered to be the biggest barrier, is not the major problem any more, according to the survey responses.
So if organisations have the technology, and they have the culture, what's holding them back?

Here are the top three culprits in reverse order.
3. A lack of KM Roles. And as we know, where roles are absent, KM becomes "nobody's job" (or it becomes "everyone job but nobody's responsibility").
2. A lack of business alignment. And as we know, if KM is not aligned with the business, it's a waste of time.
1. Far and away the lowest score of all the ten factors, a lack of Governance. And as we know, where there is no governance, nobody sees the point of KM.
The 7 countries shown on the graph are the 7 for which we have the most results, and their overall KM Maturity scores are in the following order, from highest to lowest. 
  • Belgium
  • Sweden
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • USA
  • UK
  • S Africa
All 7 countries see the same dip on the graph related to KM governance and business alignment, and USA, S Africa, Canada and Australia see a similar dip on KM roles.

With a little more data, we might be able to speculate on why we see some of these effects. For example, might there be a link between the strength of Individuality within country culture and an aversion to roles and governance?

That may well be the case - see the data below comparing the survey results with the Hofstede country scores for Individuality (I don't have Hofstede scores for South Africa and Canada). An increase in the Hofstede Individuality score seems to correlate with a decrease in the scores for KM roles and KM governance.

There therefore seems (with all the caveats about small datasets) to be a correlation between an individualistic culture, and poor maturity of KM roles and KM governance.

Hosftede Individuality score
Survey score for KM governance
Survey score for KM roles

We will learn more as we get more data, so please share your knowledge through the 

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