Thursday, 4 December 2014

Fascinating figures on the usage and value of KM processes

I blogged yesterday about usage and value of Knowledge Management technologies

Here is a similar analysis, also drawn from our  2014 Global Survey of Knowledge management, of the usage and value of KM processes.

We asked the survey participants to rate these different KM processes by the value they have added to their KM program, including in the question the option to choose "we do not use this process" or "it's too early to tell".

The chart above shows these processes in order of usage from left to right, as a stacked area chart of responses, with the weighted value of the process overlain as a line (this line would be at 100% if all the participants that used this process claimed it had "high value" and at 0% they all claimed it had no value).

267 people answered this question on the survey. from a wide range of organisations around the globe.  95% of the people who responded had a KM role in their own organisation, and 75% were either leading the KM initiative or part of the KM team.

The processes are also listed below in order of the usage figures, and in order of the average value assigned by the 267 respondents.

Knowledge Management processes in order of usage 
(most common at the top)
Knowledge Management processes in order of the assigned value when used (those rated most valuable at the top)
1. Peer Assist
2. After action review
3. Knowledge roundtables
4. Crowdsourcing
5. Coaching and mentoring
6. Positive deviance
7. Project lessons capture (large scale)
8. Open space
9. Wikithon
10. Action learning
11. Knowledge cafe
12. Retention interviews
13. Appreciative enquiry
14. Storytelling
1. Knowledge roundtables
2. Peer Assist
3. After action review
4. Crowdsourcing
5. Coaching and mentoring
6. Positive deviance
7. Open space
8. Action learning
9. Project lessons capture (large scale)
10. Retention interviews
11. Wikithon
12. Knowledge cafe
13. Appreciative enquiry
14. Storytelling

What does this tell us?

We could take these results at face value, and say that the chart and the lists above represent the usage of the various KM processes and (independently) the value of the various processes.  The strong correlation between usage and value that we see in the chart and lists could represent a tendency for companies to preferentially use higher-value processes. They therefore get more use because they deliver more valuable. This is a perfectly valid interpretation.

An alternative argument would be to say that processes deliver more value the more they are used. Processes at the top of the list are mainstream processes, used frequently, and delivering high value. Processes at the bottom of the list are less mainstream, and deliver less value to the companies that use them because those companies make less use of these processes (remember that the Value figure is derived only from the companies that make use of the process). This is also a plausible interpretation - that the list describes a transition from mainstream to "occasional use".

However I think we can conclude that the processes at the top of the list - the old standards of Peer Assist, AAR, Knowledge Roundtables (aka Knowledge Exchange), Crowdsourcing (eg through the use of CoP forums) and Coaching and Mentoring - should form the basis of any KM process toolkit.

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