Thursday, 7 January 2016

Hot new trends for KM in 2016

(Spoiler - there aren't any)

It is traditional at this time of year to write a blog post about the hot new trends in Knowledge Management for the year ahead. We look forward at the exciting developments in the topic, and we speculate how the KM landscape will transform before our very eyes in the year to come.

Except that it won't.

I believe Knowledge Management is past the dip in the hype cycle (see picture to the right). 

I see it as being on the long slow upward "slope of enlightenment" towards being a mainstream discipline (see also here). All the major developments in KM have happened, all the major flavours of KM are established, and all the perennial arguments well-rehearsed and still unresolvable.  The core of KM is known as a combination of Connecting people in networks and communities, Learning from Experience, Better access to documented knowledge, Knowledge Retention, creation of "Best Practices", and Innovation. 

There will be no step-changes to this landscape in 2016.

Sure, there will be some technology innovations, but technology is only 25% of KM, there are many functions technology has to fill within a full KM framework, and improvements to some of these are welcome, but will not shake the KM world.

I also expect the death of KM to be announced several times this year, usually coinciding with the release of one of these technology innovations, but KM has survived more "deaths" than the Dalai Lama, and it's obituaries will continue to be premature.

What will happen in 2016 is a slow movement towards the development of standards. I predicted a year ago that this movement would start, and towards the middle of the year an ISO working group was established to develop a standard for a KM Management system.  This working group has a hard task ahead, and will not deliver overnight, but the movement has started and will continue through (and beyond) 2016.

There will be no earth-shattering changes to KM in 2016, but there will be the next steps towards consolidating and defining the field through progress towards standards. 

But maybe that's earth-shattering enough in itself.

1 comment:

Hendri Ma'ruf said...

It is enlightening to read your blog today. Your words that I like most are these: "I also expect the death of KM to be announced several times this year, usually coinciding with the release of one of these technology innovations, but KM has survived more 'deaths' than the Dalai Lama, and it's obituaries will continue to be premature." :)

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