Knowledge Management Survey

In April 2014, and again in April 2017, Knoco Ltd conducted a global survey of Knowledge management activity and trends. Participation was free and confidential, and all participants received a free Knowledge Management Survey report. Over 700 people have taken part in the surveys; mostly individuals leading Knowledge Management activities or members of Knowledge Management teams.

A combined Knowledge Management Survey report is now available to interested parties.

The main outputs from the report are listed to the left, and the survey report contains 45 charts and 29 tables of data. Three of the charts are presented and discussed here

Knowledge Management Maturity

Knowledge management survey

Among the data collected through the survey was a subjective assessment of the maturity of knowledge management, described as "We are investigating KM but have not yet started", "We are in the early stages of introducing KM", "We are well in progress with KM", and "KM is embedded in the way we work". The picture to the right shows how this maturity level varies with company size. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

It is clear that the larger organisations are the most mature. Knowledge Management has historically been a big-company activity, but smaller companies are increasingly in the early stages of implementation, or in progress. The exception to this trend is the smallest category of company, many of which are niche consultancies for whom Knowledge Management is business critical.

Knowledge Management Value

Knowledge management survey

Among the data collected through the survey was a subjective assessment of the value delivered to date through knowledge management, in US dollars, with respondents choosing the most representative value figure from a list. This was an optional datapoint, and a total of 64 respondents quoted a value number. The table to the right shows how the average delivered value varies with the length of time the organisation has been involved in Knowledge Management. Click on the table to see a larger version.

It is obvious that the longer an organisation is involved in KM, the more value is delvered. This is not however a linear relationship,partly because the companies with a longer history are also the larger companies. However it seems clear that the delivery of significant value from Knowledge Management will take at least 2 years.

Community of Practice size versus effectiveness

Knowledge management survey

Participants were asked whether Communities of Practice (CoPs) formed part of their KM approach. Organisations who answered Yes (and therefore who incorporate CoPs in their KM program), and who quoted a value delivery figure, delivered on average $145 million in value from Knowledge Management. Those who answered No delivered on average $9.4 million. 133 people continued to answer supplementary questions about their CoPs.

One of these questions covered the average size of CoPs, and another was a subjective assessment (marks out of 5) of Community effectiveness in delivering value.

From the plot shown here, there is a very close link between CoP size and perceived CoP effectiveness. Larger is better, and the largest CoPs were ranked as the most effective. However the survey showed that the majority of CoPs are small - the model size being 10 people, the median 50 and the mean 200.

Would you like to order a copy of the survey report?

We are now making the survey available free of charge to anyone who wants it. All we ask in return is to know who you are, and what use you plan to make of the survey. We have put a vast amount of work into the report, we are really proud of it, and we are very interested in what people make of it and how they use it. So please fill in the order form below, and we will mail you a copy within a day or two. Your data submitted through this form will not be used for marketing purposes nor shared with any third parties, but will be securely retained to track interest in the survey and for potential follow-up on the value and application of the survey report.