Apr 04

Knowledge Audits in Practice - Report on Global Survey

Let me thank the 150 respondents from all over who generously responded to my survey on knowledge audit perceptions and experiences. Some very useful insights from the responses, which I summarise below. The detailed report can be found in the attached pdf. Many of you expressed willingness to be contacted – I will be working on the interview plan over the coming weeks.Thanks again for all your help!

Main Insights:
1. There is a wide array of understandings of what a knowledge audit is (both in the research literature and in practice).

2. People experienced in knowledge audits focus less on audits for compliance, quality or benchmarking – more general perceptions of knowledge audits amplify the importance of those types.

3. Knowledge audits are composite activities, combining several audit types, most usually an Inventory of knowledge stocks and flows, combined with an internal or external review of KM practices.

4. People experienced in knowledge audits tend to narrow the range of audit types used in combination, compared with general perceptions.

5. If an Inventory Audit is not conducted, the most common types used are internal or external reviews of KM practices, and audits of the quality of KM.

6. Knowledge audits most commonly focus on knowledge stocks and flows, KM processes, strategic knowledge needs and KM capabilities.

7. Knowledge audits are most commonly used to understand organisational knowledge needs, as input to a KM strategy, and to improve operational-level KM.

8. Knowledge audits use a very wide array of methods, with interviews, workshops and surveys being most favoured. The most effective methods are considered to be interviews for their depth and richness, and workshops for building knowledge maps and building consensus.

9. The biggest challenges in conducting knowledge audits relate to getting reliable, comprehensive and accurate data covering non-obvious knowledge sources as well as the obvious ones. This is partially connected to how the audit is scoped, the engagement methods deployed, and how communications are managed, particularly in getting consistent understandings of the goals. The second major cluster of challenges relates to the time required for an audit, getting management buy-in, and getting participation from the right people.

10. The most cited benefit from a knowledge audit is its ability to build consensus and provide underpinning evidence for KM planning, and for a KM strategy and roadmap. A second major benefit (particularly relating to Inventory Audits) is its value in locating important knowledge and ensuring effective knowledge access and use.

Download the detailed report here

If you are in Europe in May, don’t forget to check out the Social Now Conference in Lisbon, May 10-12 – it will be packed with KM thinkers and practitioners, with some excellent masterclasses and a very practical, case-based approach. I’ll be leading a Masterclass on Knowledge Audits at that event.

For more resources on knowledge audits, click here

Mar 14

Survey on Knowledge Audits

I’m currently working on a book about knowledge audits and knowledge mapping. I’d like to get a better sense of the variety of understandings of knowledge audits that exists out in the professional community. Here’s a short survey that should take between 10 and 20 minutes of your time – do take it, and recommend it to others. Responses are anonymous, but if you leave your email address, I will share the survey results when completed. Thank you! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XKNL276

Jan 04

Catalogue of Journals Relating to Game-based Learning

Our friend and colleague Michael J. Sutton has published an annotated catalogue of journals that publish in game-based learning, simulations, gamification,virtual reality and immersive learning. He provides a brief description of the journal and its topical coverage as well as useful links. This field is so multidisciplinary, this is a very useful resource to have. Check it out here.

Jan 04

Cross-Post: Behind the Curtain: Understanding the Search and Discovery Technology Stack

(Also posted in How-To-Guides)

“Automagicality” has been one of the banes of knowledge management, and specifically within that, understanding the technologies that go into an effective search and discovery experience, and how different technologies can be combined. Here’s an extended piece describing the elements of the search and discovery stack, and how they work individually and in concert, encompassing search, taxonomy management and text analytics for machine aided classification of content.

I want to acknowledge Dave Clarke, Ahren Lehnert, Agnes Molnar, Maish Nichani and Tom Reamy for their insights and advice – though I take full responsibility for the views expressed here. Enjoy!

Download article

Dec 09

Straits Knowledge Newsletter December 2016

Our end of year newsletter with updates of what we are up to, and upcoming events in 2017 is now out!


Nov 28

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

General Stanley McChrystal of the US Army on why sometimes it’s more powerful to share knowledge than to keep it secret.

Nov 28

Presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016

Here are the slides for a bunch of presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016:

Dave Clarke and Maish Nichani (keynote): Searching outside the box
Dave Clarke and Gene Loh: Linked Data: the world is your database

Patrick Lambe (workshop): Taxonomies and facet analysis for beginners
Patrick Lambe (workshop): Knowledge mapping: identifying and mitigating knowledge risks

Nov 04

Gathering evidence for a taxonomy: Keynote at Taxonomy Bootcamp London October 2016

Here are the slides for my keynote on the second day of the inaugural Taxonomy Bootcamp London – the topic was on gathering evidence for a taxonomy, and the use of either knowledge mapping or content modelling in the design process for the taxonomy. The conference itself was great, with folks from the US and Europe as well as the UK – here’s a blog post from Heather Hedden on the conference as a whole.TBC_London_2016_Gathering_evidence_for_a_taxonomy_v2.pdf

Nov 01

KM Practitioner Interview Series: Arief Amron


Arief Amron joined the Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia as Head of Knowledge Management in February 2014. Prior to that, he was with Maybank for 2 years and with Bank Negara for 14 years (of which 5 were in a KM role).


Aug 11

Videos on KM in Law Firms

Our friends at eClerx Services in India have been busy building their short KM videos library, this time focusing on KM in law firms, in a series of short Q&A clips with Ginevra Saylor, head of KM at Denton’s. Topics are listed below – check out the channel here!

· Improving Knowledge Management Adoption in a Law Firm
· Making Knowledge Management Client Facing
· Knowledge Management Focused on the Business of Law Than Practice
· Benefits of Knowledge Management for Small Law Firms
· Benefits of Knowledge Management for Large Law Firms
· The Right Department for KM in a Law Firm
· New Knowledge Management Practices for Law Firms
· Use of Social Media in Law Firms and Its Benefits
· Impact of Culture on Knowledge Management in a Law Firm
· Differences and Similarities in Approach to KM
· Knowledge Management Needs of Lawyers
· Leveraging Tacit Knowledge in Law Firms

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