ABCs of KMIn the newsKM standards

ISO 30401 visibility and applicability poll report

This article is part of a series of articles on the new international knowledge management (KM) standard, ISO 30401 Knowledge management systems – Requirements.

A poll in regard to ISO 30401:2018 Knowledge management systems – Requirements was conducted for two weeks straight on my LinkedIn profile, garnering 191 votes with 6300+ views. The poll revealed that 50% of respondents have never heard about ISO 30401 (Figure 1).

ISO 30401 Visibility And Applicability Poll Report Figure 1
Figure 1. Screenshot of the LinkedIn poll post.

Detailed poll outcome

  • 17 % of respondents voted that they have heard about ISO 30401, however, they don’t think that it is required
  • More than 27 % of respondents have heard about ISO 30401 and are considering it for the future
  • 6% of the respondents are already implementing the requirements
  • Apart from this, there were around 51 respondents who think that the standard is a complete waste of time.

Another important aspect was that out of the 191 votes,

  • 64 % of the respondents were knowledge management (KM) professionals
  • Business leaders and business managers constituted the remaining 36% of respondents.

Further, the responses of the business community, including executive level to managers, can be segmented as:

  • 63% have not heard about ISO 30401 at all
  • 17% are considering it for the future
  • 19% consider it not to be useful
  • 2% are already implementing it.

The responses of KM professionals can be segmented as:

  • 27% have not heard about ISO 30401
  • 14% think ISO 30401 is not required
  • 14% are already implementing ISO 30401
  • 45% are considering it for future implementation.

Graphic representation of responses

Overall responses

ISO 30401 Visibility And Applicability Poll Report Figure 2
Figure 2. Segmentation of total votes.
ISO 30401 Visibility And Applicability Poll Report Figure 3
Figure 3. Voting audience split.

Responses of different audience sectors

ISO 30401 Visibility And Applicability Poll Report Figure 4
Figure 4. KM professionals voting inclination.
ISO 30401 Visibility And Applicability Poll Report Figure 5
Figure 5. Business executives voting inclination.

Conclusions and next steps

The poll served the intent well, with a range of useful data collected. This report provides an insight into what kind of further steps can be taken to bring about the necessary awareness concerning ISO 30401:2018 Knowledge management systems – Requirements.

Following analysis, three key messages can be derived from this poll with clarity:

  1. A large proportion of global executives and business leaders still remain unaware of ISO 30401.
  1. The KM professional community is casually aware of ISO 30401, but does not fully appreciate its gravity. They are yet to embrace ISO 30401 in totality.
  1. Within the community of KM professionals, two distinct school of thought have emerged – one that supports KM standard and the other that stands completely against it.

From inference, the following next steps are proposed:

  1. KM professionals: The KM community should be encouraged to debate and deliberate on the value enabled by ISO 30401, and to thoroughly detail an industry-specific value proposition encompassing the knowledge pool which can help industry bodies to incorporate ISO 30401 and see its value.
  1. Different schools of thought (contraries): Both schools of thought can co-exist and function in a complementary manner to help evolve the KM field into a robust and a rapid employment generation industry by adding much-needed value to pandemic effected industries.
  1. Global audience: Awareness about the ISO 30401 needs to be spawned through directing energy and resources across all industry sectors, business leaders, government bodies, institutes, executives, and other professionals, etc. so that more and more organizations can begin structuring KM functions to enhance value in their organization.
3/5 - (2 votes)

Santhosh Shekar

Mr. Santhosh Shekar is an accredited ISO 30401 knowledge management (KM) auditor and certifier, with over 20+ years of diverse experience in developing KM strategies & solutions, framework & models, and systems & structures along with KM products for organizations. He has worked with a wide spectrum of industry segments implementing knowledge management programs using various technologies and practices. He has also created a niche in leading KM standardization right from scratch to achieving multiple KM Programs executed in multiple companies. Furthermore, he has worked extensively on ISO 9001 organisational knowledge, AutoSPICE KM, and MIKE requirements in organizations. He has also served as an ISO 20000 internal auditor. Mr. Shekar is ITIL Foundation Certified; Certified Knowledge Manager from KM Institute, US; Member and Fellow of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, UK. Donning many hats, he is also a soon-to-be-published author. He is currently working on his first book which will be a practical implementation guide on the ISO KMS 30401 standard. Mr. Santhosh Shekar is available on select online mediums. You can connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn to know more about his work and activities related to KM.

Related Articles


  1. it is interesting to see that the percentage of knowledge managers not heard of 30401 and those that consider it not a requirement is quite on the high side. At every gathering, I’ve been to or webinar I’ve attended, everyone discusses ‘methodologies’ and ‘approaches’ and yet shy away from a globally agreed set of principles and requirements.

    At the end of the day, I guess KM is good for talking about, not ‘doing’ by those preaching it. So, in reality, do we love reinventing the wheel, do we really follow best practices, or do we believe, if we’ve not made it or if we’re not the inventors, then it’s not a practice to follow?

  2. I have been getting following questions very often:

    1. Where do I purchase the KMS standard ?
    Please visit the following URL – ISO website and purchase it online

    2. Who are these 51 respondents ? Are they part of 191 votes ?
    They have been captured as part of inputs from my “LinkedIn Poll Comments Section”; who have not voted to any of the options provided, but have “liked” the statement “the standard is a complete waste of time”. I have included them to provide full spectrum of diverse views from the available data points and they are not part of 191 votes.

Back to top button