It is undeniable; the thirst for knowledge must be quenched. Every day people are looking for answers that they need. The question you have to ask yourself as a service provider is “are you in apposition to satisfy their needs?”
One of the fundamental challenges with knowledge management isn’t that we capture the information, it typically stems from the managing of the information itself.
First, why do we need to do this? There are many answers to this question and each organization may have many but fundamentally your community has an expectation that they are able to access data outside the organizational sphere at their convenience so they should be able to do it at work as well.
Secondly we need to know where we should keep this information. In many organizations the data is not located in one place. It is spread across various group shares, wiki’s, SharePoint sites and list goes on. One of the first steps is to decide on a home for that data. This one place will be where the data is stored and accessed. This also allows for us to manage access to the knowledge. After all, some of the information may require certain permissions.
Now that we have decided where, we need to determine what will be in scope for the knowledge repository. Having a scope for the information will allow you to identify the type of knowledge articles which you are going to capture and share with your community. Keep the scope simple to start with. You may decide that self-service “how-to” articles or videos addressing the top 10 calls into the service desk may be the first plan of attack. By doing this you aim to reduce the number of calls into the service desk by allowing people to help themselves out. The time that you save can be applied to curating more knowledge records which could save more time – like a domino effect.
Now we need to identify who. This can apply to a few things:
1. Who will be the target audience and who will be able to access the data? Remember that we need to communicate to this community of people that we have this information available as well as some way to “rate” the usefulness so that we can adjust the information accordingly.
2. Who will be able to post knowledge records? Will these be the result of incidents, problems and escalations? Or will you be in a position to have a more proactive approach. This control of content needs to be understood and agreed on.
3. Who will manage the content? In some cases we may allow multiple parties to upload information but we need to ensure that someone is reviewing prioritizing and in some cases editing the information shared with the community at large.
The trick will be to manage the times that people are able to access the data. As we have information available that the consumer will not need to escalate to the service desk we need a way to track the interaction against the reduction in service desk escalations. The idea is that where there once was a service request there will now be a click on a knowledge portal.
Some might suggest that if the service desk doesn’t need to be engaged will their usefulness disappear? I would suggest that they are content creators. So in essentially they are not dealing with the “small issues” that could be handled by people themselves, they are focusing their energy on assisting with more complex issues and delivering a personalized customer experience where one may be more desired.
Remember that this is not a matter of uploading some documents at regular intervals; this information needs to be nurtured from cradle to grave in its own lifecycle. Continue to communicate the knowledge repository and gather statistical information on its use so that you can build a strategy. Doing this will allow your teams to make lasting improvements which will ultimately improve your overall delivery of services.Follow me on Twitter @ryanrogilvie or connect with me on LinkedIn