When it comes to maximizing limited resources while maintaining successful IT Service Management (ITSM) practices Knowledge-Centered Service can help.
Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) is a service method that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of your organization and helps to drive self-service through the use of a knowledge base and service portal. By using KCS, you can scale and extend your support capabilities without needing additional staff or budget resources. You can also deflect calls from your help desk and drive down ticket volumes using KCS principles.
Understanding Knowledge-Centered Service
KCS, established by the Consortium for Service Innovation, is often used as part of an ITSM strategy to push people to self-service their IT issues.
There are four KCS principles, the first being abundance. When an issue arises, it is either a known issue or a new issue. When someone presents a known issue, they are connected to the content that will help walk them through a solution. When someone presents a new issue, they are connected to a person who will help them solve the problem. This is why an abundance of knowledge is important — it leads to fewer issues that need to be handled by a person.
The second principle of KCS is being demand driven. When content is created for people to use in order to solve a problem, there should be a reason. Creating content for the sake of creating content is a waste of time because there is a chance that the knowledge article someone writes will never be referenced. Don’t write about what you think people want to know, write about what they actually want to know. This ties into another principle, which is creating value. Articles that are used continuously obviously hold more value than an article that is never looked at. Being intentional about the content you create is how you ensure that value is a focus.
The last principle is trust. With people relying on written information to solve their problems rather than a person, it is incredibly important that they trust what they are reading. If they don’t, they are going to disregard a knowledge base article and go straight to a person to get help. This would completely defeat the purpose of a knowledge base, so it is very important that an organization is responsible for the knowledge that it has in order to gain trust.
How to Use KCS with ITSM
To get started with KCS, you want to first make sure your ITSM software allows you to create a customized service portal with a searchable knowledge base. This knowledge base is where you’ll apply KCS to create and curate knowledge content that’s already being collected as part of your organizations’ current troubleshooting and problem-solving efforts.
Whether that content is collected in tickets, call logs or other interactions, it can easily be turned into articles hosted in the knowledge base and these articles can then be used by your end users for self-service – meaning anyone having trouble can search the knowledge base for a resolution without needing to contact support.
When you make the answers to your most asked questions or requests readily available this way, your help desk and IT resources are freed up to focus their time on other projects or complex issues that need their attention.
Here are a few other ways KCS positively impacts an organization:
- Helps to lower inbound call volume.
- Increases customer satisfaction.
- Provides customers with the answers they need when they need them.
- By crowdsourcing knowledge, you can keep your content accurate and up to date.
KCS in Action — How One Organization Is Using KCS to Improve Service Delivery
Since adopting KCS through TeamDynamix, the University of South Dakota has seen great success. Prior to using TeamDynamix, USD struggled with knowledge residing in silos across various departments as well as poor communication, leading to inefficiencies when delivering service.
Katharina Wymar, head of Project Management, said “We lacked that one platform, that one mindset that allowed us to share knowledge.” That’s when they turned to the solution of a knowledge base so that all of their information could be in a single, easily accessible location.
After building out their knowledge base and implementing KCS they quickly saw an 18% reduction in time logged to service tickets, and after six months there were 31,000 users, 262,000 page views, and 5,000 knowledge articles being included in the base.
“With COVID, our hits went up tremendously,” Paula Cottrell, knowledge manager, said. But with the university’s KCS methodology in place, they were able to respond fast. “It allowed us to get new knowledge articles published quickly for people working [and learning] from home,” she concluded.
Andrew Graf is the Chief Product Strategist for TeamDynamix. His passion lies in helping organizations thrive in an ever-changing environment. As a co-founder of TeamDynamix, Andrew is well versed in the common issues facing IT leaders– as the need for increased IT Maturity rises, he is able to help map out a way forward.