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Understanding Knowledge-Centered Service and its ITSM Benefits

Although there are a variety of different IT Service Management (ITSM) processes, Knowledge-Centered Service ® (KCS) should definitely be one your organization takes advantage of. Companies often don’t realize how beneficial this framework can be until they implement it into their own operations. In simple terms, KCS is a service method that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of your organization. But, as you might have expected- there’s a lot more that goes into it. KCS is especially beneficial to organizations looking to improve their ITSM maturity.

What Exactly is KCS?

We all know that knowledge is power. So why wouldn’t organizations make the knowledge they have as accessible as possible in order to help all employees and customers? Knowledge-Centered Service is an easy way for companies to improve service delivery and increase satisfaction by focusing on the knowledge they have. Here, the creation and maintenance of knowledge is fully integrated into the most important support operations. By using KCS, IT service delivery is improved through the implementation of knowledge, and you are able to extend your support capabilities without needing additional staff or budget resources. It is a great way to maximize your resources, especially when they’re limited.

Key Functionalities

KCS provides a number of benefits to both the provider of the service and the receiver. It is convenient for the receiver of information because helpful information is more easily available, but it also helps the provider because they no longer need to spend time fixing small issues that someone can resolve on their own.

When an organization adopts KCS, there is a focus centered around curating knowledge- whether that’s creating new content or collecting content that already exists. As this information is put together and articles can be created in a knowledge base that’s used for self-service. Technicians or end-users are able to generate articles and support documentation that will be reviewed and ultimately approved. This means that anyone who has trouble can go to the knowledge base to find an accurate, up-to-date resolution and avoid contacting support, limiting the number of tickets that are submitted.

Obviously, each knowledge base will be comprised of different information depending on your organization. However, as an example, let’s look at higher education. Within this industry, the usage of KCS can allow students to find answers to their IT-related questions, as well as answers to questions regarding academics, financial aid, housing, etc. Should a student have a question regarding something that isn’t in the knowledge base, a new article can be created. However, it is very likely that the answer they are searching for already exists if the institution is using KCS principles.

ITSM Benefits of Using KCS

When it comes to KCS, there is an abundance of benefits. To start with the obvious, it saves time. Instead of using personnel to complete common requests like resetting passwords or reserving a conference room, the IT help desk is able to focus on larger, more complex issues. This reduces strain on IT employees and motivates them to contribute more valuable work by giving them the ability to offer additional and better services. As for the customers, they are served in a more time-efficient manner, are provided with answers right when they need them through self-service. This, in turn, results in customers that are more satisfied. Additional benefits include:

  • Lower inbound call volume.
  • The ability to keep your content accurate and up to date by crowdsourcing knowledge.
  • Tools to address increasing demands.
  • A solution for organizations that are facing tighter budgets and thus cannot fill as many positions.
  • Opportunities for professional development.

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.

The schools began looking for a new ITSM solution after realizing how much information was spread out among different locations. Paula Cottrell, Knowledge Manager for the University, explains their previous situation, saying “We had a Wiki page. We had information siloed within team-specific SharePoints. We had old ticket notes, and we had employees with their own knowledge saved on their computers.”

This unorganized system decreased productivity and efficiency and lead to teams wasting time searching for different information and answers. After implementing the KCS methodology with TeamDynamix ITSM and building out their knowledge base, they saw an 18-percent reduction in time logged to service tickets. Fast forward to just one month after adopting KCS, the University had more than 2,000 people taking advantage of the knowledge base and 31,000 page views. Six months later, there were 31,000 users and 262,000 page views, with 5,000 knowledge articles being included in the base.

©KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.