Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS®) can and should be part of your IT Service Management (ITSM) processes as a complementary strategy to self-service. However, launching a KCS style guide initiative can seem like an overwhelming endeavor. Here are five things you should focus on to help get your KCS initiatives off the ground.
1. Knowledge-Centered Service Base and ITSM Tool Integration
To fully adopt a KCS style guide, your teams must be able to easily and quickly use the knowledge base. Ideally, your knowledge base will be integrated with your ITSM tool so your organization can follow KCS style guide best practices alongside their service management processes. The easier it is for your team to follow the KCS style guide as a part of their everyday work, the more likely you are to succeed in driving self-service adoption.
2. Start Small
Pilot your style guide with a small group. You should look to start in an area where a KCS style guide will make the most impact. For example, starting at your Service Desk with a handful of Service Desk Analysts is a great way to get off the ground quickly. Those in the customer service roles will immediately understand the benefit of using the Knowledge-Centered Service style guide because they will be the first to quickly reap the rewards. Also, starting with a small, motivated group allows you to work out the kinks in things like your style guide and life cycle processes. Starting with a larger group often ends in chaos when trying to iron out the process wrinkles. This, in turn, can cause mass discouragement.
3. Don’t Try to Boil the Ocean
In addition to starting with a small team, you should also start slowly. Don’t dump all of your existing knowledge in and try to retrofit it into your new knowledge base. Start following KCS style guide practices with your small pilot team and truly create knowledge on an on-demand basis. During this time, you should be designing and redesigning your style guide and article templates; refining your life cycle process; identifying good knowledge coaches; celebrating wins; and analyzing any losses. A knowledge base is a living entity that will always be changing and adapting. Don’t ever think, “We are finally done creating our knowledge base.” The KCS style guide is there to help build this new foundational structure for the future, you don’t need to build it all at once.
4. Get Trained in Knowledge-Centered Service
There are a lot of free and paid resources out there to guide your organization as you learn the KCS style guide. Invest in training and certifying your core KCS style guide management team on KCS v.6. Your champions need to feel empowered and confident that they fully understand the process and can guide the rest of the organization. With an empowered group, the path that will be blazed for the rest of the organization will be clearer and better defined.
5. Stay Motivated with KCS
The work of building your knowledge base is never over, it’s an iterative process. You should always be looking at ways to improve, better capture knowledge, increase customer usage and find metrics to monitor your articles. Stay motivated by reaching out to peer institutions and sharing wins as well as losses. Get involved with your knowledge creators and discover what drives them to contribute. Celebrate your organizational success by promoting winning key metrics.
Keep up to date with the Consortium for Service Innovation as they update KCS best practices. By keeping these five pillars in mind, you will put your organization on a path to having a successful KCS style guide program that resolves issues faster, optimizes resources and promotes self-service as the primary method for customers when they begin looking for help. Laying a strong foundation is important in any structure, and a KCS style guide is no exception. TeamDynamix can offer some of the best resources when it comes to ITSM, PPM or ESM. For more on KCS style guide and knowledge base best practices, here are a few recommended resources:
- KCS 101: How the University of South Dakota Transformed Its IT Practices with Knowledge-Centered Service
- IT Service Management and Knowledge-Centered Service
- Capturing Tribal Knowledge for Improved IT Service Management
- Five Ways Michigan Tech Has Improved Self-Service and IT Satisfaction
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KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated with new information.