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Optimizing IT Service Management with Knowledge Centered Service

How to Measure Your KCS Success and Level Up Your Knowledge Base

Implementing Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS®) as part of your IT Service Management (ITSM) process is a great way to build up your knowledge base and invest in a self-service strategy that saves your organization time, resources, and money. But how can you accurately measure the success of your KCS initiatives and prove your ROI? We have some common KPIs (key performance indicators) you can use, as well as some best practices for implementing KCS within your organization.

What is KCS and How Does it Help Level Up ITSM

Before we talk about how to measure KCS success, let’s talk about what it is.  Knowledge Center Services (KCS), formerly known as Knowledge Support Centered Services or Knowledge Center Support, is a service method that focuses on knowledge – the implementation of organizations. To fully adopt a KCS, your teams must be able to easily and quickly use the knowledge base you create. Ideally, this knowledge base is integrated with your ITSM tool so you can follow KCS style guide best practices alongside your service management processes. The easier it is for you and your team to follow the KCS style guide as a part of your everyday work, the more likely you are to succeed in driving self-service adoption.

“Early on, we saw an 18-percent reduction in time logged to service tickets,”

- Paula Cottrell, knowledge manager

KCS Best Practices from the University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota (USD) has been hard at work implementing KCS best practices within their Information Technology Services (ITS) division. By collecting all information in a single, easily accessible knowledge base, ITS staff says they’ve been able to avoid a lot of repetitive work and improve their problem-solving capabilities. In addition, it’s reduced the amount of time it takes to train new ITS employees and has eased the burden on staff as more and more people use self-service to solve their problems.

“Early on, we saw an 18-percent reduction in time logged to service tickets,” Paula Cottrell, knowledge manager, said. “What would you do if you had an additional day a week?” 

When USD had to shift to online instruction during the coronavirus pandemic, students and staff had many questions — and they could find answers to most of these at Coyote One Stop – the school’s branded knowledge base, created by leveraging Enterprise Service Management.

“With COVID, our hits went up tremendously,” Cottrell said. The university’s KCS methodology “allowed us to get new knowledge articles published quickly for people working [and learning] from home.”

Based on USD’s experience, Katharina Wymar, who heads the Project Management Office within ITS, and Cottrell shared these keys to successfully implementing KCS for your ITSM platform:

  • Look for executive sponsorship. “This project is going to take time to work through, and our CIO was our biggest supporter,” Wymar says.
  • Find the right solution for your organization and get trained.
  • Set your KCS processes and develop a communications plan to keep everyone engaged.
  • Celebrate success. Reward both the quality and usage of articles. “Make sure you’re recognizing the right behaviors,” Cottrell advises. Don’t turn it into just a numbers game. Encourage people to contribute their knowledge, and reward them for their article edit requests, article usage, and the quality of their articles. Recognize team members as they move up in responsibility.

KPIs For Measuring KCS Success

Once you have KCS in place you can use the following KPIs to track your organizations' success:

Case Resolution

  • Looking at both time to resolution and first contact resolution (FCR).

Optimizing Your Use of Resources

  • Ramp-up time for new resources and student technicians.
  • Employee retention.
  • Employee satisfaction.

Self-Service Adoption

  • IT Self-Service portal usage and traffic
  • Call volume to the IT Service Management team.

Organizational Learning / Knowledge Transfer

  • IT Ticket quantity and volume.
  • Call volume.
  • IT Self-service Portal usage.

To learn more about the positive impact KCS can have on an organization check out How You Can Transform Your IT Practices with Knowledge-Centered Service.