KCS is a demand-driven system; this means we should not add content in the absence of demand. Just as we should not try and anticipate the future value of a support experience (remember if it is worth solving, it’s worth saving) we should not load articles into the knowledge base in anticipation of demand. There are a few exceptions to this rule where Priming The Knowledge Base or having an article about a known pervasive issue would have value ahead of time or demand. The general rule of “don’t add articles until someone asks” can raises a problem when introducing new products. So how do we prime the knowledge base for them?
Perhaps the worst thing we can do is have development or engineering write articles about the new product – those will be in the context of how the product was designed and built, not how customers will use it and not how it will break. We can, in fact, capture information about new products in a useful context. while the product is going through alpha and beta testing processes or user acceptance testing we should capture those experiences in the context of solving real problems.
During product beta cycles, we pay special attention to creating content in response to the demand of beta testers, whether or not their feedback results in a normal entry in the incident management system. This is where Priming The Knowledge Base can be helpful. Generally this early release content should be in a Draft or Approved state (not visible to customers) until they have been reused to solve a customer issue, and, as a result, updated with the customer context and then Published for customer use.
KCS articles can also be pre-populated in the new knowledge base during the KCS training and pilot phase. Students bring their top ten current issues to training and use these issues as examples during the training. We structure and enter the knowledge according to the KCS content standard. As these KCS articles are reused in the support process, then they should be modified to include the customer context.
Content as shown in KCS Version 5.3 Knowledge-Centered Support Practices Guide (2012) S3 [7.1-4]. KCS v5.3 was written and edited by Melissa George, David Kay, Greg Oxton, Rick Joslin, Jennifer MacIntosh, and Kelly Murray.
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