Let’s discuss the concept of Article Demand Driven Visibility and Migration. As we find and use KCS articles, we should improve them; remember that reuse is review. As “flag it or fix it” becomes part of the culture, we are taking responsibility for the content that we interact with. This dynamic ensures the content being used is constantly being reviewed and improved. As the KCS articles improve and are validated through use, they should become visible to a broader audience and eventually be published outside to customers and partners.
Early on in the KCS adoption process (Phases 2 and 3), organizations implement the concept of migrating content to be visible to customers through a variety of demand-driven techniques (as mentioned in previous articles). In a mature KCS environment, a high percentage of content publishing is happening in real-time or just-in-time. (See case studies on the website for examples of just-in-time publishing in action.)
The life cycle state of the KCS article, in combination with the license of the person who is searching, determines its visibility. All organizations have a small set of articles that should never be shared outside the company. These articles include things like bugs in security or issues that require deep or proprietary technical understanding. These articles are tagged with an attribute of “internal use only” that overrides the visibility implied by the KCS article state.
To manage article visibility, and thus appropriate levels of security for the knowledge, we recommend creating a Visibility Matrix. This reference document maps the audiences (internal, partners, customers) against the KCS article attributes that affect visibility (state, knowledge domain, special considerations) and defines access rights.
In the beginning of a KCS adoption, article reuse counts, or demand, help us identify the KCS articles that should be migrated closer to the customer by publishing them to a self-service mechanism. In Phases 3 and 4 of the KCS adoption, reuse counts have the added benefit of assuring a certain amount of review through reuse, increasing our confidence in the KCS articles’ technical accuracy and structure.
As the KCS practices mature in the organization, a just-in-time publishing model should be adopted, so that a high percentage of the Support Analysts are licensed to publish without review. This level of maturity takes time to develop and is most appropriate when the KCS workflow and content standard (discussed next) are well understood and have become second nature for the Support Analysts. Just-in-time publishing requires Support Analysts to make good judgments about technical accuracy. If they are confident in the article’s accuracy and licensed they should publish. If they are not confident in the articles accuracy they should request a technical review. Never the less, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that judgment is still required.
Content as shown in KCS Version 5.3 Knowledge-Centered Support Practices Guide (2012) S3 [12.1-6]. 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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Written By Paul Jay
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