Some common myths about a knowledge management practice is the idea that; a good knowledge base will allow an organization to deliver support using lower skilled lower cost resources. In KCS this is not the case, we can see from the Solve Loop practices of Capture, Structure, Reuse and Improve that we need people who consistently exercise good judgment. If in the process of solving a customer’s issue we find a KCS article that we feel resolves the issue, then we should review the KCS article to ensure that it is relevant and technically accurate. We must exercise judgment, and we are responsible for the advice that we give to customers. If we are uncertain about the situation, we need to get a second opinion just as we would before KCS. The knowledge base does not reduce the need for good judgment in fact the need for good judgment increases.
Evolving The Knowledge Management Processes with Evolve Loop Practices
Now let’s reflect again on the Evolve loop in detail. So recapping, there are 4 evolve loop practices:
- Content health
- Process integration
- Performance assessment, and
- Leadership and communication
Now that we’ve bought to the forefront of our memory, let’s break them down into more detail.
The Content Health Practice
Each organization has a broad spectrum of content that contains valuable, reusable information. Historically technical content like manuals and design documents have been very structured, often following rigid templates and are static in nature – normally this information is often only altered during product service updates. However as collaboration has become more real-time, valuable information is being shared in dynamic forms like; instant messaging, email and telephone conversations.
The Content Continuum – the Scope of KCS
The diagram below called the ‘Content Continuum’ displays both ends of the spectrum for the types of content traditionally found in an organization
The Content Continuum outlines the scope of content that KCS can contribute to, and influence. KCS articles (which are just-in-time support content), are typically somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. KCS provides a methodology and a set of practices for consistently capturing information in a way that is both structured enough to be useful, and dynamic enough to suit the rapidly changing environment of technical support.
In addition to drawing from many content sources and creating a context-sensitive knowledge base for daily use, KCS processes generate new material that may reference existing content and feed into other business content like product designs, marketing plans, field training and other documentation.
We will continue our next blogs by introducing a discussion on content health with some general considerations and then describe the practices and techniques.
Content as shown in KCS Version 5.3 Knowledge-Centered Support Practices Guide (2012) S2 [26.4], S3 [1.1-3, 2.1-2]. KCS v5.3 was written and edited by Melissa George, David Kay, Greg Oxton, Rick Joslin, Jennifer MacIntosh, and Kelly Murray.
The entire suite of KCS topics is available in one location for FREE via my KCS video book/training course. These are designed to guide interested people through the entire KCS concepts and practices, as well as provide evidence of understanding for those involved in a Knowledge Centered Support program of work or implementation. All you need to is register!