Think about your IT department. On a daily basis there are countless meetings, conversations, issues resolved, and meaningful learning moments. IT knowledge management enables an IT department to document all the findings from these moments in one organized place. In doing so, IT employees will have a growing pool of knowledge available at their fingertips, allowing them to better resolve issues for end users and internal employees. Overall, the service desk can see a great boost in efficiency.
Knowledge Centered Support (KCS)
Rick Joslin is an IT knowledge management expert from HDI. He has lectured all around the world about KCS(sm). KCS follows a simple four-step process: capture knowledge, structure knowledge, reuse knowledge, and if possible, improve knowledge.
“KCS is a methodology. It’s a set of best practices for knowledge management, focusing on service management,” said Joslin. “It’s a framework that actually has come out of an organization known as the Consortium for Service Innovation. They’re a small non-profit organization that explores how to improve service management, and years ago HDI partnered up with them to bring this set of best practices out to the market.”
This partnership and introduction of KCS happened in 2003. Therefore, the value KCS can offer for your IT service management has been around for many years. However, service managers all around the world have long solely focused on ITIL – a set of best practices on IT management. As Joslin explains, “Unfortunately, ITIL doesn’t have a whole lot of information around knowledge; in fact, [knowledge management in ITIL] really wasn’t introduced until 2007.” In turning their full attention to ITIL, IT service departments may be losing out on the value of a knowledge base solution. The answer? ITIL and KCS. “Organizations that are doing ITIL really need to be doing KCS as well,” said Joslin.
To assist IT service managers in securing this synergy for their organization HDI worked with an organization called AXELOS, the current owners of ITIL, to put together a white paper on how KCS and ITIL are really synergistic. Once an IT department decides to adopt the practices of KCS, the next step is making sure employees are invested.
“A lot of people think ‘oh, we can go buy a knowledge management tool and we’re doing knowledge management’,” said Joslin. “It’s really about changing people’s behavior, so KCS really helps people understand the organizational change management requirements that have to be applied when implementing knowledge management best practices.”
KCS version 6
Looking towards the future, KCS version 6 was just released in mid-April 2016. There were many subtle changes such as terminology, content reorganization, and further developing the clarity for educational purposes. However, the main goal of v6 is to be adopted in environments outside of IT. In an effort to move in this direction, the meaning of the term KCS was changed from ‘Knowledge Centered Support’ to ‘Knowledge-Centered Service.’
“KCS version 6 really is about maturing the methodology to be used outside of just support,” said Joslin.