If someone asked you what the most important unit or sub-unit of your organization is, what would you answer? Some people might say “the marketing department” or “the sales team.” However, you should consider adding the IT service desk to that list.
The IT service desk ensures that technology issues are resolved so that the flow of business doesn’t stop. In order to bring value to a company, the service desk must adopt best practices in knowledge management, which include undergoing a cultural shift and adopting the Knowledge-Centered Support® (KCS) methodology.
Understanding What Knowledge Management Is
Unfortunately, the field of IT service desk knowledge management isn’t always well understood, and it most certainly isn’t always implemented properly.
The term “knowledge management” refers to the practice of gathering knowledge, documenting it, and then making it available for those who need it (essentially, anyone who works at the company who’s stumbled upon an IT issue). Knowledge management is a crucial tool for any service desk to master; it allows employees outside of the IT department to access advice and tips that could help them solve problems. And when they can find this information on their own, it saves the entire firm time and money.
Successful Knowledge Management Requires a Cultural Shift
There are some people who believe that the only requirement for successful service desk knowledge management is to write and then publish a bunch of articles. That isn’t enough, though.
That approach to knowledge management leads to a portfolio of articles or other content that probably won’t get updated and isn’t useful to anyone. In order for service desk knowledge management to be valuable as well as successful, there needs to be a cultural shift.
There needs to be employee buy-in to any service desk knowledge management initiatives. Moreover, managers need to recognize their contributions to creating and maintaining the knowledge management library. Knowledge management also must be embedded in business processes; it should be treated as something that’s part of an employee’s everyday responsibilities.
KCS Methodology: What It Is and Why It Matters
KCS was developed by the members of the Consortium for Service Innovation. It has undergone a number of revisions so that it keeps up-to-date with technology and remains as useful as possible to those who implement it.
This methodology is based on the principle that the knowledge of the many should be distributed to many people. KCS is driven by four other principles: sharing knowledge, creating value, driving demand for knowledge, and building trust.
“KCS is based on the principle that the knowledge of the many should be distributed to many people”
Why is KCS important when creating an IT service desk knowledge management tool? It provides guidance for companies who must undergo a cultural shift to make knowledge management successful as well as useful.
A knowledge management tool can save time and money, but only if it contains valuable, updated information. Implementing IT service desk best practices ensures that you achieve those goals. For more information on service desk best practices, download our white paper: The Starting Line of Service Management.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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