IT knowledge management is rapidly becoming more than just a best practice; it is becoming the norm. If you’re in the beginning stages of putting together your knowledge management strategy, or if it seems like you and your team are stuck at the information gathering stage and do not know how to move past it, then it may benefit you to learn from those companies that have fully taken the plunge and the mistakes they made along the way.
Implementing an IT knowledge management strategy isn’t necessarily intuitive for every company and every IT department, but it is quickly becoming among the expectations of your current and potential customers. In this post, we will present a few of the most common errors that IT teams make when putting a knowledge management strategy into practice, identifying why and how these errors are best avoided.
1 – Mistaking “The Way We’ve Always Done It” for Good Enough
Much like many other aspects of your ITSM efforts, it is essential to approach knowledge management from a user-centric perspective. Delivering the knowledge you’ve accumulated and made accessible in a way that engages users and anticipates their needs is no longer a dream. Utilizing AI to drive the user’s experience of working with your knowledge base is the ideal.
True engagement goes beyond simply building a massive pile of information and giving your customers the same old search tools, hoping those tools get your users to what they’re looking for. The investment you make in driving the utilization of the knowledge base can have a direct affect on the number and nature of calls to your service desk as well. Because of this, effort here can yield an instantaneous return on your investment.
2 – Mistaking Quantity for Quality
Another common mistake many companies make when engaging in IT knowledge management is trying to amass as big a pile of information as possible—again, trusting search engines and the user to make that pile of information usable. It is far better to have a limited amount of resources that are highly functional for the user, than to have all of the information in the world and have your users quit using it because they can’t find what they’re looking for.
3 – Setting It Up, Only to Forget About It
You are, no doubt, familiar with the “garbage in, garbage out” axiom. Well, the only thing that separates groceries from garbage is time. In other words, no matter how good the information you put into your base of knowledge, if you fail to maintain and update it, it will spoil over time, becoming unusable and not worth the time it took to create it in the first place.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting as much ROI from your investment in a knowledge base as you can. Sure, it’s there for your internal and external stakeholders to utilize, and that has real value. But will they use it? Not without encouragement.
Also, much of the real value in building and maintaining a knowledge base can come from the information you can glean by tracking and measuring what information is accessed, and how that information is then utilized.
IT Knowledge Management
A solid knowledge management strategy is becoming more and more of an essential part of doing business. The benefits of a knowledge management strategy are myriad and can also include ones that have not, as yet, been fully developed. The future may provide many more ways that you can reap a return on the investment you make in a solid IT knowledge management strategy today—especially if you can avoid the common mistakes that so many companies make.
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.
Read more articles by Nathan