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Are you off base with your Knowledge Management System?

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything”, quoted ancient historian Xenophon. When it comes to your knowledge base, this couldn’t be more true.

By Alex Hocking, Senior ITSM Consultant, Marval Software

If you are the manager of a busy Service Desk, you definitely recognise the importance of having knowledge articles at hand when your team needs them, to provide a first-class service and ensure a high first time fix rate; and these should be easy to locate and retrieve. You also recognise the need of having articles that are accurate, so your team can respond to any requests effectively and with credibility. But you also know that, keeping your knowledge base up to date, can be very time-consuming; a real struggle for your overwhelmed team, who are trying to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

That’s probably the reason some Service Desk teams tend to use a Wiki as a substitute to their Knowledge Management System. Easy to set up, with a fast submission process and real-time updates, Wiki appears to be the perfect way out.

Appearances can be deceiving, of course. While real-time updates and a fast submission process may sound appealing, they can be dangerous, too. Uploading and sharing pieces of information without any checks or approval process in place can lead to inaccuracies that may, at some point, jeopardise the reliability of your service. Furthermore, any information you upload on Wiki is public and can be accessed by anyone. You may not have access levels for sensitive or private data.

While fast in submission, a Wiki won’t be as fast when it comes to retrieval of existing information. In fact, a Knowledge Management System is a far better (and faster) option, as it automatically associates your requests with the entries and suggests potential solutions. It also provides sophisticated search features, scanning not just the text content but attachments, as well.

A Knowledge Management System:

·       Dynamically searches the Knowledge Management system as you are logging a request

·       Allows percent matching to identify the most relevant knowledge

·       Associates and solves requests using the knowledge articles

·       Automatically sends the customer a notification

·       Leaves feedback on the knowledge article

·       Provides reports on the usage stats, to keep your knowledge relevant and continually improving.

But the most critical aspect, in my opinion, is compliance with your organization’s policies and regulations, especially data security. Normally, Wikis do not provide the right platform to develop a knowledge base that will be secure, reliable, accurate and compliant with your policies. As organizations move on and integrate new processes and procedures, their Knowledge Management System should be able to support and enhance these processes, adding value to IT Operations.

Yes, fast is important, but accuracy is crucial for your team’s reliability and effectiveness. A poor handing of a request could lead to poor customer experience and compromise your performance indicators. Now, you don’t want that, do you?

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