Introduction to Knowledge Management

An email I wrote for the Service Desk team to introduce Knowledge Management as a concept and specific Knowledge Management principles.

As we move forward with implementing IT Service Management and the new tool, ServiceNow, one of the most important services that the Service Desk will be owning is Knowledge Management. Cindy has asked me to head up this effort and help develop processes and procedures and workflows and expectations around Knowledge Management at the Service Desk.

What is Knowledge Management?

We’ll start with what Knowledge Management is not. Knowledge Management is not busywork, and it is not extra work you will have to do in addition to all of your other duties — Knowledge Management, when done properly, will make it easier for you to do your job.

Knowledge Management is a set of principles and processes around making sure we have proper documentation and instructions for everything we do as part of our job at the Service Desk. A Knowledge Base, like our current OneNote, is a good start, but Knowledge Management also encompasses accurate ticket creation and documentation, good customer service skills like following up with customers to confirm resolution of their issues, and noticing trends in tickets to identify and solve problems.

The first thing we want each of you to understand is that Knowledge Management is as much a part of your job as taking calls or working tickets in your queue. You will gain some knowledge on every customer interaction that should be captured and saved and shared with the team, even if it is nothing more than, “This issue is still happening”, or “This issue also happens to users in the 705 building”, or “This issue also happens to users with Windows 10.”

“Search Early, Search Often” is a slogan of Knowledge Management. We want you to search the Knowledge Base early in every customer interaction, and search it often throughout that customer interaction, as you gain more knowledge and understanding of the issue they are describing. You should be looking at our OneNote as the first thing on every call and every ticket you work. If you find an article that covers what you need to solve the issue, great! Take a close look at it, and see if you can improve it. Adding keywords, additional information, or just breaking up large chunks of text into easier to read steps will help make the Knowledge Base more usable for you and for the whole team.

You are the front line of IT. You are working with customers all day and have multiple opportunities to gain new knowledge and to improve the knowledge we already have. Knowledge Management is not my job alone, nor is it Joe’s job or Cindy’s job. Knowledge Management is as much a part of your job as taking calls or working tickets in your queue! When we all work together to add to and improve our collective knowledge we will have the documentation and instructions we need to provide the highest customer service and resolve issues at first touch. But it takes all of us working together, adding what we know to the Knowledge Base.

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