Knowledge Management (KM) is a department that specializes in collecting, analyzing, storing, and sharing knowledge inside an organization.
It is a part of the service life cycle according to ITIL 3:
Knowledge Management is a part of the Service Transition stage – thanks to Knowledge Management, Service Transition can function efficiently. It’s an area where KM acts intensely by maintaining up-to-date information that guarantees the service works properly and enables taking care of the service’s quality and development. It’s also the critical element of the next stage of the service life cycle – Service Operation.
What’s this Knowledge Management for?
Imagine an airport in the middle of the night where systems responsible for basic functionalities – and ensuring the continuous operation of the service– are down all of a sudden. Also, let’s assume that the information necessary to resolve this issue is illegible, outdated, or unavailable. So probably, you would like to do the following:
- Restore the continuity of the service.
- Minimize the potential financial losses.
- Minimize the potential image losses.
To begin the process of solving issues, first, the issue needs to be identified. And here, Knowledge Management comes to the rescue – responsible for creating an environment where up-to-date and reliable information is within your reach, accessible in a quick and easy way.
Knowledge Management is also used to control basic procedures of knowledge base content. Thanks to it, we can be sure that our environment is adequately prepared to support a customer. In the case of the customer environment, we need to first get to know it first and understand it. Knowledge Management takes care of the successful cooperation and exchange of information with the appropriate teams that provide us with the necessary expertise.
It’s a person who manages knowledge in a project and is a communication bridge between teams, thanks to which they create a clear set of information for each user.
Knowledge Manager is accountable for the quality of stored information such as:
- Whether the content is understandable to the users
- Whether the received information is readable
- Whether more information is needed or maybe it’s outdated and should be updated or removed
- How to adapt customer’s materials to the reality of our environment so that the key information is maintained and how to ensure continuity of communication.
One of Knowledge Management’s key tasks is ensuring the smooth collection and distribution of the managed knowledge. Proper language and communication sensitivity are essential.
The continuous improvement of the service is the primary objective of all service life cycle elements. Knowledge Managers take care of an efficient communication flow and periodical reviews of the articles. This means that they update the base and ensure that all the existing knowledge is included in the documentation being developed. This generally refers to maintaining control over the base accuracy.
Watching over and consulting data enables creating the most up-to-date reflection of the reality in the base. This way, we ensure that the processes that are the basis of our teams’ operations are secured.
Keeping in touch
You can be sure that a Knowledge Manager will be a frequent guest on your appointment calendar. They spend their time gathering in one place all the answers to the questions arising in the team. How do they do that? The key word here is discipline! An experienced Knowledge Manager has a well-organized action plan divided into days, months, quarters, and years.
The foundation of a Knowledge Manager’s work is meetings during which they analyze arising requests. Weekly knowledge gap meetings help to identify new issues and finalize opened cases. Monthly meetings present the most interesting novelties in the knowledge base, and weekly calls with technical teams allow reassuring that everyone understands a given stage of the project and carries out tasks.
One thing leads to another
The main working tool of a Knowledge Manager and a result of searching for answers to the users’ questions is knowledge available in the form of articles. It is worth mentioning: this knowledge is acquired in a quick manner and easily accessible. Knowledge Management strives for information available to a user even if this user has no idea what they’re looking for. The keywords associated with an article or its layout are the basics for users.
Depending on the users’ needs, the working tool can be adapted to the knowledge base we want to build. A wide range of functionalities available in an environment where our base is stored facilitates the use of the collected information.
Both Salesforce and ServiceNow offer flexible and user-friendly environments. Starting from caring about details such as the keywords through the ability to easily search for articles up to grouping them into categories. These solutions assure the highest quality of space for a knowledge base.
Taking the first steps in building a base, it’s worth mentioning that there are easily accessible materials that present possibilities and ways of configuring Salesforce Knowledge. This information for sure will help organize work and understand used modules.
The mission of Knowledge Management is to answer everyday users’ questions and educate them on how to use their work tools.
It’s no different with ServiceNow – it also broadly shares information on the benefits of using such a solution.
There’s the possibility to divide our base into articles available internally and those available externally, that is, outside of an organization. Knowledge Management’s purpose is to reflect knowledge acquired up to this point and to educate end-users on the tool they use.
Knowledge Management always takes into account the recipient of information, starting with basic processes and ending with documentation of the highest priority. The key role here is a Knowledge Base Owner who takes care of stored information security as well as grants relevant permissions to particular users.
A Knowledge Manager who introduces changes to the environment where knowledge is stored is also responsible for informing all the right individuals about this. Promoting a knowledge base and educating users on how to benefit from it is a significant part of the Knowledge Management job. The knowledge that does not reach its recipient does not fulfill its goal. Looking after accessibility and visibility of what happens to our environment is extremely important for us.
That’s all when it comes to theory! If you’re interested in this subject, familiarize yourself with our previous articles on the subject: IT Service Management without secrets and The most important ITMS processes.
- Junior Service Manager
She has been working with Craftware for several months now, but she has been gaining experience in the IT industry for 5 years. Knowledge Management during the day, gym freak in the evenings, and a student of clinical psychology and personality at the weekend, Dogs>cats. Marvel>DC.