Double KCS cycle. Just about knowledge management

    This article is a continuation of the previous article , in which there was an announcement about the approach to knowledge management in the company according to the KCS methodology. In short, a short definition was given, the results announced by the introduction of KCS were announced, as well as the main idea of ​​KCS - knowledge management through a double cycle. He will be discussed today. I’ll try to get the ideas as simple and short as possible, because I don’t really want to reprint the original practice guide, and there are as many as 184 pages. And all the important ones!


    I thought for a long time how to translate practices and techniques from English. As a result, he stopped at “Practices” and “Receptions”. So it seemed more harmonious.

    So what is a double loop?

    Before proceeding to the processes themselves, I would like to indicate what KCS is knowledge or in other words, what types of intellectual assets (knowledge assets in the original) can be distinguished. According to KCS there are 4 types of them:

    1. Knowledge Base Article. In fact, this is the experience gained during the work of the organization’s support service. Articles help solve problems.
    2. Profiles of employees. This information is about the experience of the employee, his skills, interests and reputation.
    3. Customer Information. For example, the business model of the client, the goals of the organization. The more complete the company profile, the better.
    4. Client software configuration.

    To date, KCS describes working with the first type. The following versions of the methodology will affect the remaining 3 types, but for now, it should be understood that everything described above applies primarily to articles.

    So, the double cycle includes a decision cycle and a development cycle. Not very clear, right? If each concept is disclosed, then the decision cycle is about what actions the employee should perform and what to solve the user's problem. And the development cycle is about how to maintain and develop KCS, so that it works only better, faster and better. I remind you that my interpretation is very free. I decided that this way of filing is better than a literal translation of the original, which you can always get to know by the way.

    Each of the two cycles includes 4 practices, and already each practice contains specific techniques. From 2 to 8. We will list the practices, but the techniques, of course, will not be analyzed.

    Decision cycle

    The solution cycle consists of 4 practices:

    1. Gathering knowledge during the workflow;
    2. Structuring knowledge;
    3. Reuse;
    4. Continuous improvement.

    In KCS, it is extremely important to document the problem immediately, it is better immediately at the time of a conversation with the user. So the problem will be described by the customer. Even if it is still unknown whether the problem will be solved, an article describing this problem should already be available to everyone. According to KCS, this approach helps identify so-called hidden knowledge.

    Structuring articles, their proper organization helps to navigate the article, improves the perception of the article. This is achieved primarily by using templates. Those. each article should be similar in structure, each type of article can be developed its own template. When everyone gets used to the format, searching for information will be much easier. In its simplest form, the structure of an article may consist of a description of the problem, a description of the environment, solution, and metadata. Bugs are also described -whole art . Why is the article worse?

    Reuse is the cornerstone of building a knowledge base. After all, no one needs an article that no one will ever refer to. However, the problem is that at the time of writing the article it is not clear whether it will be in demand. Therefore, one of the tricks that can help is to save searches. Everyone remembers the unspoken git rule "commit early, commit often . " Here the same thing, only about the search. "Search early, search often." The best practice is to search directly at the time of communication with the client.

    Continuous improvement is perhaps the most understandable item from the list. Articles should be constantly updated and supplemented. For example, if you notice an inaccuracy in some article, you need to at least note it, and as a maximum to fix it. This also includes working with duplicate articles. Articles, like code, need to be able to merge correctly.

    One important rule passes through all the practices of the decision cycle -
    collective ownership.
    The idea is simple: “If I use any article, I am responsible for its quality.”

    Development cycle

    The development cycle also consists of 4 practices:

    1. Relevance and quality of content;
    2. Process integration;
    3. Efficiency mark;
    4. Leadership and communication.

    KCS came up with a very cool term “content health”, including a whole range of characteristics that any article in the knowledge base should correspond to. For example, a glossary of terms should be introduced so that the same things are not called by different names. The knowledge base should not have duplicate articles. For articles, templates should be created, as well as examples of well-designed articles. This is one of the most important points at KCS. It includes 8 different tricks. In principle, if your company already has a knowledge base in any form, then after reading this chapter in the original, you can find a lot of interesting things for implementation.

    As for the integration of processes, this is the most problematic point. The basic idea is that your service desk system should be integrated with a knowledge management system. As an example, if an article in the knowledge base and a specific application in the service desk can be linked using the “resolved with” link, then we have a good tool for assessing the quality of the article. T, e. How many times this article has helped in solving a specific problem. Even better, if the knowledge base is integrated with your messenger. Remember how often you had to use the search in your corporate messenger to find the advice or recommendation of a colleague? And well, if it's a slack, not skype.

    In the last paragraph, we have already given one of the ways to evaluate the quality of articles. In fact, KCS even introduces a special AQI metric - the article quality index. Also, for KCS to work, you need to further evaluate the effectiveness of employees. Find them and encourage. This may be the introduction of gamification in your knowledge base management system, but it is better if it is some kind of material incentive. Also at this point, KCS developers strongly recommend using a balanced scorecard .

    Leadership and communication - this is all about management and work with staff. Employees need to be motivated in some way to use the knowledge base and contribute to it. Inside the company, teamwork should be promoted, and incentive and reward programs introduced. Great emphasis should be placed on internal communications. And yes, the vision of the company, its mission - it's all here.

    Instead of a total

    Having written just a paragraph about each of the recommended practices that KCS includes, it begins to seem that KCS is huge and immense. I think that it is so, but its advantage in my opinion is that you can take some parts of it and try to introduce them in your organization. Plus, KCS is a good example of “what else happens.” You can not step on the rake and quickly achieve better quality in the work.

    Practical examples

    In a previous article, they asked me where to read about the implementation of KCS. There are public examples in Russia. Here is Parallels experience -

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