Knowledge centered support for the Service Desk

What is knowledge centered support?

Knowledge centered support (KCS) is a methodology for capturing, authoring and publishing information that is relevant to the support processes for an organization.  When corporate knowledge is structured and processed in a methodical manner it can have positive effects on the service desk, the helpdesk, and the staff and clients of the business.

Why use knowledge centered support?

The structured, verified corporate information that is produced by KCS is often used as a knowledge base that end-users, or clients can search and browse via on-line web portals and web self-service helpdesks.  When clients can find helpful information without calling the helpdesk, everyone wins.  By adopting a structured approach to maintaining corporate information and keeping on-line content up to date, the efficiency of the service channels and internal information distribution is enhanced.


Classify knowledge articles

KCS knowledge article classification

Each knowledge articles needs to be appropriately classified so that it becomes searchable, usable and readable.

Classification is based around several key concepts.  Issues, resolution, platform/technology, metadata.  Knowledge authors can use these fields to provide information about each article.  The issue classification that is used to classify incidents and problems is also used in the knowledge base article - making a great overlapping classification code between your helpdesk system, and your knowledge base system.





Use automation to create knowledge article IDs

KCS knowledge article naming convention

Establish a naming convention for your knowledge articles.  Where the software allows for it, configure your knowledge article IDs to be automatically generated based on the style, content or classification of the article.  Don't leave article ID generation up to guess work.  When articles IDs are clear and follow a well-defined naming convention, they become easier to search, manage and report on.  






Link knowledge to other content

KCS knowledge article link to external content attachments

Once a knowledge article has been created, improve the value of its content by linking it to other sources of information and knowledge content.

Link knowledge articles to

  • External documents, graphics, video, sound etc
  • Other knowledge articles
  • Websites, URLs,
  • Existing incidents, problems
  • Assets / configuration items
  • Customers and Clients



Publish knowledge articles to web self-service portals

kcs publish to web

Link articles to web self-service portals for your clients and customers.  Once an article has been written and approved, allow your clients and customers using your web portal to search for, and browse your content.

Link knowledge articles to ticket creation process, so that clients can read and solve their issues before even logging a new ticket. 

Web-enabling an article is as simple as clicking a check-box.





Link knowledge articles to incidents

KCS link knowledge article to incident ITIL

If a knowledge articles is relevant to an incident, or problem that has already been logged in your system, link to it.  This will add weight to the relevance of the knowledge article, as well as improve search-ability and preserve it historical usage and relevance.

Where possible, endevour to link multiple articles to other content when appropriate.  Furthermore, classify the nature of the relationship, or link.

For example.  Several knowledge base articles may be linked to the same incident.  The relationship metadata for the link may include:

  • Resolving article
  • Referring article
  • Further information article

When the relationship of the link is captured, it gives further meaning to both the article and the entity that is being linked to.  This improves search-ability, reporting and statistics. 


Capture search history and relevance

KCS search criteria

Whenever someone searches for a knowledge article, the words they use to search play an important part in building feedback and increasing the effectiveness for future searches. In order to create and author articles using terms "in their own words", you first need to know what these are. 

Capture all search criteria and then cross-link this to the knowledge base articles that are presented to the user. 

Survey the user to ask them whether what was presented was helpful or not.  






Link multiple articles and classify the relationship

KCS search terms relevance

Search terms should be captured to understand how client are phrasing their search queries.  Knowledge articles that are returned in the search results can be ranked according to how effectively they match the users expectations for their search.  System administrators can gain a keen insight into the searching behaviours and mindset of clients looking for information

Articles can evolve over time to be better suited for particular search terms and relevancy. 

Knowledge search meta-data is a vital aspect of providing just the right content, at the right time.






Get the stats

KCS knowledge article statistics and feedback

Effective knowledge centered support relies on a solid statistical foundation.  Get the statistics on knowledge base usages, feedback, ratings, historical relevance and search-ability.  Track the performance of individual knowledge base articles, or look at an overall-aggregated view of your entire knowledge stack.  Regular examination of knowledge base usage and statistics will help you to keep the evolution of your corporate knowledge alive and well.






Knowledge article ratings and feedback

KCS knowledge article rating feedback and comment

Feedback is an important part of the double-loop process.  Knowledge content and article will continue to evolve over time based on the feedback and comments that come from both staff and clients.  Allow everyone to provide feedback on knowledge article.  Keep the feedback short, simple and relevant.  Regularly monitor this feedback and build automation around this to ensure that each and every knowledge base article continues to improve with each iteration.






Knowledge article feedback and comments

KCS knowledge article feedback and comment

Capture both ratings, as well as user feedback.  Use this feedback to improve and refine articles for reuse.   Feedback should be gathered about the date, the user (or anonymous), the rating, as well as any free-text comment the reviewer may have.  All of these different aspects of feedback will improve article iteration.