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Successful Knowledge Management | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #DX #CloudNative

A sound knowledge base eliminates the need to rediscover or reformulate knowledge

Simple Secrets of Successful Knowledge Management
By LeAnn Smiles, Product Analyst, ManageEngine

Knowledge that doesn't serve is knowledge wasted. And for knowledge gained from experience and research to be useful, IT enterprises need to organize, manage and offer it in the best way possible. Fortunately, the best way isn't a Herculean task when you employ simple tricks to build a profound knowledge base (KB). A sound knowledge base eliminates the need to rediscover or reformulate knowledge and improves the support process. With that in mind, consider these best practices to help build a successful knowledge base.

1. Collect information to build your KB.
The most important part of knowledge management is building knowledge itself. The first step is to identify prospective areas from which knowledge can be derived and extract information. Resolutions on common issues can be used as templates if they are added to the KB as knowledge items. Converting tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge is essential for a successful knowledge management system, but the conversion requires collaborative efforts with careful investigation and input from experienced technicians. Also, to achieve a comprehensive KB, encourage your IT technicians to move resolutions directly to the KB. A good IT help desk application will allow the creation of knowledge articles right from ticket resolution. This significantly reduces the percentage of repeat incidents and keeps the KB up to date.

2. Categorize to identify, retrieve and use knowledge.
Organizing and categorizing existing data can be challenging, especially when handling large KBs with wide scopes. However, it is important to group knowledge items and place them under relevant topics so that information is not lost in a pool of data. There are different ways in which you can organize knowledge, depending on what suits your organization best. Grouping can be based on document type, such as guidelines or bug fixes, or on the subject matter, such as hardware issues or software updates. Creating logical hierarchies is a method that will ease user navigation. The hierarchy should begin with broad topics and move on to categories and subcategories.

3. Implement a knowledge approval process.
Creating a well-structured piece of information that is relevant to the user is crucial. The quality of the content should be peer reviewed by subject matter experts for accuracy and relevance. Ultimately, information cannot be published as knowledge without a proper knowledge approval process. The content that is generated must go through peer review and be improved. Along those lines, you can configure an automated approval workflow that prevents a solution from being published without peer approval. Create a unique knowledge manager role with permissions to approve solutions. Configuring an automatic trigger for notifications to approvers on submission of a solution will make the approval process easier. Approval processes eliminate ambiguity, making knowledge items more accurate and minimizing any reopening of closed tickets. For instance, there may be multiple solutions to troubleshoot a printer issue (network issue, hardware issue, etc.). However, the approval committee should be able to decide on the appropriate solution.

4. Choose your audience for each solution.
Not every piece of information in the KB is relevant to all users. By choosing the right audience for a knowledge item, you can eliminate clutter in the end users' self-service portal. For technicians, create specific roles and groups based on their field of expertise and share only relevant topics. For example, finance documents are always confidential and therefore should be accessible only to related users. Along the same lines, documents on registry settings or swapping hardware parts are only relevant to IT experts in the field and can be restricted from end users. However, make sure your technicians have full access to the KB, especially when the services are integrated in the help desk application.

5. Prompt end users effectively with relevant knowledge items.
No matter how elaborate a KB is, it cannot be effective if it is out of reach. Making the KB easily accessible to end users in the self-service portal will help them arrive at solutions without assistance from a technician, lowering the number of incidents. This can be done in the following ways.

  • When the end user logs in to the application, the recently viewed or used solutions are listed.
  • When an end user tries to log a ticket, relevant knowledge articles are suggested based on keywords.
  • In the self-service portal, end users have easy access to the KB articles that have been made visible to them.
  • Relevant KB articles are automatically emailed to the end user in response notifications (as auto suggestions) when the ticket is logged.

Likewise, the sooner an IT technician can get to a resolution in the KB, the easier it is to reduce the mean time to resolve incidents and improve first call resolution rates. This can be achieved by adding keywords and tags to solutions to make items easily searchable.

6. Widen the KB's horizon.
A well-built KB should not be limited to storing resolutions for incidents. Use the KB as a repository of important checklists that keep a particular service up and running. Commonly used information, such as checklists on regular server housekeeping tasks or changes that require restarting the server, will keep technicians from missing crucial steps in change implementation. The KB should also be used to save important workflows in IT services, training material for technicians, user guides and even FAQs. This, in turn, helps reduce incident response time and will help technicians keep up with pre-defined SLAs.

7. Establish a knowledge management team.
When it comes to creating a knowledge management (KM) system as a key resource in your organization, a knowledge management team certainly has its advantages. One of the most significant advantages is the added ownership and accountability in the KM process. You can create a user group of technicians who are well trained in the proposed KM model for your organization. This team should be assigned to supervise the approval process. They should also be able to streamline KM workflows, identify possible areas of extension and be responsible for collecting information from resources. The whole KM process is cyclical, and the KM team should oversee it. This will help avoid chaotic roles and prevent any missed information.

8. Evaluate your KB's performance.
Constantly monitoring the efficiency of your KM system with relevant metrics will help you evaluate its performance. The following are the metrics and methodologies generally used in KM to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Customer surveys on the quality and accessibility of the KB content
  • Identifying zero click-throughs where KM content exists
  • Evaluation of knowledge gaps (where KM content does not exist)

Reports from your help desk application on ticket response and resolution times, as well as reopen rates, show you the statistics required to improve your knowledge management system.

After you've built your knowledge base and have a good knowledge management system running, sit back and reap the benefits. Whether it's just a few tweaks to an existing knowledge base or a brand new one, it shouldn't be long before customers and employees say, "It's on fleek!"

As first published on Cloud Strategy Magazine.

###

LeAnn Smiles is a product analyst for ServiceDesk Plus at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation. She writes strategic IT service management related content, which includes blogs and white papers. For more information on ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, please visit www.manageengine.com; follow the company blog at http://blogs.manageengine.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ManageEngine and on Twitter @ManageEngine.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. Enterprise Cloud | Cloud-Native
Track 2.
Big Data | Analytics
Track 3. Internet of Things | IIoT | Smart Cities

Track 4. DevOps | Digital Transformation (DX)

Track 5. APIs | Cloud Security | Mobility

Track 6.
AI | ML | DL | Cognitive
Track 7.
Containers | Microservices | Serverless
Track 8. FinTech | InsurTech | Token Economy

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Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
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Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.  

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Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

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The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

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(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

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Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

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Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

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