The Consortium for Service Innovation just released Version 6 of the KCS Practices Guide, along with a document that lays out the principles and core concepts of KCS. V6 isn’t just an incremental improvement to KCS; it’s a game changer that can put us in the driver’s seat of knowledge management for the whole enterprise. Let me explain.
Last November, I attended the KM World conference for the first time in many years. It’s always interesting to talk with fellow KM practitioners and look at snazzy new technology, but overall, it was a pretty depressing experience. Everyone was talking about trying to get people to write their knowledge in documents, and put those documents on a SharePoint server. Every program was a struggle. In case study after case study, we heard
- People don’t have time to write documents; they have to get on with their real jobs
- When documents exist, they are hard to find
- Documents are too long, cover too many topics, so it’s hard to find answers to a specific question
- Documents are written in subject experts’ jargon, which isn’t helpful for the people who need the information
- No one is sure how to measure the value of knowledge, or drive the right KM behaviors. No one even knows what knowledge is being used!
Time and time again, I wanted to jump up and shout, “We know how to do this! We’ve figured all these things out over the past two decades’ experience with KCS!” But I didn’t, and not just because I didn’t want Security to escort me out of the meeting. We just didn’t have the right language to communicate the ideas of KCS outside of Support.
Before v6, KCS talks about support analysts. It requires the use of cases, tickets, incidents, or service requests, which don’t exist in most business functions. It refers to average handle time and first contact resolution, and assumes that we’re fixing things that are broken. In short, it’s written for an audience of Support professionals, and falls flat with Legal, HR, Sales Engineering, Procure-to-Pay, Professional Services…and any of the other functions in the enterprise that so desperately need to learn and share every time they get asked a question or accomplish a task.
KCS v6 fixes this.
KCS v6 talks about requests fulfilled by knowledge workers’ responses. It doesn’t require an incident. Operational measures of any kind are welcome. In short, KCS v6 will work for any knowledge workers who accomplish tasks, and learn in the process.
For those of us in Support who get KCS, and who have been doing it for years, these are exciting times. We can now take what we know and share it with the rest of the enterprise. Who knows, maybe in a year or two, KM conferences won’t be quite so depressing—and you (and KCS v6) can be the reason why!