Lesson 8-Knowledge Management Overview Benefits of knowledge management. Characteristics of an effective knowledge base. Reactive knowledge management. Proactive knowledge management. Components of knowledge-based solutions. Overview Knowledge management processes. Knowledge base search methods. Knowledge management metrics. Barriers to effective knowledge management. Benefits of Knowledge Management Knowledge management is the process of gathering, structuring, refining, and delivering knowledge that is of value. In a help desk setting, knowledge is stored in a database known as a knowledge base. Benefits of Knowledge Management Analysts' use the knowledge base to look for answers. Users access the knowledge base to try and solve problems without contacting the help desk. Benefits of Knowledge Management Decreased call volume - Individuals prefer using self- service knowledge base to calls due to speed and efficiency. Shared expertise - Captured information and expertise are made available to individuals. Benefits of Knowledge Management Reduced training time - Agents are able to search for solutions in the knowledge base. Reusable solutions - Analyzed and solved problems are available to all who need access to the information. Benefits of Knowledge Management Enriched job content - Analyst can spend time on researching new problems instead of responding to similar queries. Personal empowerment - Analysts are recognized by their abilities to diagnose and resolve problems. Continuous improvement - Continuous feedback from agents and users improves the knowledge management system. Characteristics of an Effective Knowledge Base Easy to use and simple to maintain: Knowledge base must be intuitive, possess a simple interface, and be developed with commonly accepted Web tools. A key to ease of use is to have strong search capabilities. Knowledge base site must be easy to administer as content changes frequently. Maintenance and administrative tasks must be kept to a minimum to avoid high expenses. Characteristics of an Effective Knowledge Base Relevant and accessible: Relevancy is established through the context in which a problem occurs. Solutions in the knowledge base must be categorized and prioritized. Access to knowledge base via the Web gives users and remote staff the ability to benefit from available knowledge. Reactive Knowledge Management In reactive knowledge management, capturing new knowledge is part of the problem management practice. It is also referred to as solution-centered support or knowledge-centered support. The key benefit of reactive knowledge management is the lower cost of ownership. Reactive Knowledge Management The disadvantages relate to quality. It is possible that the solution provided will not actually fix the problem. It is common to have redundancy and multiple answers to the same question. Proactive Knowledge Management Proactive knowledge management is the method of building knowledge before it is needed. A proactive knowledge base can reduce the high volume of calls encountered during a new product rollout. Design, development, and delivery are the three major phases of this methodology. Proactive Knowledge Management In the design phase, the requirements for the knowledge base are determined. In the development phase, answers to problems are discovered and drafted and technical accuracy is tested. The delivery phase can then be coordinated with the release of a new product or service. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Tacit and explicit knowledge Components of Knowledge Based Solutions In a support organization, the transferable unit of knowledge is the solution. Solutions contain the situational context, relevant information, problem-solving analysis, and the resolution of a situation. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Solution is the content developed and shared between the customer and the organization. It describes all the facets of the problem situation and how it can be resolved. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Situation: The situation of the user defines the context of the solution. They contain sufficient context to communicate when the solution should be used. They also contain context to indicate the scope of the solution to those who might need it. Situation can be described as configuration/operating environment, symptoms/things tried, goal, and user context. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Analysis: Analysis is the essence of the analyst’s diagnostic process. It is the most subtle and subjective element. It refers to an individual’s reasoning and troubleshooting processes. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Information: Information is the data required for proper interpretation of how to implement a solution. It is needed to understand why and how the solution functions. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Information (continued): The key provider of information is the support organization. Information may include reference material, language and concepts, supporting solutions and issues, support-specific actions and determinations. Components of Knowledge Based Solutions Resolution: Resolution is the objective of the solution. It is the specific answer and response to the user problem. It provides one or more methods for addressing the problem. Resolution may include fix, workaround, answer, and support usage information. Knowledge Management Processes Capture: Capturing involves identifying and collecting information that will be included in the knowledge base. Initial entries in the knowledge base are derived from existing help desk requests. Knowledge Management Processes Capture (continued): By studying existing call records and logs, it is possible to discover the most frequently reported problems. Information is also obtained by interviewing help desk staff, manuals and cases stored in problem management systems. Knowledge Management Processes Structure: Structuring is the process of indexing, categorizing, and classifying information which establishes relationships between pieces of information. The solutions in a support knowledge base are usually classiﬁed into different levels for easy retrieval. Knowledge Management Processes Structure (continued): A well-deﬁned structure ensures that solutions are easy to ﬁnd and easy to implement. The structuring process is time- and labor-intensive. Knowledge Management Processes Review: Content is first reviewed for technical accuracy, usually by a subject matter expert. Subject-matter expert is an individual who exhibits the expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization. Knowledge Management Processes Review (continued): Validation is the process of testing the solution to determine if it resolves the problem. After validation, it is reviewed for grammar, spelling, writing style, and presentation format standards. Knowledge Management Processes Release and maintain: Release involves publishing a copy of the knowledge and moving it to the Web support site. To be effective, data in a knowledge base must be kept current. Knowledge Management Processes Release and maintain (continued): Regular and timely maintenance of the knowledge base is critical to success. Existing content also must be reviewed on a regular basis to determine whether it is still accurate and relevant. Knowledge Base Search Methods Keyword search engine: In keyword search engine, users enter several keywords and click on Search button. The system returns a list of answers or pages that contain one or more of the words provided. Knowledge Base Search Methods Keyword search engine (continued): Drawbacks are that they result in large number of documents which themselves can be misleading. Search engines assume that a user can specify appropriate keywords. Knowledge Base Search Methods Natural-language processing: Natural-language processing systems evaluate words based on their positioning in relation to each other. An exact match of a phrase has a higher relevancy. Natural-language processing is the easiest search method. Knowledge Base Search Methods Expert systems: Expert system is a program that simulates the interaction a user might have with human expert to solve a problem. The program asks questions until it has reached a conclusion. A rule-based expert system uses a set of rules as its knowledge base. Rule consists of a set of conditions and a set of actions to take if the conditions are true. Knowledge Base Search Methods Expert systems (continued): Decision tree is a rule-based expert system. Decision tree consists of a series of questions that guide users to relevant solutions based on their responses. This tree-structured logic can easily be converted to a computerized system. This computerized system is easier to use, faster, and automated. Knowledge Base Search Methods Case-based reasoning (CBR): CBR systems use past cases to solve new problems. The approach of CBR is to ﬁnd similar cases from the database. The elements in a CBR system are the case database and an electronic index. Cases consist of information about the problem, diagnosis, and solutions. Knowledge Base Search Methods Case-based reasoning Knowledge Management Metrics Development of new metrics and re-evaluation of existing metrics: New measures of performance are required when analyzing the value of the knowledge management system. Some new measures include total number of solutions available, number and percent of cases resolved. Average case duration, first call resolution rate, and call volume are existing metrics that must be re-evaluated. Barriers to Effective Knowledge Management Fear of job loss. Fear of losing value to the organization. Fear of change. New opportunities. Summary Knowledge management provides access to solutions for problems. An effective knowledge base is easy to use, simple to maintain, relevant and accessible. Knowledge management can be proactive or reactive. Solutions stored in support knowledge base consist of explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Summary The four steps of the knowledge management process are capture, structure, review, and release/maintain. Keyword search engine, natural-language processing, expert systems, and case-based reasoning are knowledge base search methods. Implementing knowledge management requires new metrics and re-evaluation of existing metrics.
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