Knowledge Management tools can be useful in developing an ITSM strategy that represents a tactical investment for the company, thanks to the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS).
Implementing a Knowledge Management system represents a support for all the activities that make up the IT Services management strategy, which we talked about in the last article. In fact, KM ensures that the right information is always available to do the job and, more importantly, to facilitate the decision-making process.
From which elements a Knowledge Management System is composed?
The Knowledge Management system is structured around a set of data, information, knowledge, decisions, and the relationships between them.
Information answers all questions about the structure that surrounds and contextualizes the data. Knowledge is an even more complex level, defined as a set of experiences, values, and insights that provide an environment and context for evaluating and incorporating new information. In organizations, it often turns into standard procedures, norms, processes, etc.
Finally, based on the elements mentioned so far, you can leverage them to make informed decisions.
Objectives of the KMS in relation to the IT Service sector
The objectives of Knowledge Management applied to Service can be summarized as:
Improving the quality and efficiency of services provided by a service provider;
Aligning the knowledge of all staff on the information needed for effective service delivery;
To leverage the value of staff, rooted in experience and best practices, as well as that derived from knowledge of their service-using audiences.
Features of an SKMS
According to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), which collects all the guidelines in IT service management, a Service Knowledge Management system must have several characteristics:
It must be implemented as a knowledge platform: that is, a platform where you can find the information and knowledge needed to solve problems. It can be composed of several systems, but all must be equally accessible and connected;
It helps to break down the barriers of access to knowledge between the various company departments: the SKMS is not integration to each archive or database in its own right, rather it helps to avoid disintegration and information silos, offering a single point of access for the whole company;
It contains both data and information, but not all of it is easily transferable: it contains structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data, some of which can only be read by machines, others by humans, such as documents, web pages, procedure contents, product sheets, etc. However, it also encompasses tacit experiences and knowledge that reside in staff, customers, and relationships with the external environment.
Some examples of the benefits of an SKMS
Thanks to a Service Knowledge Management System, it is possible to improve activities both strictly related to the IT department, and to other divisions such as Customer Service and Help Desk, or Sales and Marketing, up to top management.
For IT it is possible to manage more quickly the resolution of incidents or problems related to inefficiencies, thanks to an information base always available and questionable;
Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is possible to implement so-called "predictive" solutions, which self-learn from interactions with customers and facilitate the Helpdesk in responding to requests;
In the Sales and Marketing field, it is possible to improve performance, anticipate market needs and trends, as well as define resource priorities, thanks to analytics and data that are always accessible and shareable between departments;
Finally, management levels will always have a complete picture of the management and use of company assets, thanks to KM tools that provide a single point of access to any knowledge repository.
How to implement a Service Knowledge Management system
To implement a system to manage all knowledge (not just that relating to the IT department), you must first identify and track all existing information sources.
Second, you need to organize and store knowledge in a systematic way, keeping it constantly updated.
It is also necessary to assign roles to the users of the knowledge base in order to have an overview of the activities being performed.
In this way, you can periodically analyze employee searches and understand which areas of the documentation are most lacking, so you can fill in the knowledge gaps.
Knowledge Management tools and software that use Artificial Intelligence can help you with these tasks.
Solutions like Pigro allow you to automatically update your knowledge base, periodically with new documents and any changes that have been made, so you always have current knowledge at your fingertips.
In addition, thanks to its self-learning technology, it's easier to identify gaps in documentation, as the system flags knowledge gaps by suggesting missing content in the knowledge.