Knowledge is Power
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” or in other words, if you provide someone with access to knowledge, they can help themselves whenever necessary, rather than relying on someone else for one-off assistance.
In terms of IT Service Management, empowering IT end-users to use freely available and easily findable knowledge to resolve their own issues, without the need to contact their IT service provider for one-off help, is beneficial to both the end-user (by saving time and effort contacting their IT Service Desk and awaiting a resolution) and the IT service provider (in saving resource utilisation) – of course, any savings in time and resources ultimately equates to financial savings – therefore, a well-populated, up-to-date and well-maintained Knowledge Management system is essential to any modern business.
Knowledge can, of course, take many forms, whether it be organisational, procedural or technical, so you need to choose a Knowledge Management system which can house the types of knowledge which is important to your type of business, but the ability to take knowledge from peoples’ heads and share it with others by putting it into documents which can be made available to the correct audiences also helps reduce the risks individual people becoming overly relied upon or becoming single-points-of-failure within a business.
As previously alluded to, some effort is still required to ensure the effectiveness of any Knowledge Management system. This includes the initial knowledge article creation, categorisation/organisation/audience allocation of created articles and the implementation of a system of regular article review to ensure knowledge does not become irrelevant or ‘stale’ – but the benefits of having a good knowledge management system outweighs the investment of effort which is required.
Assigning the knowledge articles to the correct audiences is important to ensure the ‘relevance’ of returned results from a search. Also, there may be instances when you only want particular information to be available to one specific group of people – which can easily be achieved.
An easy-to-use front-end to enable users to search for and retrieve knowledge articles is also essential and usually takes the form of a web-based search engine which can ‘crawl’ through existing knowledge article records to match keywords entered into the search bar (in a similar way to a ‘Google’ search). The text within knowledge article records is typically indexed to ensure speedy retrieval of results from a search.
You never know what you don’t know, you know? But if you have a good, well-managed, Knowledge Management system, at least you’ll know what you DO know – and you’ll be able to share it with others in your organisation who need to know it too.
Here at WM Promus, we have the knowledge to help you with knowledge.