ITILknowledge management mistakes and how to avoid

How do you get to your office? How do you change the lightbulb that just burnt outSure, you might type in the address into Google maps, or search YouTube for a quick video tutorial, but more often than not with these day-to-day tasks you just know. And, that knowledge is a resource that lives inside you. You might troubleshoot things, search for answers, but after a few timesyou just know it. And, that’s knowledge management.  

Knowledge management is a feature, capability, resource, that is built into most service desks. The service desk should serve this purpose for your entire organization – the place to search, watch, discover how-to, rinse and repeat until you remember itKnowledge managemendoesnjust build itself, it’s takes consistency, participation, and, yes, quality information, to be successful.  

There are great ways to automate knowledge management and enhance your employee experienceBut there are even more ways where you might make a mistake. To ensure your organization feels the impact of the work behind your knowledge management strategy, avoid these mistakes: 

Knowledge Management Isn’t a Set It and Forget It 

The IT team migrates to a new service desk solution. It feels great to start with a fresh, clean software. You get your most used / most important knowledge articles into the tool… and then you never add to it or update them. New incidents come in daily, what happens to that information? You update an application, where do these changes live for users to follow? Having knowledge management built into your service desk isn’t helpful if the article is four years old and the technology has been updated three times since tharticle was created 

If the incident requires a lofty answer, capture this answer and build it into a knowledge article. If versions are updating or changing, ensure someone on the IT team is jumping into the knowledge article that gets the most traffic on that topic and notates the change in some way – it could be as easy as a footnote if the changes are not significant, but at least the user knows what they are seeing is the most up-to-date 

“The Way We’ve Always Done It”  

Six words that should never be said in the era of digital transformation, right? Just like how we went from using at atlas, to printing Map Quest instructions, to a GPS on your dashboard, to Google Maps on your phoneYOUR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IS EVOLVING. Sorry, no reason to yell, but it’s important to remember that your technology stack is changing. Your IT team of analysts is changing. It might not be changing every month, or even every year, but how your team works with users regarding their incidents and service requests is certainly going to evolve.  

It’s critical to figure out new ways to get the information and knowledge the IT team has into the hands of the users. A service desk solution that provides suggested articles based on a self-service portal search is an excellent place to start. This not only help to increase your company’s productivity, but creates an enhanced employee experience where they know they can find the information they need to be successful in the business.  

Quantity vs. Quality  

Articles that aren’t clear in their explanations. Articles that speak in a very technical way to the end user. Articles that have no imagery or video. These can add up to hundreds of knowledge base articles that are not beneficial to the end users. Ensuring the quality of the articles is the best way to reduce the number of tickets coming into the service desk. Instead of posting multiple articles that answer the question “how to reset your password”, audit multiple articles and bring them into one. Create a linking strategy between articles so if a new employee needs to reset passwords in multiple places, they can jump to the next set of instructions quickly. And, utilize screen shots, gifs, or walk-through videos to make it easier for your employees to overcome their issue in the fastest way possible.  

Knowledge Management Isn’t Easily Accessible to Users 

If you’ve overcome the first three mistakes above, then you have invested time into creating this database. Now it’s important that the users and technicians take advantage of all the knowledge available at their fingertipsBut, if you haven’t created access points for your users, all these articles are ineffective or difficult to get through for the average user 

As mentioned above, suggested solutions built on artificial intelligence is a seamless user access point to the knowledge base. User data, historylocation, keywords in the subject of the ticket, are all objects that a service desk tool can use to suggest solutions before that user submits a ticketYou can also create popular articles that live on the main page of the self-service portal. Or, through a major outage, keep the team updated regularly with announcements in the portal that include articles with any steps a user needs to take to overcome the current problem.  

Employees are continuously seeking the same kind of experience that they get in the consumer world. With application readily available to answer any query that pops up, your IT team should build a support system that helps them achieve this at work. If you avoid these knowledge management mistakes, you will not only save your analysts time working repetitive incidents, but you’ll ensure that you are keeping your employees productive.  

Danielle Livy

Senior Director, Marketing – Americas at Symphony SummitAI

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