Following on from my last IT Benchmark blog on Incident Classification Categories, this time around we are going to look at Knowledge Management and Reuse with statistics, benefits, and advice on how to implement a Knowledge Base.
- Amongst small IT departments with up to 3 admins, only 37% of them utilize an end-user Knowledge Base
- For 4-10 admins, it’s 44%
- 11-20 admins, it’s 57%
- 21 and above admins, its 50%
An effective Knowledge Base has multiple benefits, including but not limited to:
- It helps the end user get up and running more quickly (and it saves time and costs too)
- It helps new admins become effective more quickly
- Consistency – it provides consistent information to employees in one centralized location
- 24x7 access – it is available at any time and anywhere online for members to use at their convenience
- Secure connection – end users can get answers securely online, unlike via email and telephone
However, it is of no use spending the time and resources setting up a Knowledge Base if you aren’t going to effectively communicate it to the business, ensure that it remains updated, and encourage your end users to use it.
Implementing an end-user Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions to help make you users self-sufficient is a win-win situation. You empower your users by enabling them to troubleshoot their own issues, and you also cut down on the number of incidents received to the helpdesk.
My advice for setting up an end-user Knowledge Base would be:
- Review past tickets to determine common, reoccurring issues and ensure that these are answered in your Knowledge Base (as an added benefit this might also highlight the need for any end-user training)
- Implement ‘auto-suggest’ to populate pre-defined solutions as end users type in their request
- Include a rating system for each answer to allow end users to give feedback on how helpful a pre-defined response was
- Remember that Knowledge can be delivered in different formats - you don’t necessarily have to write up text responses for each query; you can point to other webpages (e.g. Apple if the query relates to an Apple Device issue), or make use of videos
- Determine a way to drive and reward system administrators to capture knowledge and add it to the Knowledge Base, e.g. by using performance metrics and celebrating successes
Questions you should ask yourself if you have already implemented a Knowledge Base are:
- Are admins using it?
- Can your end users use it for self-help?
- Is it making a difference?
- Is good knowledge highlighted?
- Are poor knowledge articles flagged for review?
If you don’t have a Knowledge Base, why? Please share with us all of your answers/feedback. In my opinion the benefits to a Knowledge Base far outweigh any potential causes for concern (initial resource, time, etc.) but it would be interesting to hear from you all on your opinions.
My next IT Benchmark blog will be on Customer Satisfaction Surveys and how to encourage responses, so check back soon!
Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.