Knowledge Centered Support

Over the last year I’ve taken a much more avid interest in knowledge base solutions. During my internship at Unisys, I started working on the framework for a knowledge sharing platform. Infact, my internship timing was perfect, because Unisys was in the middle of a large roll out for the blue print marketing campaign. In essence, Unisys designed various solutions for industries and called each solution a blue print. For example, a frequent flyer program for the aviation industry was a blue print. So if Air New Airlinesio wanted a frequent flyer program, Unisys could deliver a solution based on the blue print. Common sense?

But factor in multiple languages, diverse needs, cultural restrictions, financial constraints and you see why many software consulting companies end up developing multiple solutions for a single problem.

In essence, knowledge has to be captured because you never know how valuable the knowledge is until it’s lost. Building on this concept, it seems logical therefore to assume that in various support scenarios a knowledge base of support issues can help radically reduce the time taken to solve a problem.

At a recent Help Desk Institute meeting, Judy Benda summarized a methodology for Knowledge Centered Support as:

– Create content as a by product of solving problems

– Evolve content based on demand and usage

– Develop a knowledge base of our collective experience to-date

– Reward learning, collaboration and contribution

The final goal, is to move from being reactive to proactive. In the case of a support center, the reactive center knows the answer and responds only when the customer requires help, whereas a proactive center moves the answer closer to and more accessible to the customer.