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10 Tips to Improve Your Knowledge Base

Knowledge management is definitely one of the least appreciated practices in IT service management (ITSM). Done right, it can improve your IT Service Desk, build better relationships between support teams, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction (CSAT). If you want to improve the exchange of knowledge in your organization, here are ten tips to create the best articles. If, instead, you are looking for tips for better knowledge management in general, check out this article.

Tip # 1: See what you already have

Many people panic because they think they will have to “do knowledge management” entirely from scratch, but in reality there will almost always be some pre-existing knowledge. Look around you for something you can take advantage of. For example, your Service Desk tutorials, induction training, or the “tips and advice” section of your project documentation.

Tip # 2: Keep it simple

For example, start with your top ten types of requests. What are the things they ask you to fix day by day? No matter what type of organization you work for, you will always be asked about network, email, and desktop issues, so be sure to capture that content and then follow the necessary steps to restore service (documented with screenshots and diagrams , if appropriate).

Tip # 3: Use customer questions to drive content

We’ve already looked at the frequent incidents, now let’s look at service requests and customer questions to add even more value. It is important to use the client’s own words to capture the question and explain the answer, as if your article is full of technical terms, it will be difficult to understand.

Tip # 4: Incentivize your teams

Make your support teams the leading advocates of knowledge management by making submitting quality articles worthwhile.

Whether it’s with a scoreboard or handing out gift vouchers for the best post of the month, encourage people to submit knowledge articles for a variety of content.

Tip # 5: Encourage collaboration between teams

One of our favorite principles of knowledge management is the “left shift.” Simply put, the left shift is where more senior IT technicians make their knowledge available to less experienced agents, helping them answer the toughest customer questions. Ask third level support to advise second level support and second level support teams to do the same for third level. If you invest time and effort in your people, then they will become more involved and increase loyalty and team spirit, as well as providing the necessary knowledge to share.

Tip # 6: Create Self-Help Knowledge Articles

Don’t limit knowledge sharing to technical teams, consider end users as well. There is nothing more frustrating as an end user than spending a lot of time trying to get to the service desk for what turns out to be a very simple resolution. Instead, make the information available in an easy-to-browse knowledge base for tips, advice, and frequently asked questions.
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Tip # 7: Introduce knowledge sharing into your daily work

Make it easy for your people to create and share articles and build a culture so that it becomes second nature to everyone at IT. The more knowledge management you have in your daily work, the more articles you will generate, and the potential to help other support teams and end customers will increase exponentially.

Tip # 8: Don’t forget about known bugs

Work with problem management to capture known errors and workarounds. Too often, people view problem management as a black hole where problems that are too difficult to solve go to die.

Problem management should not only focus on permanent solutions, but also on temporary solutions, such as redirecting network traffic or having a regular server restart schedule. So, make sure any solution is documented, shared, and tagged with the right service or configuration item (CI) for everyone to have access to.

Tip # 9: Make your content easy to access

There is no point in creating great articles if nobody is using them. Have a central place to share knowledge so that it is visible to everyone. Make sure your items are easy to find and tagged accordingly.

Tip # 10: Keep up the good work

Create a review cycle in your knowledge article creation process to make sure they are still correct, relevant, and add value. Add links to related content to drive traffic to the right places. Look for opportunities to be proactive, for example creating FAQs for new services to come.

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