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Colin Bassant
is a TOPdesk consultant. He is specialized in documenting and
sharing knowledge about TOPdesk and service management.


Knowledge management has a slightly dull reputation. But it can be a quick way to
reduce your costs per call. An easy way to start this is with KCS.

questions and the information is correct. The

greatly from a good process to keep

Different models for knowledge


information in the knowledge base up-to-

In practice we can define several models

problems dont always have time to document

date. If a solution to a question has been

for setting up the knowledge management

the solutions, because they often have to get

documented well, customers can find the

process.* Each model has its advantages

to work in the case of an emergency.

solution to their question in the Self Service

and disadvantages.

A supporting department can benefit

disadvantage is that the people solving the

3. Batch model

Desk, or can be helped more quickly by a

1. Content specialist model

Every person solving problems writes items

A team, often comprising technical writers,

for the knowledge base, even if there isnt any

organizations are behind when it comes

focuses exclusively on filling and maintaining

time. Many hands make light work, but there

to efficiently organizing knowledge

the knowledge base. The advantage of this

is a danger that solutions are not, or badly,

management. Service desk employees often

work method, is that the documentation time

documented. Reviews are mainly done by

perform unnecessary tasks: they spend a

is not at the expense of solving problems

the second line (experts) so theres often not

lot of time finding an answer, while another

and vice versa. However, this separation

enough time.

colleague recently resolved the same

can impede the technical writers practical

problem. This is obviously not the best

knowledge. Moreover, the people solving the

resolution process.

problems feel less responsible for the contents

Knowledge management 2.0:

Knowledge Centered Support

of the knowledge base, meaning they dont

What is a good model to keep the

give as many suggestions for improvement.

documentation in a knowledge base up-to-

service desk employee.

In practice it turns out that many

In this article I will explain several

knowledge management models specifically
the model that I believe is most suited to a

date? A fourth model that is slowly making

service desks work: Knowledge Centered

2. Product specialist model

an appearance is KCS. This is a set of best

Support (KCS).

Mainly the second line (experts) are involved

practices and processes for managing

in writing documentation. As a result, the

and reusing knowledge, developed by the

documentation directly meets the customers

Consortium for Service Innovation: a non-


profit organization that focuses on innovating

Solve: Safeguarding knowledge as part of the

The knowledge base is the collective memory

services. KCS is developed specially for

solving process

that belongs to every employee. Rewarding

service desk.

KCS is demand-driven, which makes

and stimulating collaboration and knowledge

safeguarding knowledge a permanent part of

sharing leaves more time to resolve more

department should not focus on calls, but on

solving questions. The question and answer

complex questions and to research a

knowledge. Knowledge is not documented for

for every logged call are documented in the

problems cause.

processing a single call, but for all following

knowledge base.

The idea behind KCS is that a service

For every question, service desk employees

customers with the same question. The

Frequently asked questions can be resolved

quickly using this method. If the caller can

documentation of this knowledge is demand-

need to search the knowledge base to check

consult the knowledge base, questions

driven, instead of supply-driven.

whether an item already exists. If this is the

can even be prevented. Making knowledge

case, they assess whether the item is relevant

available to everyone reduces the questions

The KCS Academy, a network of organizations

and correct and edit the item if necessary.

that need to be escalated to colleagues. This

that apply and develop KCS, lists the

They can then use the item to answer the

helps reduce durations and lower the costs

advantages of KCS**:

question. If there is no answer to the question,

per call.

50-60% shorter durations and 30-50% more

employees can follow the usual solution

calls resolved during first contact

procedure, after which they add the new

Employees are more efficient: new

solution to the knowledge base.

employees are up and running 70% faster,

and the employee satisfaction increases
with 20 to 40%
a 50% increase in questions customer
resolve themselves

How does KCS work?

KCS comprises two parts: Solve and Evolve.
Solve focuses on the daily use of the method:
solving practical questions by documenting
and improving knowledge, driven by customer
and end-user demand. Evolve focuses on
maintaining the knowledge base and
refining KCS.


KCS explained in 45 seconds

Watch the video on

The Evolve section also focuses on the further

The key to shorter durations and lower costs

adoption of KCS within the organization. Here

per call not only lies in advanced technical

we can specify the following phases:

solutions, but also in setting up your

Planning and design: the implementation

knowledge management process. We believe

of KCS in your day-to-day work.

that KCS is the best model for service desks.

Adoption: making KCS part of your day-to-

The biggest challenge is changing the way

day work.

service desks view knowledge management:

Expertise: continue to improve processes

knowledge management is not a task you do

and items.

next to solving problems. Instead, its the way

Go or no go?

you solve problems.

There are a number of advantages to

Evolve: continuous improvement

KCS compared with classic knowledge

Would you like a practical example of KCS?

Evolve focuses on continuously developing the

management models. To start with, bringing

In this magazine you can read how TOPdesk

KCS system by maintaining the items in the

together the knowledge management

Support has put KCS to practice.

knowledge base.

processes and solving calls helps better meet

In principal, everyone can publish items

the customers needs. There is also no delay

with KCS. The contents of the items range

in making relevant information available.

between informal information transfer and

Moreover, it takes little effort to document

formal documentation. You need to make

a solution in the knowledge base, because

agreements about the structure of the items,

this process is very similar to resolving the

helping you with uniformity. This template

actual call.

usually comprises the following headings:

Similar to other models, there is a

description of the question/problem, solution

disadvantage to KCS. Working according to

and cause. Depending on the organization,

KCS only requires a minor adjustment to

you can add another heading that specifies

the way service desk employees work, but a

the product version, or the environment

successful adoption requires all service desk

of the problem (which Windows version,

employees to change their processes. Thats

for instance).

why organizations need to put in the effort to

Analysing existing items is an important

adopt KCS.

part of Evolve. A second line specialist or

problem manager researches proactively
whether several customer questions lead
to a singular item. Moreover, he researches
whether there are multiple items that
describe the same problem, but offer different
solutions. This is how the knowledge base
plays an important role in the problem
management process.
* Source: Collective Wisdom: Transforming Support with Knowledge [Kindle Edition], Francoise
Tourniaire, David Kay
** Source: