Monday, November 28, 2016

Introducing Knowledge Management

SearchLike the KCS (Knowledge-Centered Support) methodology, we have worked hard to make knowledge management as simple as possible. For the specialists it should be so easy and quick to add knowledge that they will do this because it will already save them time the next time they are asked for the same information.

The easiest way for a specialist to add a knowledge article is to use a solution that he/she just added to a request. The option 'Create Knowledge Article' is available for this from every existing note.

Creating a new knowledge article from an existing note
Selecting this option opens a new knowledge article with most of the information already filled out. In the Description field, it is best to add some information about the environment (e.g. the combination of a specific operating system with a specific browser) for which the instructions have been written. The Description field is essentially used to add terms that will help people find the right knowledge articles.

New knowledge article
End users do not need to decide to look for knowledge articles (or frequently asked questions). The knowledge articles are included in their search results whenever they might be relevant.

Search knowledge in ITRP Self Service
The service desk analysts will start to notice knowledge articles when they are registering requests in the Service Desk console. They will show up among the suggested request templates and services as soon as they start to enter a subject (see Fuzzy Search).

Search knowledge in ITRP Service Desk console
Service desk analysts and specialists can also add the instructions of a knowledge article to an existing request. To do that, they place the cursor in the Note field and click on the 'Apply Knowledge Option' from the text formatting bar.

Apply knowledge in new note
To activate the new Knowledge Management functionality for your organization, simply assign the Knowledge Manager role to someone. As soon as this is done, all specialists are able to register and update knowledge articles.

Knowledge Manager role in ITRP Person form.png
It may be best to inform everyone beforehand, though. That way they will know that it is OK to add new knowledge articles and to improve on the knowledge of others.


  1. Will those Knowledge Base Articles ever be visible for end users?

    1. Good point. Currently only the person who is selected as the knowledge manager of the service is able to set the status of a knowledge article that is linked to that service to 'Public'.

      This rule will be relaxed in the following release (scheduled for this weekend). That will ensure that all people who have the Knowledge Manager role can update the status of the knowledge articles of their account.

  2. Hi,
    I noticed in that the "Description" of the knowledge article is not seen by the end-user in the self-service portal.
    I think this should be seen, as it can be quite useful for the end-user to check if the 'description' actually maps with the (error) description they experience.

    Now, they only see the instructions how to solve...

    To overcome this, the person who creates the article need to put the 'description' (e.g. error message window & text) 2 times in the article. (once in the description field and again in the instructions).

    What is your idea on this?

    1. After a user has executed a search in ITRP Self Service, the user can see the description of each knowledge article in the search results. That allows the user to decide which article is most likely to be useful. The user then selects this article, which causes the article's instructions to be displayed. At this point, the description should no longer provide much added value.

      The advantage is that the user does not start reading the description again and immediately gets to the information that answers the user's question, or helps the user resolve his/her issue.

      So it is probably sufficient to only show the instructions after the selection of a knowledge article. Agreed?

  3. I understand what you mean and do partially agree.
    The disadvantage I see is that, for instance 'error windows' (images) are not being displayed in the description of the article in iTRP Self-Service. (although when creating the article, you have the possibility to add images etc)

    It's non-formatted text... That's enough for simple things, but in my opinion not for more advanced/difficult topics.

    1. I understand your point, Franky. You are correct. Perhaps we can find a way for users to expand the description in the search results so that they can see the entire formatted description, including the images. Please feel free to submit an RFC for this.