Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
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Knowledge Management and the Future Service Desk

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Up ahead, on the ITIL cave drawings exhibit, we see the old centralized Knowledge Management process. A crudely drawn singular knowledge manager would update the articles. In these Knowledge Management and the Future Service Deskdark days of single authorship, knowledge was slowly added and limited by a singular perspective.Welcome to the new age of Knowledge Management. The decentralized manifestation of Knowledge Management enables the process to function as it was first intended. As Liam McGlynn, of ITSM Review, writes, “For organizations to achieve the objectives of Knowledge Management, they must move toward distributed, open-source authorship” (ITSM Review). So, to provide effective Knowledge Management, knowledge must be quickly and easily updated, and relevant to the end-user’s real-time problems. Watch, as knowledge management assumes its rightful and necessary place in Incident Management and Problem Management.

Knowledge creation and management is the base of the future service desk. The service desk no longer is the hard wood, headsets, and verbal interactions of the past. It’s becoming virtual thanks to self service.

You’ll hear a lot of companies talk about the human touch, and that is important at the appropriate times. But self service is the preferred solution for 20 and 30 year olds facing an Incident. The days of simply throwing up frustrated hands and picking up the phone to call the service desk are partly over. Now that every part of the business uses technology in one way or another, people might still be throwing up their hands at first, but they’re leaning in, peering at the computer, and looking for the answers on the screen first.

George Spalding of Pink Elephant now labels those involved in knowledge creation and management as “curators.” The art of curation is especially clear in self service. Knowledge Management is at its most productive when available, consumable searchable, indexed, and relevant to the audience (Bright Talk).

Knowledge creation must be tailored to an increasingly diverse audience’s needs, whether it’s an end-user, service desk agent, or manager/analyst. The self service content should be in the language of the intended audience. As self service based on Knowledge Management is refined, the best in the business will offer fast, context-aware, educational, interactive, and even entertaining content to its audience.

The beauty of self service is mobility and efficiency. Mobility is twofold: The end-user can access self service on their device, or they can be helped by an IT or service desk device too—that is, if they did not already find their answer through self service. Also, while an end-user is accessing self service, the IT or service desk is free to work on other things or take calls.

Spalding sees self service with Knowledge Management spreading into larger roles. On the expanding horizon, Knowledge Management could offer curated knowledge to every part of the business. For example, employees could use training knowledge too so that if they do not know how to do something, they can look it up in an easy-to-use self service. Ultimately, in various ways, Knowledge Management has the capability to enhance productivity.

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