The Consortium for Service Innovation created and maintains the Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) methodology. The Consortium is a non-profit alliance of customer service organizations working together to solve industry-wide challenges. With the idea that knowledge is the key asset of the organization, the Consortium began work on KCS in 1992. The goal was to design and share best practices for capturing, structuring, and reusing knowledge. The Consortium members have collectively explored, experienced, and invested in the ideas that have become KCS. Their collective investment, estimated to be more than fifty million dollars (not counting technology acquisition), has resulted in an estimated collective savings of more than two billion dollars.
For a summary of updates and what's new for v5.1-v5.3 please see Appendix A.
KCS has four basic concepts:
Create content as a by-product of solving issues
Evolve content based on demand and usage
Develop a knowledge base of our collective experience to date
Reward learning, collaboration, sharing, and improving
Over the course of five revisions, KCS has evolved and grown to become a rich methodology: a set of practices for creating and maintaining knowledge. Unlike the traditional add-on process of knowledge engineering, KCS is an integral part of day-to-day operation - KCS becomes the way people solve issues and it creates and maintains knowledge as a by-product of problem solving.
While KCS is enabled by technology, KCS is primarily about people. People are the source of knowledge. KCS has proven that the best people to capture and maintain knowledge are the people who use it every day.
For optimum performance, KCS practices and the tools that support them must be integrated with other business systems.
KCS is a principle-based methodology and is implemented in different ways based on the nature of the environment. This Practices Guide is intended to provide an operational description of the KCS practices and the KCS techniques guides provides implementation tips for various areas of the business.
While KCS has evolved based on a high tech support environment, it is becoming very clear that the principles are applicable to any information- or knowledge-intensive environment. This guide presents a description of the practices. The techniques guide has the technical details of how to implement KCS within a specific function. Organizations in other industries and disciplines are successfully using the KCS principles of demand-driven, just-in-time knowledge capture and the continuous improvement aspects of the Evolve Loop to improve organizational efficiency.