The benefits realized in the short term can be assessed using traditional support metrics. The longer-term benefits are in new areas of value creation and, therefore, require new measures.
To fully address the organizational benefits, measures and phases of adoption the Consortium has written the "Measurement Matters" paper. This paper complements the KCS Practices Guide and is available on the Consortium web site. The phases of adoption are briefly introduced here and further defined in the Technique 2 of the Performance Assessment section of this guide. Phases of adoption are referenced from time to time in the Practice and Technique descriptions where the practice or technique differs based on the organization's adoption phase.
1: Planning and Design
Build tools required for successful adoption
Gather baseline measurements
Set realistic internal and external expectations
Create internal understanding and excitement through initial competency
Establish internal referenceability
Create and mature the knowledge base
Increase process efficiency
Reduce Analyst time to proficiency
Improve collaboration and Analyst satisfaction
4: Leverage of the Knowledge Base
Optimize resource utilization
Reduce support cost
Increase customer success
Improve employee satisfaction
Improve products and services
KCS takes teamwork to a new level. The organization must shift to a perspective that sees knowledge as an asset owned and maintained by the team, not by an individual or a small group of dedicated content creators. The focus of the team is to capture and improve the collective knowledge -- not only to solve individual customer issues, but also to improve organizational learning.
The transformation starts with an understanding of the attributes of knowledge. We use the word knowledge in business conversations all the time. But when asked to define knowledge, most people pause. A definition is not immediately available off the top of our heads; it requires some thought.
It is helpful to put knowledge in the context of data and information. What distinguishes data from information? Data is just numbers or words, while information is organized numbers or words. The organization of data into information gives it some meaning. What distinguishes knowledge from information? Knowledge is information upon which I can act. Knowledge has action associated with it; we can do something with it.
The definition of knowledge is an ongoing debate in academic and philosophy circles that goes back as far as Plato. We find that for our purposes "information upon which I can act" is a helpful definition. KCS seeks to capture the collective experience of the organization in ways that others can use. "Use" or "act on" being the key point.
If we accept the definition proposed above we can move on to identifying some of the key attributes of knowledge. First we must recognize that information I can act on, or use, is dependent on my having some context or experience with that information. That is, I have to already know some things that complement the information to make it actionable. So information that is actionable to me might not be actionable to you. We all bring something to the knowledge party. This introduces an uncomfortable ambiguity about knowledge. What is knowledge to me might not be knowledge to you. Knowledge is not an absolute!
For example: the long-range weather forecast for an office worker in San Francisco is interesting information. That same weather forecast for a vineyard manager in Napa is actionable; the vineyard manager will make decisions and take actions to maximize the yield and quality of his harvest. What is knowledge to some is only information to others.
This means that what we have in our "knowledge base" is really only potential knowledge because the usefulness of that information depends on the context, experience and need of the person looking at it. Information becomes knowledge in the moment of use. It is no wonder people pause when asked to define knowledge; it is rather abstract.