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1.1 Assessing the Current State

KCS Opportunity Assessment Definition

The KCS Opportunity Assessment evaluates the current processes, content and culture. The assessment identifies the extent to which the current practices align with KCS practices and where they don’t.  The evaluator uses the results of the assessment to recommend opportunities for improving the current organizational practices and to quantify the benefits.  This is helpful information for the KCS Design session.

The assessment compares the current organizational processes with the KCS practices in areas including:

  • Incident management
  • Problem solving
  • Technology and infrastructure
  • Knowledge management
  • Leadership and culture

The Approach

The assessment begins with data collection. The KCS Program Manager will complete the KCS Opportunity Assessment Survey (see Appendix A) for the current working environment, culture, tools, and metrics.  In addition to the data collection, the evaluator conducts a series of interviews with the representatives from the management team and Support Analysts.


Assessments are typically done for each product area or technology group.  In large global support organizations it is important to include multiple locations to identify variations across geographies. It is also important to include all the levels of support involved in the problem solving process: typically levels 1, 2, and 3. This ensures a complete view of the problem solving process.   The results of the assessment will provide background information and highlight areas of focus for the KCS Design Session. A typical KCS Opportunity Assessment takes five days of onsite evaluations, observations, and interviews.  If multiple locations are involved in the assessment activities, time and cost adjust accordingly.


In order for the assessment results to have an impact, the Executive Sponsor, the evaluator, and the management team participate in a half-day session to review and discuss the results.  The goal of the session is for all participants to gain a general understanding of KCS, how it differs from the current practices, a sizing of the potential benefits and a high level understanding of what needs to be done for the KCS Adoption to be successful.


The individual doing the Assessment or the “evaluator” is an objective observer exploring opportunities, not a judging party. It is important that the evaluator be an outside resource or someone who is not closely associated with the support organization.  The Executive Sponsor and Project Manager need to create an open, non-judgmental environment for the assessment participants.


Supplemental Materials for the KCS Opportunity Assessment

To help facilitate the KCS Opportunity Assessment, the following are helpful:

·      Invitation to participate in the interview process that includes some context for the program

·      KCS Opportunity Assessment Survey (see Appendix A)

·      Agenda for site visit

·      Agenda for results presentation

·      KCS Benefits Calculator (available on the KCS Academy web site)


If the sponsor of the Assessment decides to move forward with KCS, the next step is getting the right people involved.

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I suggest that the assessment should start with deciding what to measure and assess, before gathering the data. For measurements, this often comprises two stages, deciding what you SHOULD measure and (only) then, checking what you CAN measure. The result is often a miny project to find a way of measuring the things you should, but currently cannot measure!
Posted 05:10, 14 Sep 2017
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