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1.5 Setting Up the Pilot

Pilot Definition

A KCS adoption happens in waves; the number of waves depends on the size of the organization. The first wave is the pilot and is necessary to create internal referenceability and excitement about the program. 


pilot_team.pngAt the completion of the KCS Design Session, we create the Adoption Strategy and Road Map. This exercise will help us select an initial group of 20-40 Analysts (Pilot Team) to incorporate the design deliverables into their jobs.  Once the pilot is complete, the following responsibilities must be added to the job descriptions for the support organization.

KCS Roles


The roles defined by the KCS Practices Guide are:

  • Knowledge Contributors – Support Analyst who can gain any of the 3 KCS levels:
  • KCS Candidate —basic user of the knowledge base, familiar with capturing and searching techniques, and the basic concepts of KCS.
  • KCS Contributor—creates, modifies, and reviews Articles for publishing to a defined audience, usually internal users only.
  • KCS Publisher—empowered to publish to an external audience.
  • KCS Coaches – responsible for the training of the KCS Knowledge Developers.
  • Knowledge Domain Experts (KDE) – responsible for identifying Evolve Loop (B Loop) content based on Articles created in the Solve Loop workflow, looks after the health of the knowledge base, usually focused on a collection or domain of content, has both technical expertise in the domain and profound understanding of KCS processes.


Successful adoptions have a formal licensing or certification process for the KCS roles. Until recently those programs had to be developed by each company.  The KCS Academy (www.thekcsacademy.net ) now offers rigorous certification programs developed by the Consortium members. Industry level certification programs include:

  • KCS Practices v5 – for KCS Program Managers, adoption team members, and 1st and 2nd line managers
  • KCS Publisher – for Support Analysts who are licensed to publish Articles to an external audience
  • KCS Coach – for Support Analysts in the role of KCS Coach
  • KCS Trainer – for internal trainers or external consultants who offer KCS training


Initial Coaching

The KCS Coach’s responsibility is to assist in the development of the skills of the Pilot Team members.  The Support Analysts in the pilot who demonstrate good coaching skills (patience, constructive feedback, interest in the development of others) are good candidates to coach their peers in the subsequent waves of adoption.


There are a few different approaches to coaching for the Pilot Team:

  • Peer coaching program (this is the most common model. In this case, basic coaching skills and the AQI should be included in KCS Training for wave 1 participants)
  • KCS Adoption Team members act as Coaches
  • Outside Coaches (KCS consultants or trainers)

Establishing Baseline Measures

Before beginning wave 1, the Adoption Team members who created the Performance Assessment Model in the Design Session should establish baseline metrics.  This is necessary to track progress. The metrics may be different for each organization but typically include:

  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Employee satisfaction and loyalty
  • Time to resolution
  • Average incidents closed per month per Analyst (capacity)
  • Cost per incident


The Performance Assessment Model created during the KCS Design Session defines the specific measures that will be used by the organization.  This is easy to do for the metrics that are known. For the unknown measures, a baseline must be estimated.  How the baseline is estimated is not important as long as the way it is measured is consistent throughout the adoption.


For more information about recommended measures, see the Measurement Matters paper.

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