What is KCS?
KCS, or Knowledge-Centered Service, focuses on knowledge as a key asset of the service organization. Knowledge is a by-product of solving customer issues. KCS is a proven methodology for integrating the use, validation, improvement, and creation of knowledge into the workflow. Organizations that have implemented KCS see benefits in operational efficiency and organizational learning. Members of the Consortium for Service Innovation developed and continue to evolve the methodology, and offer extensive documentation under a Creative Commons license including the KCS Principles and Core Concepts, the KCS v6 Practices Guide, and the KCS v6 Adoption Guide.
How KCS relates to Intelligent Swarming
Organizations with mature KCS implementations find that the ratio of new vs. known issues coming into the support center shifts. Where at first, issues were mostly known, once you capture organizational knowledge and make it available through a self-service mechanism, the work coming into the support center shifts to mostly new. This requires a different approach: the way we solve new issues is different from the way we solve known issues.
The most efficient way to manage requests is to connect:
- people to content for known issues
- people to people for new issues
KCS strives to make the first as efficient as possible. Intelligent Swarming addresses the second.
KCS and Intelligent Swarming are complimentary to each other. Intelligent Swarming will be most helpful for solving issues that are complex and new to the support organization. The result of the swarm activity is not only a resolution to the issue but also a knowledge article, using KCS. This way, other knowledge workers can reuse the work of the swarm, in case the issue happens again.
In short, KCS deals with content (knowledge), while Intelligent Swarming deals with people (collaboration).
Regarding organizational learning, KCS uses a double-loop process, consisting of a Solve Loop and Evolve Loop. The Solve Loop focuses on solving issues; the Evolve Loop focuses on improving organizational practices (the bigger picture). Intelligent Swarming can be integrated into the Solve Loop and be part of the process of solving exceptions.