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Consortium for Service Innovation

7) Sufficient to Solve

Keep it Simple and Appropriate for the Intended Audience

Sufficient to solve: it doesn't have to be perfect to be valuable!

As it relates to knowledge articles, the concept of sufficient to solve is based on two observations:

  1. It is very difficult to predict the future value of what we learn from our interactions
  2. 80% of what we capture will never be reused

Our goal is to capture what we learn in a way that is good enough to be findable and usable by the intended audience. We want to do this in a way that is efficient for both the responder and requestor. Capture the experience in a simple structure or template. Describe the issue in a bullet list format using words and phrases that represent complete thoughts or ideas. Sentences and paragraphs are not required. A bullet list is easier for the author to create and easier for others to read.

We can capture the experience with minimal effort and then let demand for that knowledge drive its improvement or expansion. In doing this we are not spending time editing an article that may never be reused. The articles that are reused get additional attention because in KCS reuse is review.

The concept of sufficient to solve or "good enough" applies in different ways to the Solve and Evolve Loops.  In both cases we are addressing the question of quality; how good is good enough?

In the Solve Loop, "sufficient to solve" applies to the knowledge article structure and writing style.  

In the Evolve Loop, it applies to the level of detail provided by the content standard and the process; it relates to the observation that organizations frequently over-engineer their content standard and workflow model. There is a tendency to make them everything they could be instead of just what they need to be. We need a content standard workflow that is as simple as possible and sufficient to get started.  The double loop process enables us to continuously improve the content standard and the workflow based on actual experience. Over time, the content standard and workflow will become exactly what they need to be.

"Keep it simple" should be a regular test as the KCS Council defines the foundation elements for the KCS adoption, and remain as a test as the organization progresses on the KCS journey.  Doing so will increase the organization’s ability to adopt and sustain KCS.


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