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Consortium for Service Innovation

Defining Wave I

Wave I Definition

A KCS adoption happens in waves; the number of waves depends on the size of the organization. The first wave is important because it will:

  • Test the workflow and content standard
  • Identify and/or validate the technology and integration requirements
  • Create internal referenceability and excitement about the program 

At the conclusion of the KCS Design Session, we create the Adoption Plan and Road Map. This exercise identifies the initial group of 20-50 knowledge workers (Wave I) who will incorporate the design deliverables into their workflow. Once Wave I is complete and the workflow and content standard are updated, it is important to update the organization's formal job descriptions of the knowledge workers with the responsibilities described in the KCS roles.

Selecting Participants for Wave I:

  • Already in a responder role answering questions
  • Represent end-to-end points to complete the workflow
  • Represent multiple geographies
  • Are potential coaches for subsequent waves

KCS Roles

Decisions about the KCS licensing (proficiency) model are made during the design session and need to be implemented in Wave I. The licensing model is one of many areas where the theme "keep it simple" proves to be good advice. We are seeing very successful KCS adoptions with a simple two-level model for the majority of the knowledge workers: candidates (learning KCS) and Publisher (full rights and privileges). These organizations also have KCS Coaches and KDEs.

The roles defined by the KCS v6 Practices Guide are:

Knowledge Workers – Anyone who does intellectual work as opposed to physical work. People who use data and information to make judgments and decisions and/or take action. Knowledge workers can play the role of responder or requestor. In the KCS model, knowledge workers can earn any of the following license levels:

  • KCS Candidate — Provisional contributor to the knowledge base. A basic user of the knowledge base who is familiar with capturing and structuring content. Can create internal articles and modify their own but cannot modify others. KCS Candidate works closely with a KCS Coach. 
  • KCS Contributor — Creates, modifies, and reviews articles for publishing to a defined audience, usually internal users only.
  • KCS Publisher — Empowered and expected to make good judgments in making articles visible to an external audience.
  • KCS Coach – KCS expert and influencer who supports the development of the KCS Candidates and KCS Contributors.
  • Knowledge Domain Experts (KDE) – Looks after the health of the knowledge base. Has deep domain expertise and an extensive understanding of KCS. Responsible for identifying Evolve Loop content based on patterns of article reuse in the Solve Loop. The KDE is focused on a collection or domain of content.

Successful adoptions have a formal licensing process for the KCS roles and a formal coaching program to help knowledge workers who are interested in learning KCS and earning a license. For a list of criteria as a starting point for the licensing model see the Appendix D: KCS Roles and Competencies in the KCS v6 Practices Guide. This list should be updated to include competencies that are unique to the organization's processes and tools.

Initial training for knowledge workers may include self-paced online courses available from the Consortium for Service Innovation: Digital Transformation Fundamentals (the why of KCS) and KCS v6 Fundamentals (the how of the Solve Loop) in addition to training on the organization's workflow.  For those who aspire to be KCS Publishers, Coaches, and KDEs, it is highly recommended that they earn the KCS v6 Practices Certification. The KCS v6 Practices Certification ensures individuals have a thorough understanding of the KCS principles and practices.  For 1st and 2nd line managers, starting with the Digital Transformation Fundamentals and the Managing in a Digital Economy self-paced courses is recommended.

Initial Coaching

The KCS Coach’s responsibility is to assist in the development of the skills of the Wave I participants. The knowledge workers in Wave I who demonstrate good coaching skills (strong influence and interpersonal skills, show an interest in the development of others) are good candidates to coach their peers in the subsequent waves of adoption. Coaches do not have to be subject matter experts in the domain they are coaching. They do have to be KCS enthusiasts and experts.

There are two approaches to coaching for Wave I:

  • Peer coaching program - Members of Wave I are put in teams of three.  They review articles they have created or modified and discuss issues and best practices with the workflow.  
  • KCS Council members act as Coaches

In either case, some training on coaching skills and how to do the Content Standard Checklist and PAR assessments should be provided for those who are coaching. See the Coach Development section for more information on coaching.

Establishing Baseline Measures

Before beginning Wave 1, the KCS Council 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 domain but typically include:

  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Employee satisfaction and loyalty
  • Time to resolution
  • First contact resolution or escalation rate
  • Average requests handled/closed per month per knowledge worker (capacity)
  • Time to proficiency (for new people)
  • Cost per request

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 traditional metrics that are known. For the new measures, a baseline must be estimated. The accuracy of the baseline is not important as long as the way it is measured is consistent throughout the adoption. It is the trend that will show we are making progress.

For more information about recommended measures, see the Measurement Matters v6 paper.

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