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Consortium for Service Innovation

Phase 2: Adopting

Phase 2 establishes an understanding of the KCS concepts and practices. We promote and recognize the knowledge worker behaviors that align with the KCS techniques. Through coaching and recognition, the Solve Loop activities become a habit for the knowledge workers. And, knowledge workers experience the benefit and value of capturing and reusing the collective experience of the group by integrating use of the knowledge base into their workflow.

Phase 2 activities include:

  • Training of the knowledge workers, their managers, and the coaches
  • Validation of the foundation elements built in Phase 1
  • Evolution of the technology to better support the KCS Practices
  • KCS competency development through coaching
  • Feedback to the knowledge workers about the impact of their contribution to the knowledge base

The desired outcomes of this phase includes internal referenceability and knowledge worker enthusiasm about the KCS Practices, as well as the emerging benefits.

As we work through Phase 2, our focus is on individual and team proficiency in the techniques of the Solve Loop. Our measures are focused on individual proficiency rather than organizational measures. The key indicators below reveal how well the team understands and embraces the KCS Solve Loop practices. Some of these baselines may have been captured in Phase 1.

Exit Criteria for Phase 2

If we achieve certain thresholds of maturity in Phase 2, we are ready to move on to Phase 3, the Leveraging phase of KCS. These achievements attest to individual competence, but also validate that underlying use of the KCS Practices is sound, and the knowledge base quality and completeness is improving.

If we have a useful content standard, then people will use it to build quality articles. If the content in the knowledge base is findable and usable, responders will search for, reuse, modify, and link articles. If the collection of content is big enough, Knowledge Domain Experts (KDEs) often organically emerge and begin to do analysis on article reuse patterns to identify high-value content.

Traditional organizational measures should look great by the end of Phase 2, justifying continuing support for the KCS program. We refer to the Phase 1 baselines to see if we have gained improvements in these KCS group-level measurements:


From KCS v6 Adoption Guide:

Phase 2 Activities


Readiness Evidence

Key Performance Metrics are consistently reviewed to assess behaviors. 

Demonstrates commitment to the program

  • First contact resolution increased compared to baseline
  • Time to proficiency decreased compared to baseline
  • Increase in capacity (usually 20-30%)
  • Cost per incident decreased from baseline

KCS Training and Coaching 

Understanding and buy-in: knowledge workers have adopted the KCS workflow and understand the content standard

80-90% of knowledge workers are trained and licensed (KCS Contributors or KCS Publishers)

Knowledge base is being used for 65%-85% of requests

Reduced rework, leveraging the collective experience of the organization through reuse of knowledge, and minimal duplicate articles being created

Link accuracy is 90% or greater. Link rates are 65%-85% (this range represents the fact that using the knowledge base has become a habit, and it is enough use to sustain the methodology)

Articles are being reused or modified as needed, and created if they don't exist

Most of what the organization knows has been captured in the knowledge base

Reuse rate of existing articles is greater than the creation rate of new articles

Functional and integration improvements identified in Wave I have been implemented

Optimal process drives how the work gets done. Make it easy for the knowledge worker to do the right thing.

Technology supports the workflow (through modifications to existing tools or acquisition of new tools)

Articles adhere to the content standard

Articles in the KB are sufficient to help (findable and usable)

Content Standard Checklist average for the team is equal to or exceeds the checklist target

Knowledge workers are doing the Solve Loop activities Knowledge articles are being reused, improved, and if it doesn't exist, captured in the workflow PAR average for the team is equal to or exceeds the PAR target

Knowledge base has shown value internally

Assures customers will find helpful articles in self-service (Phase 3)

Reuse of existing articles is equal to or greater than the creation rate


Because participants are reusing content successfully, Phase 2 should produce measurable efficiency gains. However, we do not set targets for efficiency improvement. Efficiency targets would distract us from the critical adoption success indicators. Also, it is very hard to predict what the efficiency improvement will be.

Noting positive trends benefits both individuals and the organization as a whole. Improvement in traditional resolution capacity measurements, coupled with the knowledge workers’ growing sense of confidence in supporting a broader range of products, should contribute to the participants’ excitement about their progress and build referenceability.

In Phase 2, we make major efficiency gains, so we can assess organization-level measurements such as resolution capacity and average work time to resolve. By the end of Phase 2, we should be able to document the kind of improvements in cost per transaction that organization executives understand. We should also see improvements in our cultural baselines of collaboration and trust and in employee job satisfaction.

If you stop here, the KCS behaviors will atrophy and die. No amount of tee shirts, coffee cups, or certificates can substitute for the inherent motivation of the knowledge worker seeing the impact of their contribution. Knowledge workers get satisfaction from seeing their peers use articles they have created or modified (both need to be recognized). The next phase presents opportunities to amplify that sense of contribution and satisfaction. The improvement in customer success with self-service and driving organizational improvements are both hugely gratifying and motivating to the knowledge worker. It is leadership's responsibility to ensure the reports and dashboards are in place that allows knowledge workers to see the impact of their contribution.

Completion of Phase 2 should mean a celebration for the adoption program team and the knowledge workers in the adoption wave that is ready to enter Phase 3. The executive sponsor should feature quantified improvements in their communications.

Although self-congratulations are justified, we must make sure that the stakeholders understand the need to maintain forward progress. Phase 3 not only provides operational improvements for the support organization, it is also where we see improvements in customer success and productivity. The expanded visibility of the knowledge base provides a gradual shift in the nature of the work. This is one of the fundamental motivation factors for the knowledge workers to continue doing KCS. It is in Phase 3 that the mix of new and known issues begins to shift from mostly known to mostly new. Over time, knowledge workers are working on fewer known issues; many of the known, redundant work is now being handled through self-service. This not only reinforces the KCS behaviors but improves employee morale and job satisfaction.

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