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Mike Tarrani
Linda Zarate
Kate Hartshorn

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Saturday, March 16, 2002


Knowledge in Production Support. Kate's discussion of knowledge management ties into IT production support, particularly at the contact center or help desk level. In fact, all of the major help desk applications either have knowledge management modules built into the core product or are available as options and/or third-party add-ons.

Gaps. While these tools have been available for years, they are often not implemented, or if they are implemented, they are not used to their fullest potential by any but a few help desk organizations.

Help desk professionals who understand knowledge management are rare. Moreover, many help desk managers are experts in problem management and service level management, few have the background and knowledge needed to appreciate the true value of knowledge management. In theory they all seem to agree that it's a good thing, but in practice many give it lip service. This does not diminish their professionalism; instead it validates everything Kate had to say about the daunting (and expensive) endeavor of implementing knowledge management. As a service delivery practitioner I fully appreciate the difficulties, and also believe that knowledge management is a discipline, and implementing it correctly requires experienced professionals who fully understand how to capture, organize and disseminate knowledge. I also appreciate having Kate on our team and look forward to her future entries about knowledge management.

I want to share some basic documents about knowledge management that are specific to help desk operations:

These documents only scratch the surface of what help desk and service delivery professionals need to know about knowledge management, but they are a starting point.

Wrap-up. Lessons Learned from Help Desk Consolidations doesn't address knowledge management, but does represent valuable knowledge that we should be capturing and managing. I found this gem when I was researching a completely different topic and immediately saw its value to anyone who is faced with consolidating help desks or contact centers. I also enjoyed reading a whitepaper published by Hewlett-Packard titled A Fool With a Tool is Still a Fool because it supports my position that tools without processes are useless.

Mike is not missing in action - he's swamped with a heavy workload. He should be resurfacing later in the week.