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The knowledge management maturity model: transform your support organization from reactive to business centric.

When a service desk manager is asked, "Do you use Knowledge Management (KM)?" The answer is often, "Yes".

But what "Yes" means can vary dramatically, since the term Knowledge Management within the service desk can mean something different within each organization. Accordingly, these organizations need to develop an understanding of the levels of KM maturity so they can determine where they currently stand with KM and determine the steps required to move from reactive to proactive, to customer-centric, and finally, to business-centric.

Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) is a KM methodology developed by the Consortium for Service Innovation. KCS is a set of Knowledge Management best practices grown out of the experiences of the Consortium membership. Subsequently, many companies have successfully adopted this methodology, but upon closer analysis of those implementations, you will discover that few companies have reached full maturity.

In 2003, the HDI Strategic Advisory Board defined "The Support Center Maturity Model." The model examines the characteristics of support: people, process, technology, and vision. It also provides guidance to support organizations as they evolve and become more valuable to their companies. Realizing that support centers often start off tactically and then mature to become a strategic asset of the company, the HDI Strategic Advisory Board defined the four phases of maturity as reactive, proactive, customer-centric and business-centric and specifically noted that Knowledge Management was a key enabler of this evolution. It is important to understand that there is no right or wrong place to be in terms of this maturity model. The key is to understand the model so you can determine your current state and aspire to achieve the next.

The Knowledge Management Maturity Model aligns with "The Support Center Maturity Model" and advocates the use of Knowledge-Centered Support, the only set of Knowledge Management best practices based on process and proven practices. The model provides a look at the various characteristics of KM methodologies along with the requirements for optimizing your own implementation. When implementing Knowledge Management, you must first identify gaps compared to the model and then evolve your organization accordingly.

There are 10 elements of the Knowledge Management Maturity Model. By looking at each element, you can analyze your current state and perform a gap analysis. The gap analysis can be leveraged to build a vision for Knowledge Management within your support center. These 10 elements are:

1. OBJECTIVE: WHY ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT?

2. SPONSOR: WHO WORRIES ABOUT THE KNOWLEDGE INITIATIVE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL?

3. AUDIENCE: WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE OF THE KNOWLEDGEBASE?

4. CULTURE: WHAT IS THE BURNING QUESTION RELATED TO KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT?

5. PEOPLE: WHO IS INVOLVED IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT?

6. QUALITY: WHAT ARE THE QUALITY REQUIREMENTS? HOW IS QUALITY MANAGED?

7. TECHNOLOGY: WHAT TYPE OF INVESTMENT HAS BEEN MADE IN THE TOOLS?

8. MARKETING: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE MARKETING INITIATIVE?

9. ANALYTICS: WHAT MEASUREMENTS ARE USED TO EVALUATE SUCCESS?

10. METHODOLOGY: WHAT PROCESSES ARE IMPLEMENTED BASED ON WHAT METHODOLOGY?

As you examine each element of the model you will gain an understanding of the characteristics as they relate to the four states of maturity: reactive, proactive, customer-centric, and business-centric. For each element, you should determine your organization's current state of maturity and contrast it with your desired state. Only then can you fully create a vision for your initiative and define an action plan for Knowledge Management implementation.

Download a Complete Copy of the HDI Focus Book--The Knowledge Management Maturity Model

Visit www.thinkhdi.com/oc/km

About HDI

HDI, a Think Service company, is the world's largest IT service and support membership association and the industry's premier certification and training body. Guided by an international panel of industry experts and practitioners, HDI is the leading resource for help desk/support center emerging trends and best practices. HDI provides members with a vast repository of resources, networking opportunities, and the largest industry event--the HDI Annual Conference and Expo. For more information, visit http://www.thinkhdi.com or call +1 719.268.0174.

BY RICK JOSLIN

HDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF

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Author:Joslin, Rick
Publication:CRM Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:675
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