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Knowledge Management recommendations for support staff

Search early and search often! This Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) maxim means that before you create a knowledge article, you should search the knowledge base to check whether articles on the issue already exist

It also means that you should conduct multiple searches using different criteria, which increases the likelihood that you will find a match. For complete information about searching for knowledge articles, see Searching for knowledge articles.

Creating a knowledge article when you create an incident request ensures a tighter integration between incident management and the knowledge base, which is important for good knowledge management.

When you create a knowledge article, be sure to capture the full context of the Incident. This context includes technical information, such as hardware and software details, and non-technical information, such as what the customer thinks could be causing the incident and what impact the incident is having on them.

BMC recommends that you use the following information categories when capturing technical information.

  • Incident — The situation (or question) in the customer's words; what are they trying to do or what is not working.
    Capturing the issue in the customer's words is important because other customers are likely to view similar issues in the same way. If the customer's description is reworded or re-categorized by technical staff after the incident request is created, it might not be found as a match when searching the knowledge base the next time a similar issue arises.
  • Environment — What technology does the customer have? Was anything in the environment changed recently?
  • Resolution — The steps required to resolve the incident or answer the question.
  • Metadata — High-level categorization of the article's content aids searchability, maintenance, reporting, and other processes related to the handling of the article.

Over time, the way that a person who reports an incident remembers and interprets non-technical information can change. It is important, therefore, to capture non-technical information in a knowledge article early in the incident handling process. For this reason, BMC also recommends that you create the knowledge article and register the incident request simultaneously. Even if the incident resolution is not yet known, you can start the knowledge article and then add resolution information later. This ensures that known details are captured and are available to others who might be working on the same or a similar incident request. By always creating incident requests and knowledge articles simultaneously, you also ensure that knowledge articles become an integral by-product of incident registration.

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