Coaching to Maximize the Success of your KCS Program

Coaching is a critical component of a successful KCS program.  We were very fortunate to have three seasoned KCS practitioners join us as panelists on our November KCS in Action Webinar to discuss coaching.  Monique Cadena from Akamai, Christie Morin from Broadcom, and Jason O’Donnell from Autodesk shared their KCS programs, tips for an effective coaching program, lessons learned and mistakes to avoid, and steps to measure and sell the value of your coaching program. 

There were many great questions asked in chat during the webinar.  The panel covered most of the questions in real-time during the event and followed up with answers to the unanswered chat questions shortly after the event.  

One area that the panel drilled down on was the responsibilities of the Coach.  The KCS v6 Adoption Guide and KCS v6 Practices Guide detail all of the responsibilities of the Coach:

  • Acting as a change agent by promoting understanding of the intent and benefits of KCS
  • Promoting understanding and adherence to the content standard (article quality)
  • Promoting understanding and adherence to the Solve Loop processes (Process Adherence Review)
  • Assessing the quality of articles and adherence to the process
  • Providing feedback to the knowledge workers and, when appropriate, to management
  • Establishing rapport and meeting regularly with the knowledge workers they are coaching
  • Attending regular KCS Coach meetings
  • Providing recommendations to the KCS Council to improve the workflow and the content standard

The Panel highlighted the two main responsibilities 1) Assessing the quality of articles and adherence to the process through the Content Standard Checklist (formally AQI) and the Process Adherence Review (PAR) and 2) Coaching to develop the Knowledge Workers’ competencies on searching, reusing, improving and, if it doesn’t exist, creating articles with very little assistance from their Coach.

While many companies have the Coach perform the assessment of the articles and adherence to the process of the Knowledge Worker they are coaching, Autodesk shared that they have a Coach from another team do the assessment portion of that Knowledge Worker to enable the Coach of that Knowledge Worker to focus on just the coaching portion.   

This separation of Coaching activities has many benefits. We have heard many stories of Coaches who enjoy coaching their peers, but feel uncomfortable assessing their direct peers.  Separating the assessment responsibility of a Knowledge Worker from the coaching responsibility resolves that issue.  Autodesk plans to take that separation a step further by centralizing much of the assessment.  Their goal is to enable the Coach to spend more time coaching by reducing their assessment activities.  This move will also bring more consistency to the assessment activities.   

This centralization of assessment activities also better positions companies to automate some of those assessment activities.  Patrick McBride from Oracle and I discussed some of those automation opportunities in a prior KCS in Action webinar — Improving Coaching with Automation.

Coaching is critical.  The benefits gained with KCS are proportional to the investment made by the organization in coaching.  We hope the coaching resources mentioned above will help you maximize the effectiveness of your KCS program.

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