KCS Transformation Series: Plan and Design

Why do we “design” Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS)? Because KCS operationalizes knowledge-sharing to gain the most value for customers, employees, and the business… in your environment.

KCS is not something we do in addition to solving problems. It becomes the way we solve problems.

KCS v6 Practices Guide

Enjoy this recent conversation between KCS enthusiasts and Certified KCS Trainers focused on getting set up for success and making KCS work best in individual environments – including a review of available resources (linked below!), tips for success and common pitfalls to avoid, and lots of time for Q&A.


Core Resources

A thorough understanding of these resources is critical for success with KCS. 

KCS Principles and Core Concepts

Nonnegotiable guidelines for alignment and decision-making.

KCS v6 Practices Guide

Examples and techniques for operationalizing the KCS Principles & Core Concepts.

Measurement Matters v6

Sustained success with KCS requires a change in how we measure the health and value being created in a knowledge-centric environment.

KCS Adoption & Transformation Guide

  • Plan and Design
  • Adopt in Waves
  • Build Proficiency
  • Optimize and Innovate
Consortium Methodologies are based on Principles of an Adaptive Organization, which include trust, create value, demand driven, and abundance. Each of the methodologies have their own separate core concepts, practices, and techniques.

Consortium methodologies share baseline Principles for an Adaptive Organization. Within each methodology, Core Concepts get a bit more specific. Practices are tailored within each methodology to support Techniques, which are meant to adapt to specific environments. 

This guide is an invitation to success. While it provides a step-by-step approach for planning a KCS adoption, it is not intended to be “the only right way.” Our aim is to share what we have learned about what makes for a successful KCS adoption and help you maximize the many benefits of doing KCS. 

KCS v6 Adoption & Transformation Guide

Designing KCS for your Organization

The Plan and Design phase is about building a strong foundation and preparing sufficiently to start Wave I.

Plan and Design Phase

  • Build tools required for successful adoption
  • Gather baseline measurements
  • Set realistic internal and external expectations

KCS Design Session

Note that Plan and Design is the only phase with exit criteria; these are the things that must be complete before moving to the next phase of KCS adoption. After the Plan and Design phase, following phases are more fluid.

Exit Criteria for Plan and Design

KCS Adoption Challenges

Buy-In At All Levels

  • “Executive Buy-in”
  • “Leadership understanding KCS”
  • “Support team thinking that KCS is an additional task for them”
  • “Organizational buy-in and reluctance to change.”
  • Lack of investment from senior leadership.
  • “Proving the value before I can prove the value.”

Managing Resources

  • “We’re such a huge company and everything/one is so disjointed”
  • “Lack of resources makes it hard to operate coaching or KDA programs”
  • “Using multiple knowledge base tools across the organization”
  • “Minimal standards or consistency for case management”
  • “Budgets, competing priorities, fear of KPIs.”

Content Quality and Knowledge Sharing

  • “Maintaining redundant KCS solutions”
  • “Quality of articles and volume published to customers.”
  • “Creation of valuable content for heavily customized products”
  • “End users not consuming the self-service portal enough.”
  • “Find the right way to create, to share, and keep updated.”

Fostering a Culture of Collaboration

  • “Resistance to change”
  • “Connecting to and changing high-level measurements in orgs outside of direct KCS control.”
  • “Time zones!”
  • “Low participation rates”
  • “Implementing ‘collective ownership’ mentality across the organization”
  • “Not being the leader to drive adoption, and needing a leader to lead.”

Many KCS adoption challenges are familiar “ditches”

Adoption & Transformation Guide: Important Lessons Learned.

Source: The “Why” Behind Each Phase

Headshots of presenters Jennifer Crippen, Adam Hansen, Ryan Mathews, and Jacob Watts

Recent Adoption Guide Updates

How the KCS v6 Adoption Guide became the KCS v6 Adoption & Transformation Guide

Adult learners in a classroom

KCS Training

Self-Paced & Instructor-Led from the only authorized certifying body for KCS.

KCS Adoption: Top 7 Tips for Getting Started

Most Repeated KCS Advice

Consortium Member guidance for achieving celebration-worthy results

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