Knowledge Domain Analysis Maximizes the Value of Your KCS Program

We have said many times that we have not seen a successful KCS program without a KCS coaching program. Similarly, we have not seen an organization maximize the value of its KCS program without a Knowledge Domain Analysis (KDA) program. A KDA program, with Knowledge Domain Experts (KDEs) performing the analysis and driving action plans, is key to helping shift issues left– from the agent-assist channel, to chatbots, community, self-service, AutoSupport, proactive support, and ideally problem elimination. The KDE analyzes the various Voice of Customer touchpoints (cases, article views, article feedback, community threads and responses, searches and results, customer journeys, etc.) to get a clear understanding of the issues in their domain. This analysis also helps generate action plans to shift those issues to channels that require lower customer effort and time.

There is no one right way to implement a KDA program. Judgment is required to optimize it for your organization–your products and services and supporting service delivery methods. Recently we assembled a panel of KDE Leads to discuss the critical aspects of a Knowledge Domain Analysis program and various ways to leverage Knowledge Domain Experts to do this analysis. KDE Leads Dave Stewart from Akamai, Andy Kiendl from NetApp, and Dan Miller from Geotab shared:

  • Various ways to staff the KDE program
  • Measuring health and improvement at a domain level
  • Key KDE activities and associated frequency
  • Properly enabling KDEs for success
  • Selling the value being created 

The panel shared a wealth of best practices. While there were many unique aspects to their approaches, there were many similarities as well. Whether you are just thinking about establishing a KDA program or fine-tuning one that is already established, the ideas shared in the following recording and resources will help you further refine your KCS program.



Chat Transcript

Christopher Henderson:    Howdy from Seattle!
Cressenda Youngs:    Hello from Minnesota!
Lauren Price | Cigna | SC:    Hello from South Carolina!
Monty – Geotab:    Hey from Atlanta
Liz Kidd:    Hello from Illinois!
Nicole Patterson:    Hello from Northeast PA!
Chris:    feel like the odd one out! hello from Greece everyone
Mark Churchill – Rockwell Automation – UK:    Nope, hello from the UK!
Vyjayanthi Sreenivasan:    Hello from Bangalore!
Andy Kiendl | NetApp:    sitting in Munich 🙂 so EMEA also
Beth Coleman | CATALYNK:    Hello from New Zealand!
Eoghan Sinnott:    Hello from Ireland!
Mark Churchill – Rockwell Automation – UK:    Beth, you win!
Owen Barber | FIS:    Hi from Cambridge, UK
Shai:    Hello from Hyderabad, India
Mayank Sharma | Vision Willow | Netherlands:    Hello from Netherlands 🙂 everyone.
Laurence Leccia | Akamai | Boston, MA:    I’ll be in New Zealand in a few weeks. Very excited about that trip. Where in NZ are you, Beth?

Kelly Murray | Consortium | Seattle:    KCS Driven Problem Management is available to Consortium Members in the wiki (let us know at if you need help getting in!)

Lauren Price | Cigna | SC:    How far on your KCS journey did you set up a KDA Program? And how many KDEs did you start with?
Andy Kiendl | NetApp:    we will answer that in a little bit
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Lauren: At Akamai, we started the KDE program approx a year and a half into the launch of our official KCS program. We began with domain curation as the main KDA, accompanied by beta article creation (to trooubleshoot newly launched products).

Logan Baez – NetApp:  Provides a summary of KDE activities in the chart. it reflects the order in which these activities are implemented.

Steven Arsenault:    Can someone give an example of an “Evolve loop article”. I’m not sure what that means.
Raghu Bellamkonda:    Articles created as part of content gap analysis
Kelly Murray | Consortium | Seattle:    From the KDA Guide that Logan linked to above: “Evolve Loop articles are usually created by Knowledge Domain Experts based on patterns and trends that emerge in a collection or domain of Solve Loop articles.”
Kelley Hawkins:    At Kaiser Permanente, our evolve loop articles are highly used and highly view articles and we look for areas of improvement or self service article promotion.
Logan Baez – NetApp:    @Steven Technique 5.4: Creating Evolve Loop Articles
Steven Arsenault:    Thank you!
Logan Baez – NetApp:    evolve loop article types can vary . At  NetApp for example we have Hub articles (we call them Resolution guides) , Troubleshooting workflows, system call home events. FAQs

Raghu Bellamkonda:    How do you measure your KDA program? I meant what measurements are used for successfulness of KDA program?
Erik D Geotab:    We use things like times an article was used to resolved an issue with and without a case as one metric
Monty – Geotab:    It depends on what phase the KCS program is in.
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Raghu Bellamkonda: At Akamai, we have a guideline for KDEs to log 30 KDAs per quarter as a group. There is also a dashboard that helps us keep track of their contributions (content creation, edits, etc.)
Kevin Hinson | NetApp:    For measuring KDA program at NetApp we track our activities in a Jira project, and measure impact with metrics like KB usage for specific issues, and total support case inflow per install base.

Erik D Geotab:    Deputy KDEs have been a great addition
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Erik: +1
Erik D Geotab:    Really helped us get early buy in from management

Raghu Bellamkonda:    Thanks, Arkadeb. How do you differentiate the articles created from Solve loop and Evolve loop?
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Raghu Bellamkonda: We maintain separate dashboards for ‘solve’ and ‘evolve’ loop participants. Hence the reports are filtered to include contributions only from KDEs.

Bill Decker:    When identifying KDEs, did you find you were more likely to pick from your KCS coaches?
Erik D Geotab:    A lot of our KDEs our former coaches
Andy Kiendl | NetApp:    for us coaches and KDEs are mostly different. Coaches are more people people KDEs more data people
Monty – Geotab:    Personally, I am a deputy KDE and a coach.  It is actually helpful for both roles.
Logan Baez – NetApp:    @monty +1
Logan Baez – NetApp:    We work closely with the Lead coaches. to have an effective evolve loop you must have a successful solve loop.
Erik D Geotab:    I was a coach and a KDE

Doreen Koh:    Do you have the challenge of making sure your Level 2 or 3 engineers who are KDEs create/update content from customers perspective (vs technical/engineering perspective) and if so, how do you help the engineers/KDEs change their perspectives?
Erik D Geotab:    We encourage our engineers to participate by showing them the benefits of having a solid KB. We can show them the data to say hey look the number of cases about this issue has dropped since we created the article helps get buy in  

Christopher Henderson:    who has the ring?
Bill Decker:    There are two rings: Solve and Evolve
Christopher Henderson:    👆

Raghu Bellamkonda:    Do you have any recognition program for KDEs? how is this different from regular KCS recognition program?
Monty – Geotab:    We don’t have a separate KDE recognition program at Geotab.
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Raghu Bellamkonda: At Akamai, we call out the top contributors during “All Hands” (quarterly leadership call for org updates). We are still brainstorming on the most effective way(s) to recognize KDEs but the mode is not different from other recognition programs.
Erik D Geotab:    Dan does a great job shouting us out
Monty – Geotab:    Yes, Dan is very supportive of all of us.  Though theres no formal recognition program, being on the team is definitely a positive on my career.

Kelly Murray | Consortium | Seattle:    Daniel’s presentation with SearchUnify (in which he describes their Deputy KDE program)

David Kay | DB Kay | Santa Cruz Mtns:    “If the Solve Loop isn’t successful, your Evolve Loop can’t be.”  So true!  Especially link accuracy.  And KDA provides a great source of input to help the coaches improve the Solve Loop.
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    +1 @David. You can’t maintain a car unless it’s manufactured.

Jason O’Donnell | Autodesk | PDX:    Question for all three to loop back post-session: How do you manage a global KDA program and deliverables across products that have such different levels of maturity and needs? A KDE for one product may be doing something wildly different than another KDE is a less or more mature product space. Do you report on all the individual product areas or roll it all up in some graceful fashion?
Andy Kiendl | NetApp:    @jason some of the KDEs operate very different based on the needs they have
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    @Jason: great question! We encourage KDEs to choose KDAs that are most impactful for the needs of their geo….for e.g. non-English articles are a need in the APJ region. We are continuing to brainstorm along these lines.

Christopher Henderson:    Thank y’all!!
Richie Amacio | ADP:    thank you again!  very informative
Lauren Price | Cigna | SC:    Thank you all!
Jason O’Donnell | Autodesk | PDX:    thanks Andy! 🙂
Liz Kidd:    Thank you 🙂
Chris:    thanks guys!
Steven Arsenault:    thanks everyone!
Arkadeb Banerjee (Akamai):    Thanks all!
Andrew Payette:    Thank you
Beth Coleman | CATALYNK:    Great session!
Kevin Hinson | NetApp:    Thanks everyone!
Mayank Sharma | Vision Willow | Netherlands:    thanks ALl 🙂
Raghu Bellamkonda:    Thank you all, very informative session. 
Jason O’Donnell | Autodesk | PDX:    Thanks Arkadeb!
Dragan Trajkovic:    Thanks everyone. This was great!
Jason O’Donnell | Autodesk | PDX:    And thanks to Dan and David as well! 🙂

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