Top knowledge champions share their secrets

Illustration of a robot with a brain

Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice.

The Knowledge Base (KB) is the central repository for LITS IT documentation and the key component of Emory’s Knowledge Management process. The ITSMO Team wanted to recognize two of its most prolific users to exemplify how useful the tool can be for all of LITS.

Messaging Team – Jay Flanagan

“One of the things my team and I strive for is getting as much info as possible in the KB. We manage Exchange and Office 365, and we want users to have enough info to utilize those tools and all the things that go with them. We created articles for O365 and how to use it, as well articles that point to things in the Microsoft database such as ‘how do I log in,’ ‘how do I delegate access,’ ‘how do I use calendar.'”

“Our goal is to make sure that if users have any questions, they can find them. This helps users directly as well as the Service Desk. The more info that our users have, the easier it is for them and the easier it is for our support teams to deal with situations as opposed to calling us. It reduces the amount of tickets we have.”

“The Messaging Team has bought into the documentation culture so much so that we automatically do KB articles as a normal part of our processes. It has become second nature. It helped when Jymbellyn Carthon joined the team from Service Desk as she was able to take on a lot of the documentation responsibility and made it easier for others to see the benefits of this culture change.”

“Every member of my team has been or currently is a knowledge champion. We have also teamed with the Service Desk with cross-training and have been working with them to review processes.”

“Simply put, the process works. Once you get your articles into the KB, you can point your customers and users to them and it automatically saves time so that you don’t have to keep repeating the same set of instructions all the time. It is not as painful as you might think to create these simple and straightforward articles.”

Security Team – Derek Spransy

“We use the KB extensively for documentation around things like ‘how to address common security vulnerabilities’ as well as documentation for services like MBAM and our smart device policy.”

“A lot of our usage comes from thinking about the content we need to put out there. We think about the common questions we get from users and the types of information we want the general Emory public to consume regarding security. We collaborate with the Service Desk by using their templates to create reference guides.”

“We don’t use the KB to quickly disseminate stuff, but during times of crisis we bolster our communication by including links to specific articles. One example of this was during the wide-ranging poodle attack that affected SSL. Within a day we had developed a KB article that gave people instruction for disabling SSL procotols on several different platforms.”

“People will ask me a question and I like to say, ‘Have you reviewed the KB article? The answer is in there.’ I believe the KB is underutilized by both people generating the articles and people using the database. I think we need to make our documentation a priority and the KB is the right tool for that dedicated effort.”

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