Knowledge is power… but only if you can find it
Advanced technical knowledge and operational management skills are key to Conosco’s ability to remain competitive and offer great service to our clients. In this article, our own Technical Knowledge and Operations Manager, Chris Holtham, explains the role of knowledge curation in day-to-day operational efficiency.
Working in the dynamic (and often challenging) MSP/support environment, it becomes crucial to have a well-rounded, extensive and comprehensive internal knowledge base. This provides the team with the resources and information they need to complete tasks at hand, and also allows them to improve their own skill and expertise.
Although there are many different options available for documenting, storing, and retrieving the accumulated data relating to the internal workings of client systems and infrastructure, it’s often the case that key data lurks amongst a plethora of other unrelated articles (and potentially inaccurate or out of date) information.
Studies have shown that, on average, between 10 – 20% of daily work hours are spent searching for information which is either not present or not easily locatable; or completing independent research for processes or tasks which are already documented, but not quickly identified in internal searches. To put this into perspective, if you have five engineers working on a support desk, only four of them will be providing effective support, while the other will be delivering unproductive time as he or she searches for information.
Some companies rely on a ‘go-to-guy/girl’ – one person who has all the knowledge on a particular subject (often stored in his or her own head!). This is a point of failure because if this person were to leave the organisation, fall ill, or be otherwise unavailable, no other member of staff has access to the required details. This results in delays in turnaround, client frustration, and potentially uncompletable requests pending the return/availability of aforementioned employee.
At Conosco, we strive to provide the best results when it comes to the support experience, and are constantly looking for ways to improve access to information. Having data easily accessible by all staff with minimal effort, allows us to improve turnaround times on support tickets, inherently improve internal knowledge by having this in an easy to access and memorable format, and built on communal contributions where all engineers with expert knowledge on the subject can refine and improve current documentation and processes, ensuring these are always up to date and comprehensive.