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Knowledge management refers to the concept of finding, organizing, and publishing knowledge. Knowledge management captures information quickly and efficiently and then delivers this information to a user or group. The information that is captured and made available for retrieval is referred to as a knowledge base.
Users access a knowledge base by using a search engine. Knowledge Management lets you create and manage content that resides in a knowledge base. You set category and document permissions to use groups or roles. Knowledge Management helps you provide customers with solutions to complex issues. Effective knowledge management quickly delivers solutions to customers through a process that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
To manage knowledge effectively, you take the following actions:
- Create a meaningful hierarchy of content.
- Identify the gaps in existing knowledge.
- Perform the updates and maintenance to help ensure relevance of content.
- Measure the value of available content.
Some of the key features of Knowledge Management are as follows:
- Document PreferencesUsers can define preferences that help them work with documents. For example, users can set preferences for the contents that display on the Knowledge Document List page. To view the Preferences Settings page:
- Select Preferences from the View menu.
- Click Edit on the Preferences Detail window.
- Natural Language SearchNatural Language Search (NLS) lets the analyst specify a natural language string, such as "How do I install a network printer?" to query the knowledge base for solutions. NLS instantly pinpoints candidate solutions, ranking them in order of relevance. As NLS learns from every solution that is captured, it continuously and automatically refines the knowledge base.
- Knowledge CategoriesKnowledge categories allow the analyst to manage the content in the knowledge base. They provide a mechanism for building and editing knowledge underlying the retrieval tools. Knowledge categories also include the ability to assign ownership of a particular knowledge solution to an expert. Hence, they ensure that the solution for a given problem is kept current and accurate.
- Knowledge Tree DesignerThe Knowledge Tree Designer tool helps the analyst develop and deploy business policies and intelligence by mapping any reasoning process into a knowledge tree structure.
- HTML EditorThe HTML Editor lets the analyst define the layout and static content of a knowledge document template. The template defines the layout and content of the Resolution section of a knowledge document. In a knowledge tree document, it defines the layout and content of a node.
- Knowledge Report CardThe Knowledge Report Card provides feedback to analysts, knowledge engineers, knowledge managers, supervisors, category owners, and system administrators about which knowledge documents are most effective. You can use the report card to improve the processes of creating knowledge documents and providing the best support to customers.
- Multi-TenancyMulti-Tenancy allows analysts to create and modify knowledge documents and knowledge categories publically, or for specific tenants. A tenant dropdown appears in the search filter, and the search can include or exclude Public data.
Types of Knowledge Documents
Knowledge documents can be of two types:
- Knowledge document
- Knowledge tree document
Knowledge documents are placed into categories that some organizations assign to owners. Under the Top category in the Knowledge Tree, many sub categories can exist. These sub categories can in turn have many sub categories.
A knowledge document contains the following components:
- TemplateSpecifies the content and format of documents that are displayed in the defined user view. The following templates are available by default:
- Knowledge Documents
- Knowledge Tree Documents
- Quick Editing
- Document FieldsProvides a consistent structure to the content in a knowledge document. For example, the Title and Summary make the content easy to scan when viewed in a list of items. The Resolution field stores the body of the solution, in rich text, tables, graphical images, and much more. These fields and their associated attributes define properties such as categorization, ownership, permission, modification date, and a range of other metadata that can help with management and retrieval.
Links to Other Forms
Allows knowledge documents to link to other forms of knowledge, which is stored either within or outside of Knowledge Management, including unstructured content such as a text file. You can also add action content (a live URL) so that the user viewing the document can perform certain actions. For example, you can insert a link into the Resolution field, which creates a ticket or performs some other action.
Knowledge Tree Documents
A knowledge document and knowledge tree document share much of the same descriptive data (such as Title, Summary, Modify Date). However, a knowledge tree document prompts the user with a series of questions with a list of multiple choice answers. By responding to the questions, they are directed to the correct answer or to the information they require. This interaction is governed by a decision tree, which is designed by the creator of the Knowledge Tree document.
Knowledge Tree Documents is well-suited to the following situations:
- Common incidents that need decision-based diagnosis/process guidance.
- Highly structured content.
- Relatively unchanging content.
Knowledge Management Roles and Functions
Knowledge Management is designed for a wide variety of users, from administrators and knowledge managers, who manage the product. It is also for customers, and employees, who use the system to find solutions to their problems. Although one person can fill multiple roles, the following roles are the basic user roles in Knowledge Management:
- Customer --An external end user who performs basic self-service tasks.
- Employee --An internal end user who performs basic self-service tasks.
- Knowledge Analyst --A user that is responsible for one or more steps within the knowledge management process. This user interacts with service desk analysts to create and maintain a quality solution base.
- Knowledge Manager --A supervisor for the Knowledge Analyst. This role handles knowledge document reassignments and escalations, and manages day-to-day administrative aspects of the solution. For example, creating the category structure, defining the approval process, managing noise words, special terms, synonyms, and other settings and options that are more dynamic in nature than what the Knowledge Management Administrator controls.
- Administrator --The administrator who has access to all the functionality in CA SDM and Knowledge Management. This role is typically used when implementing CA SDM to help ensure that all users and roles are set up properly. This role is also applicable for a CA SDM environment that has a single person performing all administration tasks.
- Knowledge Management Administrator --An administrator who is responsible for configuring and monitoring the knowledge management process. This role includes creating the category structure, defining the approval process, and configuring default search and security settings.
Each role has a different level of access in the CA SDM environment. These levels help define the tasks that each role performs.
Knowledge Documents Lifecycle
Knowledge documents provide you with information about knowledge that is stored in the knowledge base. Creating quality knowledge requires input from several individuals. Each individual is responsible for performing specific tasks throughout various stages in the lifecycle of a knowledge document.
Knowledge documents reside in the knowledge base and are managed as part of the following ongoing process:
- Identify content to include in the knowledge base.
- Create a knowledge document.Knowledge documents are placed into categories that some organizations assign to owners. If the Incident/Request Area in CA SDM matches the knowledge categories in Knowledge Management, the category is automatically selected for the knowledge submission.When a document is created or updated, it is placed in an owner Inbox. Until the items are published, the items in the Inbox do not appear as resolutions and are not added to the knowledge base.
- Revise the document.After a document arrives in the inbox, users can modify the documents according to their assigned roles.All users with full (read/write) permission to the document can modify the document. The current owner has full permissions to the document, but not necessarily have explicit write permissions. Users can create versions or can roll back to a previous version when a problem with the document is found.
- Submit the document.In addition to submission from the customer or employee self-service interface, knowledge can also be submitted from CA SDM. This option lets the analyst submit a new resolution from an existing ticket. This option also provides a link between a problem and its resolution, and can help other users with similar problems to find a resolution.
- Publish the document.After a document has passed through the complete approval process cycle, it can be published. A document that has been published becomes part of the viewable knowledge base on the start date, which is the current date by default. The document is only viewable by groups that have been granted access rights to read it. A user with full permissions can edit a published document.
- Evaluate and decide whether to perform the following tasks:
- Unpublish the document --When a knowledge document is published, the user is not permitted to modify the document unless it is unpublished first. During this time, the knowledge document is offline and unavailable to users. The owner of the document, a knowledge manager, or a system administrator can unpublish the document using the Rework button and the Unpublish check box. Unpublishing a document returns it to draft status. An administrative user can then select the next step in the workflow process.
- Create a Rework Version --Users with full editing permissions can create a rework-draft version of a published document while it remains online and available for viewing and searches. A rework version create a copy of the document. This document replaces the original document in the knowledge base after it is verified and republished.
- Retire the document --The owner of the document, a knowledge manager, or a system administrator can retire the document from the knowledge base.
You can define the tasks and the roles that perform each of these tasks to meet the approval process structure that exists in your organization.
Note:You can track knowledge activities from the Event Log tab on contact detail pages. For example, the event log records the actions that an user performed on the document and provides a link to the document.
Knowledge Management User Interfaces
The following user interfaces help you manage knowledge:
- Self-Service --In the self-service interface, customers and employees using CA SDM can access knowledge documents and can submit knowledge for further consideration. Customers can search, browse, or use bookmarks to locate and view knowledge documents.
- Knowledge Documents --The knowledge documents interface is accessed from the Knowledge Documents node on the CA SDM Scoreboard. All users of the system can view their Inbox and follow-up comments using this interface. Theadministratormanages their unassigned/unindexed documents, automated document lifecycle policies, and user forums.
- Knowledge Management --The knowledge management interface is accessed from the Knowledge tab in CA SDM. Theknowledge analystorknowledge managercan find, organize, and publish knowledge using this interface.. They can also filter the documents that are displayed using advanced options, and sort the results by relevance, modified date and much more.
- Knowledge Administration --The knowledge administration interface is accessed from the Knowledge node on the CA SDM Administration tab. Theadministrator, knowledge manager, or knowledge management administratorcan set system options using this interface. Settings can help conform the functionality and use of Knowledge Management.
Knowledge Management Configuration and Management Functions
You can perform the following configuration and management functions in Knowledge Management:
- Create "action content" (a live action URL) that you can insert into the Resolution field of a document.
- Set up the approval process and define the knowledge document lifecycle process.
- Set up automated policies that automate certain tasks in the knowledge document approval process.
- Set up document options that are related to comments, submitting knowledge, templates, and document settings.
- Create the templates that control how a document displays information.
- Manage the default Knowledge Management search engine and configure noise words, special terms, and synonyms that are used to perform keyword and natural language searches.
- Create "recommended documents" that display in the self-service interface when users search for knowledge solutions.
- Manage the knowledge category structure to make document access easier.
- Set up the Knowledge Report Card and general system settings.
- Define the surveys that collect and analyze the customer feedback about knowledge document performance.
- Manage integration of Knowledge Management into CA SDM, including the field mapping and request and issue search configuration.
Knowledge can be accessed through SOAP web services. Various methods are available, permitting the search, retrieval, creation, and updating of documents, and a range of other operations.
For more information about SOAP web services, see Web Services Management.
Knowledge Base Monitoring
You can monitor the efficiency of the knowledge base using the following reporting tools. These tools let you view statistics on the usefulness of your documents and their effectiveness in solving problems.
- Knowledge Report CardLists statistics for documents you have created. Each user has an individual Knowledge Report Card.
- Web-Based ReportsDisplays metrics that describe how knowledge is meeting user needs. Some of the most commonly used features include:
- Listing the most frequently accessed documents.
- Displaying user searches that did not return any results.
My Recent Documents
You can view a knowledge document after closing it without searching again. My Recent Documents displays your most recently accessed documents based on the following:
Identifies the title of the Knowledge Document.
Identifies the date and time the document was accessed.
Identifies the vote rating of the document.
Default:Somewhat Helpful (if nothing is selected)
Click the title to open the corresponding Knowledge Document.
If multi-tenancy is installed, the list page displays a tenant column and a tenant drop-down list in the search filter. Specifying <empty> in the search filter searches for public objects. On detail pages, select the appropriate tenant from the drop-down list. If you select <empty>, the object is public.