Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) is a methodology that creates significant benefit for information or knowledge intensive organizations. KCS is a set of practices and processes that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of the organization. Development began in 1992 by the Consortium for Service Innovation; a non-profit alliance of support organizations. Its premise is to integrate use of a knowledge base into the workflow.
While the legacy of KCS lies in customer support organizations the methodology is now being adopted across all the functions of business. The Consortium is in the process of updating the methodology to make it applicable to any information or knowledge intensive organization.
KCS seeks to:
- Create content as a by-product of solving problems.
- Evolve content based on demand and usage.
- Develop a knowledge base of an organization's collective experience to-date.
- Recognize learning, collaboration, sharing and improving.
To access all the details including the KCS Practices Guide, The KCS Adoption Guide and KCS case studies please visit the The KCS Resources web page on the KCS Academy web site.
With over 20 years in development and over $50 million invested in developing the methodology, KCS has produced significant benefits for the support organizations around the world, including: Apollo Group, Autodesk, Avaya, Dell, EMC, Ericsson, HP Enterprise, Omgeo/DTCC, Oracle, PTC, Salesfore.com and SDL.
The KCS Academy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Consortium for Service Innovation. The KCS Academy is the designated certification body by the Consortium for Service Innovation. The KCS Academy offers certification programs for people and a KCS Verified program for knowledge base tools that enable the KCS practices.
Development began in 1992 by the Consortium for Service Innovation; a non-profit alliance of support organizations. Its premise is to capture, structure, and reuse technical support knowledge. Initially it was known as Solution Centered Support and was renamed to acknowledge the methodology as best practices in knowledge management.
The Consortium for Service Innovation was founded in Seattle in 1992 by Symbologic. Shelly Benton was the founding Executive Director and built the membership based organization. The early work of the Consortium was used to identify features and functionality for a tool that would help organizations capture and reuse knowledge as a by product of doing work.
From 1992 to 1994 the nature of the member's conversation was largely focused on technology. However the members began to see that success in capturing and reusing knowledge was more about people and their behaviors than it was about the tool. From 1994 to 1996 the conversation shifted to defining a methodology that focused on people and the organizational culture.
As the conversation evolved both the members of the Consortium and Symbologic agreed that the Consortium's work was about much more than technology and that both the work and the members would be better served by being independent and vendor agnostic. In 1996 Greg Oxton, who was a member of the Consortium at the time, joined the Consortium staff with goal of creating a member funded non-profit organization.
In January of 1997 the Consortium became an independent legal entity registered as a 501(c)(6) with the Internal Revenue Service. At that time it was called the Customer Support Consortium.
From 1997 through 1999 the Consortium members began to report dramatic benefits from implementing the methodology. And, in 1999 the Consortium released the first Practices Guide. This was a monumental effort by Livia Wilson and John Chamj. With the help of the members who shared their adoption experiences and results Livia and John created the first prescriptive, comprehensive definition on how to do KCS.
For the next few years the Consortium facilitated member conversations and based on a model of collective thinking and shared experiences continued to evolve the KCS methodology.
In 2005, the Consortium for Service Innovation introduced the KCS-Verified program for knowledge management software vendors. There are a number of popular software applications verified to enable the KCS best practices to learn more about KCS Verified products. This program defines the functional requirements that software vendors must implement to successfully enable KCS. Implementation is then verified by KCS certified at one of levels, "Aligned" or "Verified". Program implementation is enabled through experts through the Consortium for Service Innovation or other certified practitioners.
In 2006, the Consortium updated KCS to version 4.1 and published the Practices Guide. Version 5.0 and 5.1 were published in 2011. Version 5.3 was published in 2012. They continue to evolve KCS through the experiences of their members and other companies that share their personal stories.
In 2010, The KCS Academy was formed as an outreach company of the Consortium for Service Innovation. Development of the KCS Certified Publisher exam began and became publicly available in 2011. Additional certifications for the various KCS-advocated roles will be available through The KCS Academy in the future.
In June 2014, AXELOS and HDI jointly published a whitepaper on the Synergies between ITIL and KCS. While KCS and ITIL were developed independently, guidance on how these two best practices can be used together to enhance service management processes is helping support organizations to improve their operations.
- "Consortium for Service Innovation". Serviceinnovation.org. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- "The KCS Academy » Tools". Serviceinnovation.org. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- "Get Aligned". The KCS Academy. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- "Get Verified". The KCS Academy. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- "KCS Version 5.3 : Knowledge-Centered Support Practices Guide" (PDF). Serviceinnovation.org. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
- "HDI and AXELOS Release Cobranded Whitepaper on the Synergies of ITIL and Knowledge-Centered Support". Thinkhdi.com. Retrieved 2015-08-29.