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Knowledge Management Case Study
Critical business information to employees and their customers, increased ad-hoc in as many as 87 repositories, unorganized, lacking version control and metadata. This case study describes how to turn your business information into an asset.
Background: A major Automotive Manufacturer had over time (mostly due to organic growth) created multiple content repositories in almost every functional area of their business. Many of these data repositories and web sites were designed without a strategy, master plan or consistent standards. The result is that Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Engineering, and Product managers have a difficult time accessing and acquiring accurate and trusted information, and have no way of knowing which version of the truth is the most recent or cogent.
Not only is the accessing of good, managed information key to a company's performance, but the costs involved of the wasted management time, poor Customer Service numbers, care and maintenance of multiple information sources can easily impact the bottom line and skyrocket out of control.
For example: the Customer Service desk had 87 separate sources available to them to answer customer questions. Of these sources: 70% were accessible on a number of individually managed web sites, 20% within applications or internal data bases, and 10% were buried and “maintained” by a single subject matter expert (SME).
Desired Solution: Access to everything in one place with a "Google like" search interface and function. Design the system to have a single point of management and control, while still allowing for a multiple group of users to have timely and consistent access.
Design Approach & Testing: Utilizing the design thinking process context phase, the team worked closely with Customer Service representatives to understand the current process and barriers to call resolution including the identification of all content sources; prioritizing the top 20, then rapidly developing low fidelity prototypes of the user experience.
Then, the ideation phase created a user-centered design in order to consolidate the information into a single dashboard experience. Prototypes of these design concepts were created as low fidelity prototypes for evaluation by multiple end-user groups, adjacent stakeholders, and executive sponsors. In addition, the process created a robust taxonomy, controlled vocabulary, and metadata model to ensure consistent data formatting, tags with access to source, version, and improve findability using search technology.
To ensure adoption of this new solution, the team developed a Organizational Change Management (OCM) plan aimed at all affected stakeholders, which included a communications plan, a training plan, and a phased development and deployment strategy.
This approach was designed to providing the most appropriate content (of greatest value) that resulted in raising the completion percentages of Customer Service calls within the first contact.
Result: A consistent site experience with access to all 87 original sources of information was designed to provide a common database that yielded a single point of access and search, by a multiple number of uses. After the OCM plan was implemented, the results of this design thinking approach was significant and measurable:
• There was a 100% adoption rate by end users.
• An increase in customer satisfaction metrics over 2X our starting baseline within 12 months of deployment.
• A significant reduction in call escalation.
This holistic, Design Thinking driven solution was so successful it was deployed to other departments and became one of the most impactful Enterprise solutions for product knowledge management throughout the company. Five years later, it remains a valuable success story to management, as well as a template for both existing and future systems.
Learn more about the author, Diane Jacobsen.
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- knowledge management
- design thinking
- case study
- customer service
- legal discovery