Monday, August 10, 2009

Why should I care about maintaining a Knowledge Base?

Here is your situation: You work on the helpdesk. You just took a call from someone receiving an error in an application that only one person knows how to fix. But that person is on vacation. What do you do? Tell the person to just deal with the issue? Yeah right. What if that person didn’t work for the company anymore?

This is where Knowledge Management framework comes into place. One of the most basic tasks of working in an IT department is creating documentation for tasks, processes, or issues. The entire reason for sharing and documenting knowledge is to refer back to something that may be common, uncommon, or something outright strange and providing that information on demand. That knowledge can be comprised of a wealth of different types on information from business processes to how to fix a Windows XP problem. There are many different ways to store knowledge. The most simple KB setup is a network folder share full of word docs. While this is a very basic way to share knowledge, it is not easy to search through. A better way to store knowledge would be to use Knowledge Base software (KB).

A KB is usually included in most helpdesk or service desk ticketing solutions. But here is a free one if you don’t have a decent KB, KBPublisher 2.0.1. It is simple to set up and operate and includes some basic features such as setting up user accounts to access and a good search engine. The database runs on MySQL and requires PHP to navigate. I use it personally to store CD keys and other things that I KNOW I will forget (like how to install Configuration Manager). Click on the link to download!