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How knowledge management works in Jira Service Management


Knowledge management is the process of creating, curating, sharing, using, and managing knowledge across an organization.

A knowledge base is the foundation of a knowledge management practice. It’s a self-serve online library of information about a product, service, department, or topic, including FAQs and troubleshooting guides.

Meeples consolidating shared knowledge

At Atlassian, our teams openly share what they’re learning. This includes divulging wins and failures from experiments, sharing data from team research initiatives, and being transparent about both positive and negative results of projects. Open sharing also helps teams to grow as they benefit from the knowledge being gathered.

Confluence is Atlassian’s content collaboration tool used by teams to help them create and share knowledge efficiently. Paired with Jira Service Management, Confluence gives teams a workspace where knowledge and collaboration meet to accomplish great things. IT, dev ops, and business teams embrace Confluence with Jira Service Management as their knowledge management platform to:

  • Empower teams to structure information in ways that best fit the way they work.
  • Create a source of truth for their organization’s collective knowledge and make it easy to find answers.
  • Help cross-functional teams tackle complex work and create actionable plans by linking work in Jira.
  • Move work forward and speed up the review process through real-time collaborative editing, providing feedback through inline comments, and tagging a team member for help.
  • Gain visibility into their team’s decision-making by documenting context and key decision levers.

The knowledge management process:

The knowledge management cycle

Knowledge management is an ongoing responsibility. Even after you’ve implemented a system, there’s a constant cycle of adding new material and eliminating items that are outdated, as well as the discovery of hidden knowledge.

Here are the key steps to building a successful knowledge management strategy for your organization.

  1. Identify your business situation and develop objectives and goals - Conduct an internal analysis of your organization so you can align the knowledge management system with your goals.
  2. Prepare your organization for implementation - Acknowledge that this is a big deal and it’s going to require cultural changes. 
  3. Form a knowledge management team - Might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often organizations forget this. The first step in implementing any new process is putting someone in charge.
  4. Conduct a knowledge audit - Find out what’s missing, and begin to set the stage for what you want to do. For tacit knowledge, this process requires observation, interviews, or surveying the experts.
  5. Determine your technology needs and prioritize those needs - Figure out what tools you’ll need to implement knowledge management and plan for the costs in advance.
  6. Determine the key attributes and features of your knowledge management system - Figure out what you want your system to look like. Then make a list. Make sure everything lines up internally––that the technology and scope will lead to the results and happy stakeholders you need.
  7. Put everything you know in one place - Aggregate your knowledge with a solution provider that provides a single repository, one that’s simple to use and easy to access.
  8. Measure and improve your program - Remember to take time to step back and review. Measure what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust accordingly and update constantly. This will be an ongoing effort. 
Book with lightbulb

For more information, check out our Knowledge Management page.

How to get started with knowledge base reports

Use Jira Service Management’s native knowledge base reporting to find out which articles received the most views and positive feedback. Recognize the authors with rewards to encourage team members to contribute to the knowledge base. There are two key knowledge base reports:

1. Requests deflected

This report shows how often customers found your knowledge base articles helpful. This includes the number of requests deflected in the portal and the number of article views in the portal. When a customer goes to a request form and starts writing the summary, knowledge base articles are suggested to them based on the labels specified in the article. If the customer selects an article from a request form and votes it as helpful, it is considered as a request that was deflected in the portal.

2. Requests resolved

This report shows how many requests have been resolved with an article, without an article, and which requests were deflected in the portal. If a resolved request has one or more links to knowledge base articles in its comments, it is considered as a request resolved with an article. If no article links are used to answer a request, it is considered a request resolved without an article.

Native knowledge base reporting in Jira Service Management shows requests solved at a glance

Knowledge base reports can be accessed from Jira Service Management project settings:

  1. Navigate to your Jira Service Management project.
  2. Select Reports in the left-hand menu.
  3. Select Requests deflected or Requests resolved to view the reports.
  4. Use the “show” filter to change your report date range.

Knowledge management best practices and tips

Recommended knowledge management features that can be leveraged in Confluence paired with Jira Service Management

Internal and External Knowledge Bases

A knowledge base gives your team a home to centralize and organize all customer-facing and employee-facing FAQs and documentation. Confluence paired with Jira Service Management will enable your customers to self-serve the most common issues based on your team's documentation and potentially deflect some incoming requests, improving your customer experience and saving your team time.

Post-Incident Reviews (PIRs)

A post-incident review is a written record of an incident that contains information such as incident impact, mitigation steps, root cause, and follow-up actions.

The goal of a post-incident review is to understand all root causes, document the incident for future reference, discover patterns, and enact effective preventative actions to reduce the impact or likelihood of recurrence.

ITSM Runbooks

ITSM runbooks document the known applications and errors, procedures, and troubleshooting steps for recurring ITSM alerts and outages. Your team will be able to respond to system alerts quickly and efficiently with all the information they need organized in a single resource within Confluence.

Incident Response Playbooks

Incident response playbooks allow teams to plan ahead, define what you should consider an incident, who will do what, and how you’ll update your customers when an incident occurs. The content can include everything from runbooks and checklists to templates, training exercises, security attack scenarios and simulation drills. 

ITSM Change Management Planning

Confluence can be used to describe and track change management plans. Documenting change plans helps provides organizations with guidelines and procedures that help teams properly evaluate risk before making operational changes.

Project Posters

Project posters help teams understand what problem you're solving, why it matters to the business and to customers, and the scope of the problem overall. Project posters offer a simple collaborative document where everybody can easily understand the context and business case for your project.

Create a culture focused on knowledge sharing

Knowledge should be easy for your entire organization to search, find, and create. Encourage team members to collaboratively edit pages, give feedback through inline comments, or at-mention teammates for peer review. Recognize the authors with rewards to encourage team members to contribute to the knowledge base. Your leadership team can set a positive example by regularly contributing updates and blogs in Confluence. Go a step further, and encourage employees to interact directly with leadership by giving feedback and adding comments on Confluence pages.

Start building your knowledge base with data from Jira Service Management

In Jira Service Management, teams can use the powerful search engine and native reports to understand the most common support requests. Use the data to identify new knowledge base articles that can be published to reduce ticket volume and improve your customer experience. Once you have a better understanding of the most common requests, start building FAQs that you can integrate with Jira Service Management.

Focus on brief articles or answers

Shared documentation does not always mean shared understanding. Rather than creating long, expansive documents, tailor your content to your team. Your entire team and customers can learn and absorb information faster when it's quick to consume, uses easy-to-understand language, and is published in a timely matter.

Utilize templates in Confluence to standardize knowledge delivery

Confluence offers over 70 templates that allow you to predefine and standardize content for your internal and external users. Use the how-to and troubleshooting article templates to standardize the look and feel of your articles and make the process of creating new knowledge base articles super simple for your service desk agents. If that’s not enough, you can even create your own templates. The more guidance and structure you can put in your template, the faster your team can create great articles.

At-a-glance view of templates in Confluence that address many use cases

Make work visible with cross-functional team collaboration

For every major initiative, create a DACI (decision-making framework) or a project poster to share your goals and progress with the rest of the team and stakeholders. This is a living, accessible document that can help you explore your problem space, define your scope, and get feedback.

Sample project poster in Confluence

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