Key performance indicators for knowledge management

Knowledge management metrics

Some of the KPIs that are used to evaluate knowledge management process are given below:

KPI Details
Number of articles created: It is necessary that new articles are created as required and the solutions are constantly updated. By monitoring this, the knowledge manger can attain an optimal growth rate of the number of articles over a period of time.
Number of times an article is used: This metric helps find issues that are recurring. This leads to the creation of a permanent solution, which can be devised for these issues.
Number of approved articles: Solutions get added only after they're approved by the subject matter expert. This metric gives an idea of the quality of the articles that are in the knowledge base.
Number of incidents resolved with a particular knowledge article: This metric shows how effective or how important that article or solution is. Articles should be updated regularly.
Satisfaction rate of the user: At the end of the day, a solution in the knowledge base is meant to resolve a user's question. The satisfaction level of the user is one of the most important metrics.
Average time taken to find materials: This measure helps to improve the structure of the knowledge in the knowledge base.
Number of accesses to the knowledge base: This metric, when compared with the "Number of people who used one or more article" metric gives insight into the number of people who accessed the knowledge base but couldn't find the article they were looking for. By itself, it showcases the popularity of the knowledge base as a first point of support among your end users.
Knowledge base contributions categorized by roles: This metric gives the idea of who enters the most solutions. This enables the knowledge manger to allot the right access/permissions.
Errors reported by staff or detected at audit: These give an idea of how much improvement can be done to the knowledge base.

How to choose a knowledge management solution?

Knowledge management checklist

IT service desk teams often spend a lot of time in their ITSM solution, so it's recommended that service desk teams look for ITSM solutions that have robust built-in knowledge management. Below are some of the key capabilities that can complement the knowledge management efforts of the IT service desk team.

Integration with the self-service portal:

Self-service portals are the hub for end users to request IT services and report any issues. So it's important that the knowledge management solution is available within the self-service portal. Most IT service desk solutions with built-in knowledge management capabilities enable this, offering features like solution auto-suggestion to help end users find solutions to trivial issues. This also helps improve the productivity of IT technicians by reducing the number of tickets being logged in the IT service desk.

Smart knowledge creation:

To build a robust knowledge base within the service desk, the ITSM solution used must allow easy creation of knowledge articles by technicians. This means that the knowledge management solution you choose should allow technicians to automatically push a solution into the knowledge base from within the ticket itself, without having to jump from one window to another.


Having workflow capabilities in the service desk makes updating, deleting, reviewing, approving or rejecting, and publishing of the knowledge articles a seamless task. An ITSM solution must have the capability to let technicians manage knowledge by configuring it at any stage of the life cycle. The right solution must also be able to organize knowledge articles under configurable topics, that way end users and technicians can not only get their articles added in the knowledge base, but also easily browse and access relevant articles.

Creation of new roles and restricting access permissions:

An efficient knowledge management solution must enable the knowledge manager or the administrator to assign or restrict access/privileges to technicians to the solutions or category of solutions. This access privilege must vary from view only privilege to full control privilege. A good ITSM solution enables setting the access privileges for technicians, which can be done based on the roles allotted to them. It should also offer the capability to create new roles to configure or customize the access/edit privileges to various knowledge articles.

Integration with ITSM practices:

Knowledge management can be used to its full potential when an IT service desk has the capabilities to integrate it with other ITSM practices. While resolving an incident in a service desk, a technician must be able to derive and use solution articles from the knowledge base and submit new resolutions or workarounds in the knowledge base. With the right ITSM solution, this can also be done through self-service. Feedback on solutions obtained can be fed to the knowledge management system.

A streamlined approval mechanism:

It is imperative that the newly added solutions be approved by the concerned technician in order to be viewed by the requesters in the self-service portal. This is a capability found in ITSM solutions with the built-in knowledge management solution. This helps maintain the quality of the article added. The right IT service desk also provides reports of the metrics that give detailed insights into the performance of the articles.

Feedback mechanism:

A closed‑loop feedback process is important to increase the quality of the knowledge base in the knowledge management solution. This can be achieved in the IT service desk with a report drawn from various metrics or a simple facility to "dislike" or "like" articles. This information gives more insight into how well articles are performing. These insights help the knowledge manager decide whether a knowledge article is unhelpful, too complicated or technical, out of date, wrongly served as an answer, or if it's problematic in any other way.

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