Behind the Help Desk: Evolution of a Knowledge Management System in a Large Organization
|Title||Behind the Help Desk: Evolution of a Knowledge Management System in a Large Organization|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2004|
|Authors||Halverson, CA, Erickson, T, Ackerman, MS|
|Conference Name||Proceedings of the 2004 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'04)|
|Keywords||design approaches, distributed cognition, ethnography, FAQ, frequently asked questions, help desk|
This paper examines the way in which a knowledge management system (KMS)-by which we mean the people, processes and software-came into being and evolved in response to a variety of shifting social, technical and organizational pressures. We draw upon data from a two year ethnographic study of a sophisticated help desk to trace the KMS from its initial conception as a "Common Problems" database for help desk personnel, to its current instantiation as a set of Frequently Asked Questions published on an intranet for help desk clients. We note how shifts in management, organizational structure, incentives, software technologies, and other factors affected the development of the system. This study sheds light on some of the difficulties that accompany the implementation of CSCW systems, and provides an analysis of how such systems are often designed by bricolage.