knowledge management
Gary Sherman
November 4, 2013

A common request I hear from users is: How do I get solutions (knowledgebase articles) out of my WIPbins?

A Solution (in baseline Clarify/Dovetail) is always in an Open condition – meaning it’s always in a user’s WIPbin. But once I’m done creating/editing it – I don’t want to see it anymore. It just clutters up my workspace.

One very simple way to tackle this is to create a dummy Solution Librarian user. That way, a user can simply assign a solution to the Solution Librarian, and this takes it out of the user’s WIPbin.

solution

This is super easy to put in place, and allows user’s to keep their workspace tidy and clutter free. There are more complex options that involve


Gary Sherman
August 23, 2011

I’ve talked in the past about the functionality and benefits of linking solutions to cases, and I’ve shown how we’ve simplified the process in Dovetail Agent.

One scenario that’s come up more often, especially around here, is the need to link a solution to a closed case.

A common workflow we see here is:

1. A case is opened for a customer
2. We work with the customer to figure out a resolution to the issue
3. Customer uses SelfService to indicate that the resolution solved the issue, and the customer closes the case (and you know how much I love when a customer closes their own case)

Now that we know that the resolution we provided did indeed solve the problem, we can create a solution, so this knowledge can be reused, should


Gary Sherman
September 2, 2010

Did you know we provide a few different information feeds that help you stay informed with information about Dovetail? By subscribing to feeds, new information is delivered to you – which means you don’t have to go visiting lots of different web sites to see if there’s new content available.

Blogs

There’s a RSS feed for all the Dovetail bloggers, or you can subscribe to individual bloggers, if you so wish, by visiting their page and clicking the orange RSS icons in your browser or by clicking the RSS link.

Some of us also allow for subscribing by email, in case you’re not an RSS kind of person.

blog

Product Releases

There’s a feed for product releases


Gary Sherman
August 18, 2010

A not-so-uncommon request I’ve heard over the years is the need to be able to close a solution. You can close a case, close an action item, close an opportunity – but you can’t close a solution in the out-of-the-box product. But this is a pretty easy customization – so lets walk through it.

Why close a solution?

 

Knowledge can become outdated. But we may want to retain that knowledge, especially when we’ve linked these solutions to cases or change requests. By closing it, we can mark it as no longer relevant, and closing will also remove it from a user’s wipbin and all queues.

Status and Condition

 

Most workflow objects have a status and a condition. We can use a similar mechanism here. We’ll use the Open and Closed Conditions (same as for a case). I create


Gary Sherman
April 14, 2010

When we talk about workflow within our CRM systems, we commonly talk about cases, subcases, part requests, etc. But every queueable object within our Clarify/Dovetail system can have its own workflow. Including Solutions. Many people don’t think about a workflow around their knowledge. I wanted to touch on this, and show an example of a business process, or a workflow, for Solutions.

Quick recap: what is a Solution?

A Solution is a description of a known problem with one or more workarounds and/or resolutions. It is a piece of re-usable knowledge. Some refer to it as a KB or KnowledgeBase article.

Here’s what a Solution looks like within DovetailAgent:

solution

Pretty simple. An ID number, a title, a status, a description


Gary Sherman
February 10, 2009

Kevin has put together an RSS feed for our most recent knowledgebase articles. The feed can be subscribed to using a feed reader (such as Google Reader), and any new articles will be delivered to you. Very cool.rss

We eat our own dogfood here, meaning we use our Dovetail/Clarify system for our customer support team – including the knowledgebase (solutions). Being kept informed about new solutions is good for our support staff, but also for other members of our team – including Sales Engineers, the Product and Development teams, etc – as well as our customers who live in our products every day. 

While I really like this specific example, I think the general idea


Gary Sherman
November 18, 2008

One of the more underused features within Clarify/Dovetail is the ability to link cases to solutions. Its a great feature – I just don’t see it used often enough.

 

This allows organizations to track which solutions are used the most, and use that information to feed back to production groups (development, engineering, documentation, etc.) to help prioritize changes/fixes/enhancements.

 

Making it easier for agents to link solutions and cases would certainly be beneficial. If its hard, they’re less likely to do it. So, make it easy.

 

 

Dovetail Agent (version 4.0) has simplified the ability to link a solution to one or more cases. Regardless of how you get to a Solution (via Search, Find by ID, or simply opening it from a queue or WIPbin), you can easily link the Solution to one (or more) of your


Gary Sherman
November 5, 2008

One of the more underused features within Clarify/Dovetail is the ability to link cases to solutions. Its a great feature – I just don’t see it used often enough.

This allows organizations to track which solutions are used the most, and use that information to feed back to production groups (development, engineering, documentation, etc.) to help prioritize changes/fixes/enhancements.

Solutions

Solutions have a title, an id, and a description of the problem. They also have 1 or more resolutions (workarounds).

For example, take a look at this solution on our website.

It has a title:  Dovetail SDK Web Service calls return a Could Not Load Assembly error

an ID: 348

a description of the problem: Could not load the assembly ‘FChoice.WebServices.Clarify,…

and 2 resolutions (which I’m paraphrasing here):

1. run the Dovetail SDK installer

2. copy the


Gary Sherman
September 29, 2008

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time is have the ability to add comments on objects within the Clarify/Dovetail system. As a specific example, I’ve wanted to be able to add comments to a solution. For those not versed in Clarify/Dovetail speak, a Solution is essentially a KnowledgeBase (KB) article.

By allowing comments, I (and others) can (hopefully) enhance the information that is within the Solution.

For example, consider a  KB article that is available on the web, such as a Microsoft KB article, or a Dovetail KB article. Now, lets say that I use the information in that article, but I run into a bit of a snag, discover another tip or workaround, or perhaps I’ve even found something wrong in that article. What can I do? I’d like to be able


Gary Sherman
May 29, 2007

John Ragsdale points us to noHold, which is a more conversational form of web SelfService.

A dialog is much more engaging than search results. And you can easily escalate your question to a support agent at any time.

Linksys’ implementation is pretty slick. From www.linksys.com, click on Technical Support, then Ask Linksys. I especially like their abundant use of screenshots in the resulting articles. I tend to grok things much better with screenshots as opposed to straight text.


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