2.123.1 Knowledge Management Directive

Manual Transmittal

March 03, 2016


(1) This transmits a new IRM 2.123.1, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management Directive.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 2.123.1, Information Technology Knowledge Management standards for processing and maintaining knowledge in the Knowledgebase. This document will focus on the processes representing Knowledge Management.

Effect on Other Documents

The content of Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 2.123.1 incorporates guidance previously included in former, Information Technology (IT) Information Technology Asset Management Enterprise Probe and Response dated (03-17-2010).


This Directive is applicable to all organizations within Internal Revenue Service Information Technology (IRS/IT) that provide service or support to IT customers.

Effective Date


Terence V. Milholland
Chief Technology Officer

IT Knowledge Management Directive

  1. Knowledge Management Directive


  1. Information Technology (IT) User and Network Services (UNS) Customer Service Support (CSS) is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of this directive. Approval of this directive, including updates, rests with the IT Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Associate Chief Information Officer (ACIO) for User and Network Services (UNS). All proposed changes to this directive must be submitted to IT User and Network Services (UNS) Customer Service Support (CSS).

Purpose of Directive

  1. The primary objective of IT Knowledge Management is to return the IT service to users as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse effect on business operations while meeting the Master Service Level Agreement (MSLA). This directive has been created to establish the essential operations defining the function of Knowledge Management to provide information technology solutions for self-service, user education and technical support. Enhancing the work environment for users by way of processes and procedures for the requirements, design, and behavior characteristics of Knowledge Management. This IRM has been prepared in accordance with requirements resulting from the IRM restructuring and IRS modernization efforts.


  1. This IRM applies to all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) organizations requesting or providing IT products and services from Information Technology (IT).


  1. This IRM establishes uniform IT Knowledge Management standards for requesting IT support and requests for services and products through the Service Desk. Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in this organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of knowledge articles. This IRM is to be used by anyone who has the responsibility of providing service and support to IT customers.

  2. This IRM establishes the following:

    1. Uniform Knowledge Management standards as they relate to providing support to IT customers while utilizing the Service Manager tool and other tools such as OS GetServices, Find IT and Password Management. The primary purpose is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.

    2. The IT support process is defined as the organized approach to documenting both the process and the results in support of IT customers on a single database. IRS management at each site is responsible for ensuring compliance within these standards and to meet the Master Service Level Agreements (MSLA).

    3. Knowledge Management is an effective and powerful asset for people in all roles across all stages of the service lifecycle. The Knowledgebase on the Service Manager Tool is an excellent method for individuals and teams to share data, information and knowledge about all facets of an IT Service. The Knowledge Management module contains two databases, IT Support and Employee Resource Center (ERC). This IRM only covers providers serviced by the IT Service Desk and addresses shared processes between the two as applicable.

Waivers and Deviations

  1. Any waivers or deviations of this directive require written approval from the Associate Chief Information Officer, User and Network Services.

CMMI, ITIL, PMI Compliance

  1. The Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) can be used to judge the maturity and plan improvements to an organization’s processes, process assets, and related procedures. CMMI sets the standard for the essential elements of effective and mature processes, improved with quality and efficiency.

  2. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) contains a collection of best practices, enabling organizations to build an efficient framework for delivering IT Service Management (ITSM) and ensuring that they are meeting business goals and delivering benefits that facilitate business change, transformation, and growth.

  3. The Project Management Institute (PMI) organization advances the project management profession through globally recognized standards and certifications.

  4. This process asset is used to indicate that all artifacts are developed or acquired, incorporating CMMI, ITIL, and PMI requirements, to meet the business objectives of the organization and that they represent investments by the organization that are expected to provide current and future business value to the IRS.

Definitions, References

  1. Definitions, References

  1. A Glossary is available in Exhibit A.

  1. The following resources are either referenced in this document or were used to create it:

    1. ITIL v3

    2. PMI v4

    3. Customer Service Support Playbook Library

    4. IRM 2.14.2

Authority and Reference Documents

  1. The following lists the regulatory documents that validate the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 2.148:

    • IRM 1.11.1

    • IRM 1.11.2

    • IRM 1.11.9

    • Interim Guidance

    • IRM 2.14.2

Exhibit A: Glossary

  1. Term Definition
    Escalation An Activity that obtains additional Resources when these are needed to meet Service Level Targets or Customer expectations. Most commonly associated with Knowledge Management, Problem Management or the management of Customer complaints.
    Event The occurrence of a specific, detectable action or condition. For example, the opening of a change or task, an approval, or an update.
    Incident Incident records are logged from an interaction by the Service Desk. The Incident will be associated to the call Incident and assigned to a Service Provider for Incident resolution.
    Interaction The contact between a user and the Service Desk when a user requests assistance or requests a service.
    Issue A problem.
    Knowledgebase Integrates with interaction, Incident, and problem management so that users are able to search for and use knowledge from existing Incidents or problems while attempting to resolve a new Incident or problem.
    Known error A Problem that has a documented Root Cause and a Workaround. Known Errors are created by Problem Control and are managed throughout their Lifecycle by Error Control. Known Errors may also be identified by Development or Suppliers.
    Problem A cause of one or more Incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a Problem Record is created, and the Problem Management Process is responsible for further investigation.
    Problem Management The process of identifying and resolving Problems and Known Errors before they become Incidents, and the process of resolving existing Problems.
    Request A request for products and services.
    Resolution The process taken to resolve (fix) an issue.
    Role A set of responsibilities, activities, and authorizations.
    Root Cause The underlying or original cause of an Incident or Problem.
    Service Manager Tool A common workflow tool for IT Service Providers and all IT customers who search the Knowledgebase. This tool HP KISAM Service Manager was introduced in 2011.

Exhibit B: Abbreviations and Acronyms

  1. Acronym Definition
    ACIO Associate Chief Information Officer
    AWSS Agency Wide Shared Services is the business unit where Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM) fall under
    CSS Customer Service Support
    CTO Chief Technology Officer
    ERC Employee Resource Center
    IM Incident Management
    IRM Internal Revenue Manual
    IT Information Technology
    ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
    ITSM Information Technology Service Management
    KISAM Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service Asset Management
    MSLA Master Service Level Agreement
    SOP Standard Operating Procedures
    UNS User and Network Services