Tips for Creating a Killer Knowledge Base

    KateGreer

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    What is an Internal Knowledge Base

    An internal knowledge base is a centralized content management system about a specific product or topic; it can be fully automated or maintained by a particular employee. Companies run it for many reasons:

    Give the quickest solutions to the most frequent problems.
    Teaching new employees. The point is highly relevant for companies with a narrowly focused area of activity which implies massive studying.
    Sharing the experience. To fix the situation when there is only one knowledge keeper and all the issues are confined to him.

     

    Tips for Creating a Killer Knowledge Base

     

    1. Choose the software with a powerful search and clear structure. At the very beginning, when you have just a few articles, it does not seem significant but becomes critical when the number of articles expands. It is possible to switch to another tool later, but the process is rather long and complicated.
    Access management and history mode features are pluses.

    2. Assign a particular person to add the content.
    Knowledge bases face two human-sourced disasters:
    - No one is adding information.
    - Everyone is adding information and creating a mess.

    The first one happens when all the communication is held directly between the employees, the information gets stuck in emails, messengers, and trackers. After the task is finished, no one cares about writing the experience down. One more example. The entire project concept was recorded, but the differences between the documented info and the real affairs grow day by day. After the project is over, updating the info becomes an unnecessarily time-consuming task.
    The second problem happens if every employee is documenting the experience down. To each place possible, despite the existing structure. Out-of-dated parts are lost or implemented into new ones, turning into a tangle of new and expired articles that are impossible to divide.

    3. Create a knowledge base for a particular audience. Define the audience by
    a) type of readers: customers, exact team or department, all company staff;
    b) professional level: general, knowledgeable, or experts.

    4. Choose the proper format. It can be pictured as
    a) how-to;
    b) FAQ;
    c) tool description.

    5. Give intuitive titles to the articles. For example, “Returns” is a weak title, while “How to return the item you ordered” is much more intuitive.

    6. Build templates to standardize the articles.

    7. Create only one article per a particular topic.

    8. Set up regular content reviews.

     

    The main reason why knowledge bases become useless is the lack of motivation to fill them regularly and efficiently. Using the right knowledge base software, proper format, and assigning a responsible person removes these problems. The efforts spent on maintaining internal knowledge base always pays off by saving time for other employees.

     

     

     

     

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