5 Essential Tips For Creating A Killer Corporate Wiki
Knowledge sharing is of crucial importance for, well, just about anything. In companies large and small, software technology and techniques developed for easier exchange of company-wide know-how can make a world of difference.
Not only can corporate wiki software make communication smooth and collaboration fruitful, it can efficiently boost productivity of each employee and streamline operations on a larger scale. Still, this only applies to internal knowledge bases that are properly structured.
With that in mind, we’ve compounded a number of organizational tips that can help improve readability and searchability of your internal wiki, thus making it more professional and effective.
What Makes a Helpful Knowledge Base?
Depending on their requirements, companies use different types of knowledge bases. Unlike open-source wikis that are accessible to anyone – and that organizations employ for the purposes of customer self-service – internal wikis, or corporate wikis, function as centralized repositories for managing and distributing company knowledge.
How Are Internal Wikis Different from Customer-Oriented Knowledge Bases?
Such knowledge bases are available to all employees, and can include any form of content. Everything from procedural help, company policies, forms, charters, and strategy documentation, to project documentation and info on products and services is stored right here, where staff can access it anytime, from anywhere.
Whatever the size of your organization might be, it’s highly unlikely that your corporate wiki will be small. Knowledge bases can store an unlimited number of articles. This is why seamless navigation is rule number one for creating a wiki that’s truly helpful.
Ease of Use: Requirements for Creating a Corporate Wiki
While this rule applies to all types of knowledge bases, internal wikis don’t have to meet all the requirements that customer-oriented repositories do. Your readers are professionals who are already familiar with the company’s products and services. So there’s no reason for making the content engaging and interesting to read, as you must for potential customers.
Follow these simple rules:
- Write it in a way that’s simple to understand
- Format it so that the document is easy to scan
- Divide blocks of text into sections for effortless search
If you follow these steps, the internal wiki will help your employees find exactly what they want without having to spend much of their valuable time.
1. Content Hierarchy and Sectioning
Though content hierarchy is mostly implemented in SEO-optimized websites, it is also an efficient way of building an informational architecture within a knowledge base. Like any other hierarchy, it prioritizes content into sections and subsections, from general to specific information.
The general idea is to place different pages exactly where readers would assume they should be. This demands an intuitive structure, in which individual pages answer questions that employees have. After that, they provide additional, more specific information.
In wiki content hierarchy, sections are usually referred to as spaces, and used as an organizational container for wiki pages and their content. For example, you can create a different space for each department. That way, all sales-related content would be structured in a Sales space, while its sub-spaces would include information on Direct Sales, Business Development and Channel Sales.
2. Categorization and Tagging
Look for corporate wiki software that allows tagging! Researchers from the University of Washington confirmed that this organizational system is more effective than dividing content into folders. But only when done properly and in moderation. Too many categories and subcategories can cause confusion. So make sure to follow the following guidelines.
Define Broad Topics
Approach your knowledge base as you would a mind map. Make a list of all articles and define a number of broad topics to divide them into. Each topic will be a category, so make sure that there are neither too many nor too few of them.
One Article – One Category
Every article should fit a single category. If you assign different categories to the same article, you’re needlessly cluttering the base and making the navigation harder and less efficient.
Use Keywords for Tagging
Let’s say you’ve written a comprehensive guide on your company’s social media marketing strategy. Though its category is specific and self-explanatory, you can use a number of different tags in order to make it easier to find during research. Keywords and phrases like “Facebook Ads”, “social media campaign” or “content writing” can be assigned as tags. A clear tagging strategy will enable your employees to discover exactly what they need.
Crosslinking is crucial for connecting sections with subsections. But it is also a convenient technique for linking articles from the same or related categories. By allowing users to go from one wiki page to another, hyperlinks provide additional depth to information without cluttering the space.
4. Navigation: Table of Contents and Indexes
The following is true whether you choose sectioning, categorization or both. You need to provide a centralized table of contents or an index page where users can get a preview of all sections, categories and tags available within an internal wiki.
However large your knowledge base is, a table of contents is a necessary structuring tool. It allows your employees to seamlessly switch between categories and jump from one topic to another. In case they land on the wrong article, the table of content enables them to quickly go back and find what they’ve been looking for.
5. Search Optimization
A study conducted by McKinsey & Company shows that employees spend 19% of an average workweek trying to gather the information needed for completing a task. A searchable internal knowledge base can boost their productivity by 35%.
That’s why you should always opt for a wiki software with a built-in search box. In addition to this functionality, the best solutions offer options for further optimization too. You can easily add keywords that employees frequently use for their queries, thus specifying which pages turn up as a result.
The end goal of every knowledge base is efficiency. In order to achieve that, the only organizational tip you need to take into consideration is effortless search. That’s what structuring, categorization, crosslinking, navigation and search boxes are all about. And what makes knowledge sharing better, quicker and more advantageous.
Do you have experience with wikis or other knowledge bases? Have you recognized the need for a wiki in your company, but have more quesitions than answers? Please comment below.
Sign Up For Our Mailing List
To receive more in-depth articles, videos and Infographics in your inbox, please sign up below
Sign up for the newest articles from Curatti, delivered straight to your inbox
Latest posts by Robin Singh (see all)
- The Bond Between Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Management - April 11, 2018
- The 9 Elements In a Successful Business Marketing Plan - February 28, 2018
- Why Knowledge Base Documentation Needs Freshness - January 24, 2018