Maintaining a healthy knowledge base takes focus. It relies on more than just your Knowledge Manager to ensure you continue to provide findable and usable content to your audience. Here are a few tips to ensuring the health and effectiveness of your knowledge base:
1. Content authors need to understand the audience
Writing with your audience in mind is imperative to ensure your articles can be found and followed. Many of us can be found during our working day speaking largely in acronyms and using phrases unique to our own teams, but your knowledge base should remain free of these terms. Describe issues how your customers describe them, think about what your customers need to know, what terms will make the most sense, and how they would search for the issue.
2. Encourage the right behaviors
Be careful what you wish for! Incentivize your team on the number of articles they create and you may find you get a lot of new content, but how useful is it? Try to incentivize creating value through knowledge, such as through gamification, and measure who is doing it – for example, measuring who is creating content that is successfully being found and reused. That way you can reward the positive behaviors and coach others on those behaviors.
3. Provide guidance
Be clear on what you want from your articles and authors. Your team might all have different ideas on what a good article looks like, so be explicit about what you are looking for, preferably documenting this in a reference guide for your authors. Don’t be afraid to include what a bad article might look like! A full guide will help provide clarity on all the elements you need, but creating a quick guide for easy referral is very useful, too.
4. Check on quality
Check on the quality of outputs: Is the team following the guidance provided? If not, provide coaching and clarity to get the articles to the standard you require and be open to amending the guidance based on any feedback. Always be sure to align your quality checks to your article reference guides for best results.
Author: Laura Yeomans