How to structure a knowledge base
Part I of our five-part article series
The subject is complex: How should a company structure its valuable internal and external information? Where should it store it? Who checks that the information is up-to-date? Who takes care of it?
Organizing the internal knowledge of a company is a daunting task. Many employees in many companies waste valuable working time searching for information – every day, every week, every month.
In most cases, everything that employees cannot clearly assign simply ends up in the file system: all too often, information seekers have to find their way through folder hierarchies with numbering systems in order to finally find documents whose relevance is not always guaranteed. The unorganized, “grown” file storage is widespread – but more and more companies are reaching limits with it.
In contrast, only very few companies have a central system, a “knowledge base”, where a single search query leads to the desired information – even though the introduction of wiki software in companies brought a technological breakthrough here 15 years ago.
The advantages are obvious: wikis allow you to
- Store, manage and keep knowledge up to date in a central and convenient location.
- Allow your employees to access corporate knowledge efficiently and at any time via their browser.
- Find relevant content quickly – thanks to built-in, modern search engines.
- Enable your employees to quickly and easily add, update, or completely recreate knowledge themselves.
To exploit the full potential of these options, it makes sense to structure corporate content in a wiki. This process can be individualized and optimized as desired, enabling customized solutions for any deployment scenario. With a little preparatory work in planning and, conception, this also works out quite simply.
Building a sustainable structure
The experts at HalloWelt! have put together this series of articles to get you started with knowledge management. Wikis are perfect for building a viable structure for an internal knowledge base that works for most organizations – and this guide will help you do it.
The information we’ve gathered here comes from over 15 years of real-world experience, with HalloWelt! customers large and small from around the world, in a wide variety of industries, as well as from our involvement in NGOs and communities such as Wikipedia.
We have divided the guidance into several articles:
The second part “Definition of a knowledge base and the role of wikis” will be released on Nov 25.
Hallo Welt! GmbH is the company behind the open-source enterprise wiki software BlueSpice, which is distributed in more than 160 countries with over 1 million downloads. The Regensburg-based company builds collaborative software for knowledge management and online documentation since 2007.