Before you start
Before your first article title or idea put thoughts into how your knowledge base will work. Planning your knowledge base gives the content team clarity on the overall goal of the articles and content creation. As anyone knows it is easy to get lost in the forest with content creation.
Ask the following questions when you create your plan:
- What are the organisational goals when it comes to knowledge management ?
- What’s the benefit to the user base when interacting with the knowledge base ?
- Resource limitations either technical, management, content. Always remember the 80 / 20 rule (Work on the 20% that gives 80% of the benefit.
- What does success look like at an end state ? Then create all the actions required to get to that end state.
What’s your pipeline ?
The problem of many knowledge bases are the lack of a content pipeline. A pipeline being the process of taking an [ Idea ] to [ Completed Article ]. This is a Agile / disciplined approach to content creation, many business’s knowledge bases usually reflects the content writer’s interests and not what the users / business truly needs.
At any point in time managers should be able to see what content is going to be created, whats being worked on and what has been published.
Here is an example of a content creation pipeline where each item moves from Left to Right.
|User creation||How to assist customers||Product add on||New product release|
Survey the user base
A few questionnaires / surveys of the users will bring insight on how users interact with the knowledge base and what information they require. Use this feedback to direct your content pipeline and direction of the knowledge base.
Finally look at the data your knowledge base provides regarding articles views, time on page or even just click count. Why aren’t some articles being used ? What’s the most heavily read article and why ? What’s the spread of information being consumed by the user base ?
Are users searching for content that doesn’t exist ? Add these topics to your pipeline and message the user base.
Remember reviewing performance is an iterative process it takes time and discipline to keep your knowledge base healthy.