Many different organizations use knowledge bases but they all use them for the same reason: they are useful. A knowledge base can be something as simple as creating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of a website or as extensive as a comprehensive training manual for coding and troubleshooting an operating system. Regardless of its scope, a knowledge base meant to make information easily accessible for those using it. Creating a knowledge base requires some work but is by no means difficult.
Collect, or create, copies of the information necessary to build your knowledge base. In some instances, the information you need is already created and you only have to pull the necessary information together. However, if it is necessary to create articles for your knowledge base, keep in mind that you must be thorough. An article about a subject should be as thorough as it can be without being obscure and confusing.
Organize the collected information. You can do this several different ways, such as by keyword, by topic or by date created. This will depend on the subject of the base and what type of organization is best suited for it.
Develop a template so that others can create articles to be added to the knowledge base easily.
Create a way to access that information. Frequently, knowledge bases are now kept online; however, this is not the only way to allow access to the information. If it is only being disseminated to a few people, you may wish to have it turned into a book so that a computer is not required to access the information. Be certain to also consider privacy/proprietary concerns when making your knowledge base available.
Create a way to update or reissue the information. Informational needs of an organization change over time. New software comes out or procedures are changed. Your knowledge base needs to change with the times. With printed books, this means revising and putting out a new edition. For online knowledge bases, it may take the form of editing an existing document or removing an article and replacing it with a new one with updated information.
- Avoid duplicates. Whenever you receive a new submission for the knowledge base, check to insure there isn't a form of it already available. If there is but there is also new information, edit the existing article accordingly and credit both authors.
- Pay special attention to correct spellings. Misspelled words will make finding information more difficult.