Manage and share important info with knowledge base management

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Knowledge Base Management

Knowledge management is a business’s ability to control and use information gained either by research, individual feedback, or past experiences that an individual or organization has had. A knowledge management system can (and should) be used by organizations both big and small. They help document, organize, share, and utilize information that may be useful for the organization’s future endeavors.

However, an organization that has been around for a while or has become a major corporation will have more information to manage. Even with a knowledge management system, they may struggle to keep track of all of their data.

Older, larger companies have more experience and data. Therefore, by trying to share more information and knowledge across the organization there is a greater chance of confusion. As a result, it can take employees longer to find what they’re looking for. That means that they’ll be spending less time on the task that needs to be completed, in turn getting less done and making less revenue for the organization they’re working for.

Knowledge base management systems are designed a little differently than other, more basic forms of knowledge management. They were created to manage more extensive and complex organization databases.

What is a Knowledge Base?

Before we explain what knowledge base management is or how to use it, one important question needs to be answered: What is a knowledge base?

A knowledge base is a resource that most companies are either already using or should be using. It is a technology used to store complex data and information. Of course, there are many uses that a company can choose to use or opt out of, but there are five things that we recommend including in your organization’s knowledge base.

1. Company information

The first and probably most obvious thing that you will see in the best knowledge base examples is the documentation of essential company information. One of the biggest time wasters in any business is when an employee searches for information that someone else has already researched or, even worse, waits for someone else to give them that information.

By using a sound knowledge base system, you are giving the members of your organization the ability to not only find the information they need but to share the knowledge they gain along the course of their employment with other members of the organization that need it.

2. Training materials

Training materials are something that all employees, both old and new, should be able to access. It gives fresh employees the ability to learn at their own pace and reference the information they need to complete their training without wasting anyone else’s time.

Access to training materials is also suitable for veteran employees working for their organization for a long time. It gives them access to materials that they can use to brush up their skills and refresh their memory whenever and whenever they need to do so.

3. Sales and marketing content

The sales and marketing section of any organization is arguably the most important. Without them, nobody would know of your organization, nobody would care, and you wouldn’t get any customers or business transactions. No customers mean no sales, which in turn means no revenue. Having a poor, incapable sales and marketing department is one of the quickest ways to run your business into the ground.

However, the employees’ skill levels in your sales and marketing department aren’t the only thing that can make them struggle. No matter how good they are at their jobs, they won’t get any results if they can’t access the necessary information or the right resources.

A good knowledge base gives them access to information relevant to their current task and data on previous sales made to similar buyers. In addition, it will show the marketers the data they need to analyze and adjust their advertising tactics so that they target and appeal to whatever audience is most likely to do business with you.

4. Legal documents

Legal documents may not help get things done faster, more efficiently, or with higher quality. However, they will help prevent your employees from making a mistake that gets you, your organization, or themselves in legal trouble. Giving the right people access to necessary legal documents will ensure that everyone understands the law that applies to their job. This can prevent disastrous consequences such as a lawsuit that your company could have easily avoided.

5. How-to guides

Finally, it can never hurt to include relevant how-to guides for your employees to reference. That way, if they have a question or concern about an assigned task, they have valuable documents to reference instead of wasting your time or that of another employee by asking for instructions.

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Why you Should Use a Knowledge Base Software

As previously mentioned, a knowledge base is crucial to the success of any business. However, the more you grow and expand, the more information you will have in your knowledge base. This can lead to digital clutter, which can cause things to get misplaced, miscommunicated, or even deleted accidentally. That’s why your organization needs to have the software they need to properly manage and organize their knowledge base, which leads us to our next point. What is knowledge base software?

Knowledge base software is a tool used most commonly by large organizations with a lot of essential information to keep track of. It helps prevent the struggles that an inconveniently compiled knowledge base can cause. Here are just a few ways that knowledge base software can benefit your organization.

Increase employee productivity: Employees won’t have to waste time finding required information that has been buried by excess information that has since been input into the knowledge base.

Improve customer service: Customer service agents will be able to find similar or related cases to the ones they are currently working on in a matter of seconds, thus expediting the process and giving the customers a better experience overall.

Support work flexibility and a hybrid workforce: The increased communication abilities presented by implementing quality internal knowledge base software allow employees to avoid confusion and collaborate more efficiently across any distance.

Capture essential knowledge: You can document any knowledge vital to the organization and its future endeavors as you compile it, resulting in peak accuracy and efficiency when setting it aside for future use.

Knowledge Management Best Practices

Now that we’ve established the benefits of proper knowledge management, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I use it to improve my business?”

Knowledge base management is something all businesses should have. However, the process is very detailed and complex at times. There are a lot of things to factor in if you want your knowledge base management to work.

1. Map out key knowledge areas

While all of the information stored in your knowledge base is bound to come in handy eventually, you don’t want to have many disorganized files in your knowledge base. So instead, use your knowledge base management system to map out the critical areas of knowledge stored here to make it easier to locate and access them in the future.

2. Create helpful guidelines for employees

While your employees will almost always know what they need to do, they may not know how to do it or the company policies. Use your knowledge base management to create guidelines that your employees can reference as needed while working so that they won’t have to ask for assistance as often.

3. Assign ownership and responsibility

Assign ownership and responsibility to your employees regarding who needs to document what. That way, there won’t be miscommunication, which can cause certain necessary information to get overlooked or neglected.

4. Monitor progress and usage

Monitor all employee progress, both regarding their mandatory tasks and their skill levels, as well as who uses the knowledge base and what they use it for. Use this data to improve the knowledge base in the future.

5. Set a maintenance schedule

As with all other forms of software, knowledge base management needs to be well maintained to function properly. Set a maintenance schedule so that employees and anyone else using the knowledge base will know beforehand when they will be unable to access it due to maintenance.

How to Choose the Right Knowledge Base System

All businesses have different needs for their knowledge management solutions, so their process to find the right knowledge management software will be unique to them. However, here are a few key factors to consider.

1. User-friendly

No matter how good your knowledge base management system is, it won’t benefit anyone if it’s impossible to use. Listen to user feedback regarding how easily your employees can use it. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to read the reviews of how user-friendly the knowledge base management system you’re considering is, either.

2. Document support

Your knowledge base software must implement content from various locations and give users access to all of the information they may need. Knowledge lives across multiple locations from Google Drive, help guides, Confluence, Trello, Dropbox, and more, but a great system connects all of this info into one, centralized location.

3. Access management

Consider who you will need to give access to the knowledge base. Research how accessible the knowledge base management system in question is and whether or not it has the proper access management for your needs.

4. Search functionality

The best knowledge base software should have decent search functionality. No matter how well you organize your documents, it will be impossible to find what you need if you have thousands of them. Successfully searching for specific documents and information will make the entire workplace go about their tasks more efficiently.

5. Analytics

Lastly, you want a system with data analytics that will give you all of the information you need regarding the usage of your knowledge base. That way you can see if there are questions or items that your employees are looking for that you don’t have stored within the software. It’s also a great way to see what items and information are most popularly visited.

Introducing Lessonly’s Knowledge Management Software

Lessonly Knowledge is a powerfully simple knowledge base software for many businesses and organizations. With Lessonly Knowledge, organizations can give their teams fast, accurate answers to common questions, right in their moment of need. This results in faster onboarding, seamless workflow integrations, time saved, and improved performance all around. Want to see Lessonly in action? Jump into this free lesson to see why 1,400+ companies love using Lessonly.