Top 3 Reasons You Should Retire Your Corporate Wiki
A recent study showed that 57% of companies still use wikis to manage their content and knowledge. 10 years ago, wikis might be considered the best technology in town as it provides a way for employees to collaborate on documentation. But in today's fast-changing economy, wiki simply cannot keep up with the needs for managing your team knowledge and a more advanced solution is required.
Must-haves for a good knowledge management system
- Easily capture knowledge and keep it up-to-date
- Easily share knowledge and collaborate with colleagues
- Easily discover knowledge without browsing through tons of documents
With the right tool in place, you will be able to foster a knowledge-sharing culture, maintain an up-to-date knowledge base, and streamline knowledge transfer between groups such as sales, marketing, product and customer support.
Top 3 reasons why wikis fail
1. No validation mechanism
Wiki is simply a collaborative way to do documentation. At the end of the day, it is still a flat document. Each employee can create a wiki doc on a specific topic, but there is no built-in mechanism to validate if the information is accurate. Most people will not have the time to review others' write-ups, particularly when the content is long. Sometimes, correct information gets mistakenly changed and it is virtually impossible to find it out without digging through all the edit histories.
- If the post is a question, the user who asked the question can accept the correct answers that helped him/her solve the problem.
- Other users can also vote up or down answers and add their own comments. Posts with high vote counts indicate high quality and value.
- Each community can have multiple moderators who have content oversight and can update posts if they see any errors using the built-in moderation tool.
2. Cluttered with outdated and inaccurate information
Corporate wiki is like your closet. It is nice and clean at the beginning but over time, it accumulates tons of documents that contain information that is no longer relevant or correct. But because wiki docs are flat, it is virtually impossible to find the erroneous content and correct them.
AllAnswered, on the other hand, organizes your team knowledge using what we call Micro-Douments™. Each post captures a single piece of knowledge that evolves over time. Users can add new answers or comments to it if things changed and downvote the outdated content. Community moderators can also update posts or remove them completely if they are no longer needed.
If your organization has used wiki for some time, you know how difficult it is to find the information you are looking for through a global search. On the other hand, if you use AllAnswered, because each post is so targeted and short, it is much easier to find what you need. And you can also search for information within a specific community so it is a much smaller list that you have to go through.
3. Not designed for sharing
The best you can do with a wiki when it comes to sharing is post a piece of content and email a link to others. Some wiki tools allow adding @user to trigger email notifications to the people you tagged. But it is still a very manual process.
AllAnswered, on the other hand, puts sharing as the #1 priority. It utilizes communities to get people together who share a common interest. You can create communities for projects, groups or any topics. It automatically notifies others within the community when someone makes a new top-level post. Answers and comments are sent only to the users on that post thread or anyone who explicitly followed it. This way, everyone in the community is highly engaged and informed without inundated with too many emails.
If your team is using Slack, a community in your team can also be mapped to a specific Slack channel by community moderators. Once it is set up, you can configure what content you want to cross post to the Slack channel.
Corporate wiki software may still work if you are in a mature and stable industry where changes are slow and rare. But if you are not as fortunate, you will find your corporate wiki simply cannot keep up the pace with your team. It is time to stay competitive by investing in a modern knowledge management solution that allows your employees to easily capture and share valuable company knowledge. You will see a big jump in productivity as the result.