22 May 2024

The power of an effective knowledge base

As Kneip continued to grow and adapt to changing market dynamics over the past years, the need for an effective knowledge management system became increasingly evident and essential to our success.

This is why at the end of 2023, we took the decision to deploy a structured and centralised depository of information, to streamline, empower production and better satisfy our clients. In an era where information is abundant and dynamic, a well-structured knowledge base serves as a repository of organisational wisdom, enabling efficient problem-solving, streamlined processes, and informed decision-making. In this article, we look at some of the lessons we learnt along the way.


  1. Why Build a Knowledge Base?


Two compelling reasons drive the creation of a robust knowledge base:


Enhancing client support: A well-structured knowledge base has a direct impact on client satisfaction, retention rates, and ultimately, revenues. When clients can easily find answers to their questions or troubleshoot issues independently, the support process is streamlined, and it helps fostering positive client relationships.


Empowering employees: Internally, the knowledge base empowers employees by reducing redundant tasks and preventing the frustrating “I don’t know” moments. It ensures that critical information is readily available, saving time and minimising confusion. Employees are more efficient and effective when armed with a comprehensive resource at their fingertips.


  1. Key components of an effective knowledge base


Creating an effective knowledge base involves several crucial steps:


In-depth interviews: We conducted extensive interviews with team members from various departments. These conversations helped us identify gaps, assess the availability of necessary information, and understand specific needs. By listening to the voices of those on the front lines, we gained valuable insights.


Structured content: To ensure accuracy and clarity, we meticulously organised knowledge and related documents into categories. Each piece of content found its place, making the knowledge base concise and user-friendly. We included various media formats—videos, spreadsheets, PDFs—to cater to different learning styles.


Intuitive search functionality: Our ultimate goal is to develop an intuitive search function that spans various media formats and teams within the company. Users can effortlessly locate relevant information, considering access rights and document validity dates.


  1. The journey in building our knowledge base


Once the structure and organisation of documents were defined, the real work began:


  • Collecting and reviewing content:We painstakingly collected, reviewed, and sometimes created new content. Existing repositories underwent thorough analysis and cleanup. Our focus was on quality and relevance.
  • Migration to SharePoint:Step by step, we migrated the entire content to a newly created SharePoint environment. The organisation gathered insights from primary studies and interviews. This transition ensured a fresh start with improved accessibility.
  • User testing and feedback:Users from different departments rigorously tested the knowledge base. Their feedback guided refinements and adjustments. We wanted to ensure that the resource met real-world needs.
  • The big reveal:Finally, we presented the polished product to the entire company. The knowledge base became a shared asset, empowering everyone. Governance guidelines were established to maintain its integrity.


  1. Governance: nurturing the backbone


The governance structure serves as the backbone of our knowledge base. It defines key aspects, ensuring smooth operations and content integrity. Here’s what it entails:


  • Administrator role:The governance structure designates an administrator responsible for overseeing the knowledge base. This individual ensures that the knowledge base remains a reliable resource for all.
  • Document life cycle:Each document within the knowledge base has a life cycle. Let’s break it down:
    • Ownership:Every document must have an owner. This person is accountable for keeping the content up-to-date and accurate. They’re like the guardians of knowledge.
    • Production date:When was the document created or last updated? Knowing this helps us maintain freshness.
    • Expiration date:Documents need regular check-ups. We set expiration dates—times when they must be reviewed. Think of it as a health check for our content.
  • Access rights:Not all sections of the knowledge base are open to everyone. Specific access rights ensure that the right people can access the right information. It’s like having different keys for different rooms.


  1. Measuring success: beyond the numbers


Since the deployment of the knowledge base, we have been on a journey to measure its impact and effectiveness. Here’s how we gauge success:


  • Stakeholder meetings:Regular meetings with various stakeholders keep us connected. We track usage patterns, discuss engagement levels, and gather feedback. It’s like taking the pulse of our knowledge base.
  • Iterative updates:We don’t rest on our laurels. Iterative updates keep the knowledge base fresh. New information flows in, and obsolete content gets swept away. It’s a continuous improvement cycle.
  • Promotional efforts:We’re not shy about promoting our knowledge base. Videos, posts, and announcements highlight new or revised documents. It’s our way of saying, “Hey, check this out!”
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):Numbers matter. We monitor KPIs—metrics that tell us how well the knowledge base is performing. Are users finding what they need? Are they engaged? KPIs reveal the story.


  1. Future steps: paving the way ahead


Our journey doesn’t end here. As we look ahead we see:


  • AI-powered search:Imagine an AI wizard that understands your queries and fetches relevant content effortlessly. We’re developing an intuitive search function. Say goodbye to hunting for needles in haystacks.
  • The knowledge base as the ultimate source:Our vision? The Knowledge base becomes the go-to source for critical knowledge. Whether it’s client presentations, team trainings, or those “I need answers now” moments, the knowledge base will have our back.
  • Content management:We will continue to manage content—uploading new gems, reviewing old treasures, and ensuring accuracy. It’s like tending a digital garden.


In summary, our knowledge base isn’t just a repository: it’s a living, breathing resource which is core to how we function as an organisation. Going forward, we will continue to nurture it, watch it thrive, and ensure it becomes the trusted golden source for our company’s wisdom.

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