Over time, the tremendous growth of technology has resulted in businesses relying on technology for practically everything. Therefore, as you make efforts to develop your business, it becomes increasingly important to ensure employees have all the resources they need to work toward your organization’s goals. 

Research shows employees can spend nearly 20% of their time (about 9.3 hours per week) searching for internal information, or for a coworker who can assist. If you want to enhance your developer’s productivity, you need to give them easy access to the information they need. 

That’s where an internal knowledge base comes in.

Creating an internal knowledge base may seem a bit daunting, but it’s well worth the effort. This article will give you a quick rundown of everything you need to have a suitable internal knowledge base for your developers.

What is an Internal Knowledge Base?

An internal knowledge base (IKB) is a repository of information accessible by all members of your organization. In short, it’s a collection of documents, articles, and other resources your team can use to get answers to their questions and also solve problems. It can contain everything from How-To guides to code snippets to troubleshooting tips.

An internal knowledge base is an essential tool for any development team. It can help onboard new developers, keep track of best practices, and provide a reference for common problems. It can also be a valuable resource for developers working on projects outside their area of expertise.

Creating a knowledge management system requires some planning and forethought to produce a resource that will be useful to all.

Setting Up An Internal Knowledge Base For Developers

As you may know, developers are responsible for the entire software development life cycle, from researching and conceptualizing new features to debugging and deploying code. Setting up an internal knowledge base for this team can be daunting, yet time and money saving in the future.

Identify, Collect and Organize Information on the Needs of Your Developers

Your internal knowledge base can only thrive if it addresses the needs of your developers. So, the best way is to involve them from the initial stages.

First, let them pinpoint the areas that need to be in the system. For example, it could be the onboarding process, FAQs, potential mistakes during coding, code quality measurement, organizational charts, troubleshooting errors, backup process, Annual reports, and team culture, among others.

Typically, there is nothing you can’t include in the knowledge base; ensure that it’s helpful to the team.

Select an Internal Knowledge Base Software

Different internal knowledge software are available on the market today, and choosing the best is crucial for its success. You can review what people say about the software or ask for recommendations to weigh their features and pricing. Better still, you can start with a trial since most offer this option to see which one is the best. Below are some pointers to help you choose the best internal knowledge-based software for your developers:

  • Integration: Will the software integrate with your tools and existing systems?
  • Power of search engine: This system aims to have available information for your developers. That’s important to ensure an effective search engine is in place.
  • Scalability: Your internal knowledge base will continue to increase as you add more information. So check whether the system is scalable.
  • User experience: Will the software help to meet the needs of your developers? Is it well organized and easy to use? Is it flexible and easily accessible?

Create an Information Architecture

This is basically a roadmap for all the different sections and pieces of content to include in your internal knowledge base. You’ll need to show how the content will be formatted and organized.

Ensure that the categories have all the information which will be easy to locate. For example, you can structure the system by the various stages the development process takes.

Creating a clear structure at this stage will make work more effortless in the coming stages, since everything will be laid out clearly.

Come up with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Choosing the right team to create the content of your internal knowledge base will ensure high-quality information. Appoint someone (editor) to be responsible for the system’s accuracy, quality, tone, style, and general health. It’s good to note that many organizations’ internal knowledge base fails because they don’t have an overseer.

Build Your Knowledge Base

Now that you have completed the essential tasks, it’s time to build your system. This includes consolidating and distributing the information to your team. Also, determine the permissions and grant access depending on your company’s policies.

Keep Updating the System

It’s important to note that your internal knowledge-based system will not be perfect in one go. Instead, it will need regular updating, so it may take a long time before it contains all the information.

Furthermore, technology keeps changing, and you should update the system accordingly to reflect new changes. Also, allow your team to give feedback on the system. This way, they will highlight areas that need improvement.

The Best Internal Knowledge Base Software

There are a variety of different software programs you can use to create a knowledge base for your development team.

Confluence

A powerful and flexible team collaboration software that enables companies to work better together. Confluence allows you to store, organize and share documents in a web-based format. It’s one of the most popular knowledge base software options out there. It’s easy to use, easy to customize and offers many features. With Confluence, you can integrate Atlassian products.

Back

Back is user-friendly and helps teams share and manage information more efficiently. In addition, the Back platform allows you to integrate data from other software such as Confluence and Notion.

Tettra

Simple yet effective knowledge management and collaboration tool that can help teams work smarter. Tettra allows integration with GitHub, Wistia, GSuite, Zapier, and more. To develop your knowledge base, you can use Tettra’s simple editor or existing Google Docs, markdown files, and other resources. In addition, Tettra offers a free plan for up to 10 users to help you get started.

Nuclino

A flexible and intuitive tool that helps teams create and share resources in real-time. You can easily choose between a list, a board, and a graph to visualize your work. Nuclino offers a free plan where you are allowed up to 50 items across all workspaces. Their standard plan is $5/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.

Documents 360

Documents 360 is cloud-based knowledge software that helps you quickly and easily create a knowledge base for your team. It’s suitable for a large group and can be used externally or internally.

Its versatile integration allows you to bring external systems to your knowledge base and work with tools like Google Analytics and Chatbots. Documents 360 offers a free trial, so you can try it out before committing to it.

Bottom Line

This is not a comprehensive list, but this can help your narrow down the list of candidates for your organization.

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on what you need to set up an adequate internal knowledge base for your developers. You can now start this important project, and we believe you’ll be happy with the results.

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