December 13, 2022

7 Key Steps To Create Good Internal Documentation

The employees’ collective internal knowledge is the lifeblood of any business. While it may be hard to quantify, it’s still crucial to the success of any company.

The issue is that internal knowledge is often kept only in the minds of workers. If there is any documentation of this information at all, it is likely to be buried in email threads, Slack channels, or some other type of communication system you might be using. Because there is no centralized hub for company records, staff members spend unnecessary time and energy tracking down the data they need.

So, how do you go about resolving this issue? The solution is to centralize all of your information into a single resource that staff members may consult anytime they have a query. Fortunately for you, in this article, we’re going to explain how to achieve that very thing. Read on to learn how to create good internal documentation.

Set a Specific Goal

Identifying your end goal for the internal documentation is the first step. Things like better knowledge management, increased productivity, and easier information exchange are all examples of this.

Teamwork is required while developing documentation. Therefore, everyone has to be on the same page. Everyone who helps with the documentation should be trained on the project’s goals so that they may contribute more efficiently. To streamline the entire documentation project, consider using documentation tools to help organize everything more efficiently.

Create a Framework for the Site’s Navigational Content

There should be a plan and a framework behind every successful knowledge management initiative. Your internal documentation will most likely take the shape of a knowledge base with section headings to help you categorize the pages you create.

Sort through your information and think of logical categories into which you may place related pieces of information. Employees should be able to easily navigate the layout, so avoid creating too many subcategories. Maintain a straightforward framework in your knowledge base to help your employees find necessary information easily.

Create Templates

Creating templates is a great way to ensure that all of your documents are consistent, no matter who is creating them. A table of contents, headings and subheadings, and an introduction and conclusion should all be included to make it easy to simply fill them out with relevant information instead of having to write the documents from scratch every time.

Spend some time making document templates that everyone can use. These may be filed away in your knowledge base and reused as necessary.

Brainstorm for Ideas

Now comes the fun part. To decide what types of internal documents you should include in your knowledge base, you need to assemble a group of “knowledge champions.” Makes sure to gather representatives of every department since they will bring different ideas to the table. Keep in mind, however, that while it’s true that everyone’s opinion is valuable, it’s also crucial not to over-document.

Highlight Important Details

The best knowledge base programs will let you highlight crucial details with distinctive formatting. Typically, they will be set out from the rest of the text using a contrasting background color to better emphasize their contents.

When writing technical documentation, it is extremely important to include significant warnings that employees should read before continuing. This will help you avoid technical issues and possible system crash.

Include References to Related Articles

Your knowledge base’s search tool isn’t the only method workers will use to look for useful documents. Your staff will be better able to find the documentation they need if you provide links to related topics throughout your content.

When documents are well-linked, it becomes much easier for staff members to navigate and utilize your knowledge base to their advantage. This will boost the site’s utility and significantly increase productivity levels.

Review Documents With Colleagues

Once your work is complete, you should get it reviewed by your peers to ensure correctness. If you want to make sure your documents are up to par, you need employees from every department to go through them, including experts in related fields and those who will be using the documentation.

Even if you spend a lot of time crafting flawless documents, a fresh set of eyes may always help you polish it to perfection.

Final Thoughts

Your workers will no longer have to reinvent the wheel because of all the helpful information you’ve documented inside. If key members of your team decide to pursue other opportunities, you shouldn’t freak out. You now have access to a pool of company-specific knowledge from which you and your colleagues may draw, which should lead to greater efficiency and productivity.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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