Melanie Broder is on the Marketing team at Slite, where she works on all things content. She helps Slite users gain new skills through guides, templates, and videos. She lives in New York City, where she likes to read novels and run loops around Central Park.
A wiki is your team's knowledge home, and like any home, it needs a good foundation. These quick-start steps will set your team up for long-term wiki success.
Step 1: Identify wiki goals
When you create a wiki, you're solving a problem for your team. Identify what you're trying to solve early on, so you can stay focused as your wiki evolves.
Whether you want to prioritize creating an ongoing professional resource for employees or a tool for employee onboarding, it's important to determine what kind information you want your wiki to contain at the outset.
You may also have existing information that you want to integrate into your new wiki. Be sure to collect that documentation, while reviewing it and editing it as necessary.
Some examples of team wiki goals are:
- Onboard new team members
- Make weekly meetings asynchronous
- Put company info in one place
- Keep a written record of projects
- Communicate team-wide updates
- Prepare written communication for clients
- Standardize 1:1s, performance reviews, and other recurring meetings
- Build your team playbook
Maybe you have one of these goals, or a couple of them, or maybe you have other ideas in mind for your team wiki. But writing out 1-3 goals will help keep your wiki focused and manageable when you're just starting out.
Step 2: Choose a wiki software
There are many different wiki software options out there, which is why it's great to narrow down your goal before choosing a specific one. Some wiki tools offer a lot of complex features and advanced workflow. Others simply organize your Google Docs for you.
The key is to act like Goldilocks, and find the perfect fit for your team needs.
The previous chapter of this guide is a tour of the best wiki software tools on the market. Check it out if you're interested in learning more about the different options available.
Read: The 7 Best Wiki Software Tools to use in 2021-->
Once you've found your perfect fit, you can sign up and invite your team. Many tools offer SSO or Login with Google options, making it easy to bring everyone on board.
Step 3: Identify key contributors
Once your wiki software is up and running, you'll need to figure out where to source all the knowledge you'll be collecting in your wiki.
One of the advantages of a wiki is the ability to act like a collective brain. As they say, two heads are better than one. However, too many knowledge managers can quickly create chaos. It's best to keep things simple when starting out.
- Determine who in your organization has the most specialized knowledge: This will likely be leaders and/or senior contributors from each core team in your company who are experts in their fields.
- Determine who has the most institutional knowledge: This will likely be founders and first key hires. They have the benefit of time spent building the business from the ground up, and have learned what they know through hands-on experience.
Sometimes, you may even want to consult with outside experts, such as investors or people in your network with knowledge of your product and the market. They will give you an outsider's perspective and validate your ideas.
Ready to give your wiki a shot? Invite your team to Slite-->
Step 3: Create a brief outline of your wiki
Once you've set goals and established first contributors to your wiki, now you can create the basic structure. An outline will establish the beginnings of document hierarchy and provide a preview of what your fully-fleshed-out team wiki will look like.
It doesn't have to be complicated. One example of a simple wiki outline would be to sort it by the departments in your team that will contribute, such as:
- People Ops
- Customer Success
And then think of one key doc for each, based on your discussions with key contributors. The outline above could be expanded to:
- People Ops / Key doc: Onboarding Checklist
- Engineering / Key doc: Development Cycles
- Customer Success / Key doc: Customer Feedback
- Marketing / Key doc: Marketing Plan Template
- Product / Key doc: Product Roadmap
Step 4: Have a kick-off meeting
As much as we love async work, a meeting can be the best way to kickoff a project in the early stages. Holding a kick-off meeting with wiki contributors is helpful because you'll be able to:
- Introduce the wiki software tool to team members and show them how it works.
- Explain the structure, design, and logic behind your wiki.
- Produce valuable meeting minutes and an initial project plan that will outline the framework of your wiki project and keep everyone on track and accountable.
- Bring everyone on board with the new wiki undertaking psychologically.
- Answer any questions or provide clarifications as necessary.
Step 5: Use a template for faster document creation
Let's be honest, creating wiki articles from scratch is an intimidating task. If you currently find yourself in that situation, it will be extremely beneficial for you to get started using a wiki template. This will help you save time and make sure you don't forget anything when taking the first steps in your wiki development.
Slite has a library of over 80 templates for your wiki, including a company handbook template that's ready for you to use right away.
Visit the Slite Template Library-->
Your wiki is ready
Et voila! You have created your team wiki. Think of this as your Minimum Viable Knowledge Base (MVKB™). Now you're ready to make your wiki look as good as you feel.