Why do I need one?
Every day brings an enormous amount of data and information that often gets stored (if ever) in multiple different places: from different tools to different people's minds. The information often gets lost and is quickly forgotten.
It's a huge waste of potential: good information management can make teams more efficient. It can help them find answers to their recurring questions faster, it can prevent them from repeating the same mistakes and it can break down silos between departments.
A good knowledge is here to enable all these things by making knowledge easy to organize and find, in turn making your team more efficient.
Below are the more specific and use case reasons that make a knowledge base a strategic asset for every business.
Increased team productivity
A good internal knowledge base will help your employees find the right information quickly without having to tap on their teammates' shoulders asking questions and repeatedly distracting them.
A study conducted by McKinsey revealed that improved communication and collaboration through technologies could raise the productivity of knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent (source). On top of that, it keeps everyone on the same page and is consistently pushing toward the same direction.
Better employee onboarding
Growing your team can seriously slow you down without the right employee onboarding structure.
Having a single source of truth with up-to-date information will help new employees get up to speed smoothly. It'll also make sure the onboarding process stays consistent across employees.
A good knowledge base gives new employees a feeling of autonomy—they can self-help themselves, get a sense of how the company works and familiarize themselves with the material in their own time. You can even create a new hire onboarding checklist to guide their way into your company's knowledge.
Overall, a knowledge base can lay the foundations for a better employee onboarding process, creating a better work environment for new hires, in turn allowing their team to focus on the essential training required. Most of all, it reduces average new employee onboarding time and reduces onboarding costs.
Improved customer support
An external self-service knowledge base will allow your customers to get quick answers to common questions. And let your support team focus on critical issues (but with an internal knowledge base this time, you get the point). Ultimately, you'll deliver a better customer experience and you'll increase customer satisfaction.
Stronger business foundations
One of any business's main assets is the knowledge produced by all employees over time, from user research, processes to strategy, and roadmaps. Every company experiences employee turnover, resulting in a lot of company knowledge being lost.
If all this precious information is written somewhere where it's easily accessible—a knowledge base!— you're sure to keep this information forever, strengthening your company's foundations, avoiding long-term knowledge gaps, and decreasing knowledge dependency on just specific people in the team. Some great examples of teams already doing this are Basecamp, GitLab, and Netflix.