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Why corporate wikis are no longer effective for knowledge management

Four individuals working in an open layout office in front of a computer with a headset on

Limited access to knowledge is a significant barrier to productivity. It's not uncommon for your employees to spend over 2 hours of their working day searching for the information and knowledge needed to resolve business problems or complete tasks. Information searches should not be consuming this much of your employees’ time. 

To solve the challenges workers face with accessing organizational knowledge, many companies examine corporate wikis as a viable solution for storing, organizing, and sharing their internal knowledge. However, with the evolving digital workplace and the acceptance of remote and hybrid working, it's pertinent to evaluate modern solutions that meet the needs of your employees today.

What is a corporate wiki?

A corporate wiki, also known as an enterprise wiki, is a knowledge management system that provides a central location where your company can collect, capture, and update organizational knowledge. 

As an internet user, the chances are high that you’ve used Wikipedia to find and acquire information and knowledge. Corporate wikis are comparable because they use similar technology and processes for people to collaborate and share their knowledge. The main difference is that corporate wikis are confined to the people within your organization.  

Wikis have been a favored solution for knowledge management because every employee has the ability to read, edit, and contribute new content and knowledge. Plus, they're relatively easy to use. If employees can create a word doc, they’ll have no issue contributing to a wiki. But, if you’ve already used a corporate wiki before, you’re probably familiar with the challenges they can bring and are ready for a more effective way to manage knowledge.

Challenges when using a corporate wiki

For a wiki to be an effective knowledge management solution, continual participation and contribution are necessary. Why? Because having a central location to find information is not enough. Knowledge, in the form of content, must first be created, added, and maintained. Here are common challenges when using a corporate wiki.

Lack of knowledge sharing and creation

Have you heard of participation inequality? Or maybe you know it better as the 90-9-1 rule. Unfortunately, this rule is often applied to online communities with collaborative resources like wikis. The theory is only 1% of participants create and add new content, 9% will offer minimal contribution like editing or adding small tidbits of information to content, and a staggering  90% will be “lurkers” and only use the resource to access information. Could your corporate wiki be the reason why only 20% of your organization's knowledge is documented?

Information becomes outdated

Wikis are updatable sources, which give them the ability to remain relevant,  change, and grow as your organization does. However, this does not magically happen. It takes effort from your employees. Subject matter experts must actively track down the content relevant to their expertise and take the time to review, update, and add new content as needed. Unless updating your corporate wiki is a part of your employees’ KPIs or OKRs, chances are, they will always have other priorities that come before this. But, without subject matter experts frequently reviewing and ensuring the quality of your corporate wiki, it becomes increasingly ineffective. Employees are far too familiar with outdated information. When employees do find the data or information they are looking for, almost half the time (49%) it’s outdated.

Time-consuming 

Creating and editing content takes time. What’s added to the wiki can’t be simple notes that you would write to yourself in a journal as a reminder. The content created must be well thought out and presented in a way that most can understand.

Before creating new content, it’s important for subject matter experts to thoroughly do a content audit of existing knowledge in the wiki. If not, they risk wasting time creating duplicate content.

Lack of structure

Without a clear structure, wikis become a disorderly pile of knowledge. Employees haphazardly add new content, and colleagues are stuck searching for the information and knowledge they need - even in a centralized location.

Limited insights

Wikis typically don’t offer much insight into how employees interact and use the content. You’ll find it hard to understand the impact of your existing wiki content, how long it takes for employees to find knowledge and the overall knowledge gaps within your wiki.

Corporate wiki vs. modern knowledge management

The intended outcome of corporate wikis and knowledge management platforms are the same. To make organizational knowledge more accessible and make sharing knowledge easy. However, their process and effectiveness differ.

Wikis rely heavily on your organization and employees to build out the system's structure, guess what content and information should be created and added, and update the content regularly to ensure the wiki's effectiveness. Precious time that should be spent sharing information and knowledge is wasted on wiki upkeep.

Modern knowledge management solutions use the latest technology. AI-powered platforms can build your network's knowledge structure in real-time based on historical and concurrent data and learn from the interactions. They know and can share your organization's knowledge in real-time. That means you and your employees have the most reliable,  up-to-date information at your fingertips and can find the most knowledgeable colleagues on any topic in no time.

 

Why is modern knowledge management more effective?

Modern knowledge management leverages the power of connection with the latest technology to maximize your employees' efforts and minimizes unnecessary work. They are incredibly intuitive and integrate into your employees' workflows to make engaging easy and employees more productive. Modern platforms empower employees to focus on what they do best. 

Save time 

Having a single source where employees know they can find the most reliable, up-to-date, and verified information and knowledge will enable your employees to work more independently and save time. Employees should no longer sift through various documents or go through the company directory looking for the right person to help.  A knowledge management platform can easily showcase past answers to similar questions, or allow employees to access the knowledge from subject matter experts in record time, so they can proceed with their business tasks with confidence.

Access knowledge in real-time

Modern knowledge platforms enables employees to access knowledge in real-time. For information not yet captured, employee questions are instantly directed to the most knowledgeable colleagues. As a result, employees can reduce time to resolution by up to 75%.

Increase collaboration and employee engagement

A knowledge management platform encourages employees to share their expertise or ask questions with ease. Subject matter experts get inspired to contribute and share their knowledge when they have access to the questions their colleagues are looking for. They no longer have to guess what they should add or wonder if their efforts will be seen or used. When they share their knowledge, they collaborate directly with a colleague in need. On the other side of the interaction, employees get fast, reliable solutions from subject matter experts. 

Content suggestions

Have you ever opened a blank document and didn't know where, or how, to start? With a modern knowledge management platform, you should no longer be sharing knowledge from scratch. They should take the guesswork out of what knowledge is needed and sought after in the organization. A modern platform that offers a Q&A component allows subject matter experts to know exactly what information and knowledge colleagues are seeking out.

Quality control of knowledge

The ability to interact with knowledge by rating questions and answers allows employees to verify quickly and see that information is up-to-date and reliable. Employees also can expand upon questions already asked if they need additional information or are looking to gain more clarity from colleagues. 

Minimal maintenance

Say goodbye to yearly calendar reminders to clean and update your knowledge platform. With modern knowledge management, AI technology builds and maintains your structure in real-time, based on all available knowledge to date, so it changes simultaneously with your organization.

Features you should look for in a knowledge management system

To ensure you get the most out of a knowledge management platform, here are three key features to consider in a platform to optimize sharing information and knowledge within your organization.

Q&A

An interactive Q&A feature allows workers to collaborate similarly to how they would in an office environment. When stuck, they would tap on a colleague's shoulder and ask for help. These spontaneous interactions have vanished in the digital workplace, and this feature revives these conversations and connections again.

A modern knowledge management platform like Starmind maximizes Q&A engagement by having questions posted anonymously. Employees no longer hesitate to ask questions out of the fear of being judged or viewed as incompetent.

Finding experts

Sometimes, your employees' business problems are more complex and require direct collaboration with subject matter experts. For instances like these, a feature that enables employees to find, see, and contact subject matter experts within your entire organization helps. Relieve employees from getting stuck and having projects delayed by allowing them to find the right colleagues they need to push projects along and accelerate time-to-resolution.

Integrates with existing tools

A modern knowledge management platform should integrate with your existing tools. Integrations bring your knowledge management platform into your employees' workflow for increased engagement and seamless collaboration. In addition, with integrations, a modern platform can learn and make insights from the data your organization is already creating to become even smarter.

Opting for a modern knowledge platform

If you're determined to have an effective knowledge management strategy, it's time to ditch the company wiki or remove it from your list of viable solutions. Your employees require a modern platform that fits into their digital workplace. Opting for a solution like Starmind allows your employees to have a comprehensive, all-in-one platform where they can share information and knowledge with ease and access answers and colleagues without additional work. 

Ready to give your employees the platform and solution they need?

Learn more

 

What is a corporate wiki?

A corporate wiki, also known as an enterprise wiki, is a knowledge management system that provides a central location where your company can collect, capture, and update organizational knowledge.

As an internet user, the chances are high that you’ve used Wikipedia to find and acquire information and knowledge. Corporate wikis are comparable because they use similar technology and processes for people to collaborate and share their knowledge. The main difference is that corporate wikis are confined to the people within your organization.

Wikis have been a favored solution for knowledge management because every employee has the ability to read, edit, and contribute new content and knowledge. Plus, they're relatively easy to use. If employees can create a word doc, they’ll have no issue contributing to a wiki. But, if you’ve already used a corporate wiki before, you’re probably familiar with the challenges they can bring and are ready for a more effective way to manage knowledge.

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