A knowledge audit is a three-part process for reviewing your current knowledge (phase 1), internal processes (phase 2), and creating a communication strategy (phase 3) to show your changes and get buy-in.
Reasons to conduct a knowledge audit
- Identify specific areas for improvement that can scale with you over time
- Improve your search experience by getting rid of stale & outdated content
- Reduce the amount of Cards you need to manage
- Empower people with the knowledge they need to do their jobs
When to conduct a knowledge audit:
Audits can be helpful at regular intervals to keep your account up to date and fresh. You can set a recurring calendar event to make sure you check back at a regular cadence (we recommend monthly or quarterly).
How to conduct a knowledge audit:
It can be helpful to read through this guide fully before diving in so you can get a sense of phase 3 (crafting your communication strategy) from the start. This will help you set a date you want to work backward from to launch this to your team.
Phase 1: Improving your content
Each knowledge base will be different, but these are some best practices that can serve as a framework for how to think about creating and structuring knowledge. They are all intended to make your knowledge as findable and impactful as possible.
Consider sending a survey in this phase before you have made any changes to understand your current state - what people have trouble finding, current sentiment around your knowledge base and more.
When looking through your current Cards, flag Cards that could be improved by the following recommendations. You can either improve these Cards immediately or create a spreadsheet to track what Cards fall into each category so you can go back later and systematically update them.
- Break down long-form Cards: Cards should ideally be bite-sized. If there are multiple answers or thoughts within one Card, consider breaking them down so end-users don't have to scroll to find the answer they need.
- Make titles with end-user in mind: When people perform a search, they use the title of the Cards in the search results to determine which Card(s) to use.
- Add helpful descriptions: Descriptions give helpful context for how and when an end-user might leverage that resource. If you have Cards with a lot of links in them, make sure you have a description for each link.
- Get rid of filler Cards: If you've created a filler Card for something you want to eventually create content around, consider deleting it. It clogs up the search and detracts from your Trust Score. You can leverage the draft feature to keep in-progress Cards easily accessible without being published to your account.
- Link out to helpful resources: If there are other relevant Cards that might be helpful to link out to, use Guru's Card to Card linking feature.
- Iframe assets to save time: If you are including a google doc, sheet, or slides, make sure to include a link to the asset and then iframe it within the editor. This allows the person using the Card to get a preview of what will be in that document so they can more quickly decide if this is relevant to what they are looking for.
Thresholds for archiving Cards
In addition to improving existing Cards, it's equally important to get rid of Cards that are no longer relevant. You can leverage Card Manager in the Web App to apply filters to find the following categories.
- Cards with no views in 180+ Days: If a Card hasn't been viewed, consider archiving it or reworking the existing Card to make it easier to find.
- Cards with no Edits in 180+ days: If a Card hasn't been edited to be improved, consider if it's gone stale. If this information is no longer relevant, you can archive it.
- Cards that haven't been verified in 30+ days: If a Card hasn't been verified, it could be that it lacks ownership or isn't relevant. Decide if it needs to be re-assigned or removed.
Phase 2: Optimizing Guru for Your Processes 🚀
Now that you've improved your content, you can review your current processes in order to identify areas where Guru can better support sharing & consuming knowledge.
Knowledge sharing 👋
Alert the team about changes in workflows. With so much going on in the remote world, it can be hard to cut through the noise. People also don’t know what they don’t know.
- How do you share new knowledge with your team today?
- How do you tell your team about changes to existing workflows?
- Slack feeds: Consider sharing knowledge organically in Slack by setting up an activity feed. You can select the Board or Collection of interest and then every time someone creates a new Card in that location, it will post to channel.
- Use a Slack workflow so teams can submit knowledge gaps they see in your Guru team.
- Knowledge Alerts: Amplify your most important Cards or your "announcement" Cards by sending an alert to the specific teams that it impacts most.
- Knowledge Triggers: You can push Cards to people in their workflows. If you create Cards around how to use a new tool, considering creating Triggers in that tool so people can immediately be pushed the helpful content without even needing to search.
- Knewsletters: Create a consolidated list of announcements in a Card for your team so they can be kept up to date.
Knowledge creation 📝
You can leverage data and tools to make knowledge creation both easy & impactful.
- Qualitative data: Survey existing users to understand current pain points and get a before/after picture.
- Quantitative data: Leverage Guru's analytics to understand Searches Producing Results for specific groups to understand search trends. You can also use Searches Producing No Results to see your knowledge gaps - what these groups are searching for that doesn't have content built out yet. To look at particular groups in a specific timeframe, set the filter to that Group and timeframe.
Easier knowledge creation
- Card Templates: Create templates for Cards with consistent formatting for those Cards that often have the same elements each time.
- Knowledge Clipper: Use knowledge clipper to easily capture knowledge from sources into Guru.
Feedback loops 🔎
Identify where people can ask for new content, give feedback on existing content & ask questions today.
- Slack workflows: If you have a channel where people ask questions a lot today, consider adding in a slack workflow. You can include where that person checked before asking in this channel
- Knowledge Submissions Collection: If you want people to be able to create content to be reviewed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), consider creating a new Collection called "Knowledge Submissions" with Boards for each team (ex: "Customer Success Suggestions," "Engineering Suggestions," etc). You could give everyone author access to this Collection so anyone could submit ideas to their respective Board. You would need to establish a cadence for your SMEs to go in review the content, verify it and move it to its proper real Collection. Ideally, this would be done weekly or biweekly.
Phase 3: Communicating your changes 🗣
Create a training & rollout strategy to alert the team of changes so they’re empowered to find the knowledge they need.
- Timing: Select a launch date and when you will conduct training on them (if needed). Consider holding a Guru Offices Hours for any questions people might have.
- Announcement: Prep an announcement in whatever tool you use (Slack for example) that includes what work you did, why it matters, what people can expect, and where to provide feedback.
- Calendar Invites: Get those dates on the company or team calendar so everyone is aware of what is coming.
Day of launch:
- Finalize all changes: Make sure you are set up with all content and process changes you wish to make
- Send your prepared announcement: Feel free to add in emojis and the "why" behind the work you did
- Feedback: Review feedback from your established feedback loops to understand what went well and what could be improved. Read more about how to set up a feedback loop via a Slack workflow here!
- Survey: Implement a post-audit survey one or more months after launch