How to pick a knowledge sharing solution

Considering a knowledge-sharing solution? If so, you have plenty of options to choose from, each with their own unique feature sets. How can you narrow down your choices and find the best solution for your company’s needs?

Evaluate your options

Start by researching the best-in-class solutions, with your company’s unique use case in mind. For instance, if you’re focused on using a tool that can help improve internal team productivity, you’ll want to focus on a tool that’s designed for teams, rather than for customer self-service.

Also think about what types of content your team or customer base will be sharing. Will they need to upload screenshots, videos, PDFs, and other forms of content? If so, a tool that only facilitates plain-text data entry won’t be sufficient for your needs.

Integrations can be key as well: If your team regularly uses Slack and Jira, for instance, can the tool integrate with those platforms so that team members aren’t constantly moving from one app or browser tab to the next?

Once you’ve narrowed down the list somewhat, some of your favorite tools for a test-drive to evaluate their navigability. If you don’t find them easy and intuitive to use, your team members won’t either.

Prioritize your need: knowledge transfer or knowledge use

Is it most important for your knowledge-sharing tool to make it easy for users to develop content themselves and disseminate their proprietary knowledge, or is it more important for all team members to be able to easily gain access to the knowledge with robust search and tagging functionality?

In some cases, just one may be a priority, but if both are key, consider using a Q&A-based tool: This type of structure makes it simple and intuitive for users to request the knowledge they need, and for others to respond to the question and add additional context and insight. Users can gain access to the existing knowledge at any point by searching or using tags to find relevant content, and the most useful answers can be voted up for greater visibility.

Identify your non-negotiables to make a final decision

Finally, once you’ve identified your priorities and tried out some options, talk to executive stakeholders and team members within your organization to get their feedback on what’s most important to them. Use these feedback sessions to determine what’s non-negotiable in a knowledge management solution, whether that applies to security measures, integrations, or other features.

Implementing a knowledge-sharing solution successfully requires widespread adoption throughout the organization, so it’s important to take time on the decision and make sure all viewpoints are considered. Take the time to find a tool you know your company can grow with.

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