What is an internal wiki

Want to create an internal wiki for your team to improve the knowledge sharing flow? This guide will walk you through the basics of what an internal wiki is and how you can implement one for your company.

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According to a 2012 McKinsey study, employees spent 9.3 hours every week just looking for information to do their jobs. Especially now companies often use multiple tools to get their work done, when information is scattered between thousands of emails, instant messages, presentations, hard copies, and employees’ brains, you can imagine how it ends up taking up so much time. But if you implement an internal knowledge base to centralize your internal company information, maybe some of that wasted time can go toward productive work. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to invent the wheel with this one. There are a lot of internal wiki solutions on the market, and this guide will tell you everything you need to know about implementing a company wiki for your team.

What is an internal wiki?

An internal company wiki is a centralised knowledge hub where your teammates share and organize company information and important team knowledge. It can include onboarding checklist, vacation policy, product requirements docs, meeting notes, sales training, troubleshooting guides and more  (check out our company wiki template gallery for more examples). 

Below is an example of what an internal wiki can look like, created using Kipwise - a lightweight company wiki solution

internal team wiki

Benefits of Using an Internal Wiki

We won’t pretend like creating an internal wiki isn’t a significant undertaking. It is, and it will take time and resources. But it’s well worth that effort. Why?

First, internal wikis help you onboard new team members faster. When everything they need to know to get started in their job is all concentrated in one place, a new employee can focus on getting up to speed rather than going on a scavenger hunt for information.

Internal wikis also help make managers’ lives easier. Instead of having to hear the same question repeated again and again, managers can point their subordinates to the company wiki which will answer it for them. And along with that, team members will have the opportunity to be more independent and proactive, searching for answers to their own questions, even if somebody is on holiday or working from home.

Finally, internal wikis help you to keep information around - even when things change in the company. You no longer have to deal with the age-old problem of losing a bunch of information when a key employee leaves the company. 

How to create an internal team wiki

Now that you’re thoroughly convinced of the value of an internal wiki, how do you go about implementing one for your company?

Choose a software

The first step is to select an internal wiki software. There are many options out there to choose from. To help you explore the available options, we have compiled a list of modern internal wiki tools that you can try. When considering the option, a good knowledge base software should:

Import information

Once you’ve picked a knowledge base software, your next step is to begin drafting your initial wiki content. This will be a process of importing existing documentation and writing new content where it becomes clear it is necessary to do so. 

To begin with, it’s a good idea for your internal wiki to cover at least the following topics:

Check out our internal wiki template gallery for more inspiration and our ultimate guide on how to structure your internal knowledge base. Naturally, as you develop your wiki, you’ll discover countless uses for it and information to include that is a fit for your unique company’s needs.

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Set up integrations

One of the most useful features of a well-made wiki software is the ability to integrate with other tools that your company is most likely already using such as Slack, Google Drive, Google Chrome, Trello, Airtable, and others. So make a list of the tools that would be convenient to see integrated into your wiki and go through and set up the integrations. With Kipwise, it’ll take no time at all before everything is seamlessly merged.

Configure access rights

Another important part of your team wiki to set up is access rights, as you’ll find that not everybody will need, want, or be authorized to have access to every part of your wiki. 

For the different sections of your internal team wiki, you’ll want to determine:

  • Should this be public or private?
  • Who should be able to edit this?

Another point to consider is which team members should have access to permissions for the company wiki tool itself, such as its billing and account settings.

Welcome your team to the tool

Once you’ve got all of these elements, you’re ready to introduce your new internal knowledge base to your company! Consider starting out by creating a wiki page specifically to welcome your team and help them navigate around the wiki, including:

  • A description of what this tool is
  • All of the exciting benefits your team will be able to enjoy while using the new wiki
  • An explanation for how this tool will be used moving forward
  • Quick links to useful and important wiki pages
  • Frequently asked questions about the wiki
  • Which teammates you can turn to with questions about the wiki

How to engage your team in using the internal wiki

Every new tool, no matter how wonderful, will involve growing pains as the people in your organization adjust to changing their workflow and processes around it. And a big part of this is lovingly encouraging your team to use, know, and love the wiki. Because if the company doesn’t buy into consistently updating and consulting the wiki, it’ll become outdated, redundant, and ineffective. Check out the below blog posts for some tips on how to spread usage in your team: 

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