What is a Slack wiki?

Why your internal wiki should live in Slack

4 things to look for when evaluating a Slack wiki solution

  1. Searchability
  2. Knowledge creation
  3. Information trust status
  4. Analytics

Considering using Slack to upgrade your internal company wiki?

You’re not alone. Founders are constantly searching (and often struggling) to find the most suitable wiki for their company’s internal knowledge. And, honestly, I completely understand why most leaders think an internal wiki would benefit their business. After all, wikis are supposed to be a fairly quick way to collaborate and share company information in a centralized location. But most organizations — especially remote ones — are already doing just that in Slack! So, as a first step, why not take advantage of all that knowledge? Knowing you want to use Slack, we can help you evaluate the best company wiki solution for your org.

What is a Slack wiki?

A wiki is an updatable source of internal company information. A Slack wiki has the same function, but is suited for collaborative workflows. Wikis that aren't equipped with a Slack or other collaborative software integration don't take into account the way we work is changing. By adding Slack to your existing internal wiki, you can access your entire knowledge base without ever leaving the conversation.

Company wikis are just the jumping off point

Traditional wikis (even ones with Slack integrations) rapidly become outdated and difficult to manage as your team grows and your knowledge scales, resulting in low adoption. That being said, if you're on the hunt for an internal corporate wiki, make sure it offers a Slack integration

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Let's break down the two important reasons why traditional wikis don't cut it anymore:

Internal wikis make it difficult to determine if your content is accurate or effective

Here’s what happens to content in most internal wikis:

  • You spend a lot of time writing and crafting the perfect page, but after you write it, you forget to update it or that it even exists. 
  • Wikis make it nearly impossible to tell when the content was last updated or even being read in the first place resulting in stale content
  • Your team doesn't trust that the content in your wiki is accurate, which leads to low adoption.
  • Even worse, your team could be using this out-of-date information and sharing it with your prospects or customers!

Information around your business changes every day: new features get built, new competitors emerge, and new internal processes get created. You need to find an internal wiki that lives and grows with your company, so why not put it in Slack, right at the heart of communication streams?

Traditional company wikis don’t live in your Slack communications workflow

While content is easy to add in internal wikis, accessing it is much more difficult. Typically, internal wikis act as portals, meaning that to get any knowledge from them, your team must leave their workflow, open another tab and then search it to find knowledge. This is a real pain and a loss of productivity for your company. According to McKinsey, your customer-facing teams are spending ⅓ of their time just searching for information!

Contributing to that time is the constant context switching between workflow and wiki your team needs to do just to access important company knowledge. Your business lives in apps like Slack, or your CRM for your sales team, and your ticketing solution for your support team. For that reason, shouldn't your internal wiki reside there too? 

Speaking of Slack, the collaboration and conversation app is ubiquitous. It helps strengthen internal communication for more than 12 million users on a daily basis, and the average user is logged into Slack for over 10 hours per day. In fact, it's a great foundation for your entire tech stack.

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4 things to look for when evaluating a Slack wiki solution:

1. Knowledge searchability

When you search in Slack, you are searching through conversations. When you search your wiki, you are searching for knowledge. Conversations are static, once they happen they don’t change. Knowledge, however, should evolve as your company grows. Content in your wiki is meant to change. See how Guru solves this issue with our Slack Solution.

Unlike a wiki, an integrated knowledge management platform is a single source of truth. 

Your company needs a single source of truth so they no longer have to search in between multiple Google Drive and Box folders, email threads, and Slack conversations just to find one answer. 

Information in traditional internal wikis quickly becomes outdated because:

  • Conversations in Slack and email threads are static
  • Processes, competitors, and your product changes over time
  • Subject matter experts aren’t constantly updating and verifying information in wikis

Customer-facing teams don’t want to misinform prospects and customers. So, the lack of confidence in your internal wiki leads them to message or interrupt the subject matter experts on your team. This leads to a cycle of decaying interest in maintaining your internal wiki.

Typical internal wiki maintenance

Aside from a longterm negative return on investment, just the interruption of your experts is costing your team money. A recent study showed it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to recover from an interruption. One-off messages and shoulder taps don’t scale, especially when your client-facing teams continue to grow and individually message the same questions to your experts over and over again. Finding a knowledge solution that can easily be searched within Slack is key towards eliminating the distracting interruptions that are hampering the productivity of your team.

 

 

Psst! Did you know Slack uses Guru for knowledge management instead of a wiki? Find out why their teams love Guru.

Slack uses Guru

2. Knowledge creation

Your Slack channels are filled with a wealth of relevant company knowledge that has been created through organic conversations. The beauty of the app is the fact that it facilitates collaboration between teams but each team may have a separate Slack channel where knowledge is being shared and updated in real-time, so not everyone is in the know.

If you don’t capture that knowledge after it’s been created, you’re missing out on value created from using Slack. Worse yet, it means your subject matter experts are still getting constant shoulder taps and repetitive questions that could already have answers living in your knowledge base.

With a wiki that lives in Slack capturing knowledge should be as simple as a click of a button, and with Guru's Slack solution, it is.

how Guru works within Slack to capture information

Once captured in your wiki, it can be immediately reused by your entire company which will lower the repetitive questions your experts are consistently receiving.

3. Wiki trust status

As mentioned earlier, stale or inaccurate content leads to distrust of your wiki and low adoption. Here's what you should look for from a wiki to ensure they are handling the issue of stale content:

  • Ability to assign knowledge to experts on your team (or a group of them)
  • The wiki incorporates “push” tactics to proactively remind experts to verify content is still accurate
  • A way to enable your experts to update content while working in Slack 

Guru makes it easy to trust what you find. Learn more about our features here.

Trusted knowledge

4. Analytics to monitor adoption and usage

It's important to be able to understand what knowledge in your wiki is being used the most. Ensure you find a solution that has analytics to monitor usage of your wiki so you can identify your most effective knowledge as well as overall adoption of your knowledge base. The best solutions will also be able to suggest knowledge that should be added to your wiki based on searches that do not produce results. 

There you have it. Now that you understand why traditional wikis are not effective and what to look for in a Slack wiki, we hope you are armed with everything you need to effectively evaluate potential solutions.

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