How to Create an Internal Wiki for Your Company

Learn why an internal wiki is one of the easiest ways to share and organize internal company information.

Internal wiki

In 2012, McKinsey reported that on average, “employees spend 9.3 hours per week searching and gathering information”. That essentially means that if you had five employees, only four would show up to work. The fifth would be busy searching for answers, but not contributing any value.

When internal company knowledge gets spread across Slack, archived email threads, and disconnected docs, finding the information you need and keeping it up-to-date becomes a challenge. Time gets wasted with repetitive questions, work gets duplicated, and new employees take longer to reach full productivity.

This is where internal wikis come into play.

What is an internal wiki?

An internal wiki (also called a private wiki or an internal knowledge base) is a place where your entire team can share and organize company information. It can include meeting notes, manuals, design documents, product requirements, team playbooks, and more.

An internal wiki is created, extended, and maintained collaboratively by the employees themselves. It acts as your team's single source of truth – you can think of it as your company's own internal Wikipedia. As your team and your business grow, an internal wiki can become one of your most valuable assets.

Here is an example of what an internal wiki could look like (created using Nuclino):

Internal wiki Nuclino

Why use an internal company wiki

Here are just some of the reasons why creating a wiki is a worthwhile investment:

How to create an internal wiki

Step 1: Select the right internal wiki software

Creating an internal wiki is easier than you may think, especially when you find the right tool. In the past, companies had to choose between setting up a complex and unintuitive internal wiki such as MediaWiki or DokuWiki, or having to hunt through folders in their Google Drive to find what they are looking for.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case, and you have quite a few user-friendly internal wiki tools to choose from. An ideal wiki should:

One such internal wiki tool is Nuclino. Unlike traditional intranet and wiki platforms, with Nuclino there's nothing to install or configure, it works directly from your browser. Simply create a free account to get started.

Step 2: Import or create content

If you are switching from another software, such as Confluence or Google Docs, you can easily import your content into Nuclino.

If you are starting from scratch, you may want to begin by creating a dedicated workspace for each high-level topic, for example, Engineering, Customer Support, HR, and so on. After you have the basic structure in place, you can go ahead and start creating the first pages of your wiki. The intuitive WYSIWYG editor makes it easy to get started.

Internal wiki content editor

All content in Nuclino can be collaborated on in real time, automatically saving every change in version history and preventing version conflicts. Integrations with 25+ different apps allow you to bring your wiki pages to life with interactive media embeds.

Step 3: Link related pages together

Internal linking is one of the core features of a wiki. In Nuclino, linking pages together is as easy as typing an "@", allowing you to instantly organize information without even thinking.

Internal wiki internal links

Internal links allow you and your team to navigate and explore your wiki in a more intuitive and natural way. In Nuclino, all your team's interconnected documents automatically create an interactive mind map, giving you an easy overview of all your documentation. Watch it grow as your team adds more content.

Internal wiki visual structure knowledge graph

Step 4: Configure access rights

To properly configure permissions and access rights for your team members, there are several decisions you need to make:

Depending on the internal wiki software you choose, as well as your team size, configuring access rights may be very simple or quite complicated. Nuclino aims to keep roles and permissions as straightforward as possible, so this should be a fairly easy task.

Internal wiki access rights

Step 5: Create a beautiful welcome page

First impressions matter, as does the first page your team members see when they join your internal wiki. Getting used to a new tool is not easy, so a welcome page is a perfect opportunity to provide some guidance on how to use it and where to find what.

What is the purpose of this wiki? What is the most important information? Who is expected to keep it up-to-date? Who do I turn to if I have questions? The welcome page of your wiki is a great place to clarify these and any other questions your colleagues may have about your new internal wiki.

Internal wiki welcome page

An example of an internal wiki welcome page in Nuclino

Getting your team on board

An internal wiki can only serve its purpose if it's regularly consulted and updated. Stale and out-of-date content is one of the main reasons why wikis get abandoned. Often, the underlying problem is the overly complex software – the more confusing, slow, and frustrating the user experience is, the less likely is your team to engage with your wiki. Which is why choosing a tool that is easy-to-use and intuitive is so important when it comes to company wikis.

If your team has never used a wiki before, you may also need to invest time into communicating its value to your colleagues. More often than not, documentation is seen as a boring and tedious chore. Without clear incentives, your team is unlikely to change their habits and start actively contributing. Make it a team KPI. Reward the most active wiki contributors. Get the ball rolling, and the rest of your team will follow.

After all, knowledge is a company asset like any other, and it's far harder to replace than a piece of office equipment.

Sign up for a free Nuclino account, and get started with your internal wiki. Your entire team will benefit from being able to share and find the knowledge they need.

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