Why a Corporate Wiki Will Always Own a Spot in Your Tech Stack

Andy Cook
January 31, 2020
Why a Corporate Wiki Will Always Own a Spot in your Tech Stack

While the phrase “corporate wiki” might conjure up an image of an employee handbook that’s gathering dust in a forgotten folder, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Set up properly, a corporate wiki is just as indispensable and user-friendly as any other tool you use on a daily basis.

Nowadays, managing knowledge has never been more important. Growing startups and “agile” companies are evolving at an unprecedented pace, creating a pressing need for more processes, faster distribution of knowledge, and an accurate record of progress over time. Fortunately, a corporate wiki can do all of this for you.

Read on to learn what exactly a corporate wiki is, what the short- and long-term benefits are, and how your company can set your wiki up for success.

What Is a Corporate Wiki?

A corporate wiki is a central database of knowledge, where all of your coworkers can create, store, and search for internal documents about processes, projects, or products they’re building. You can think of it as an internal Wikipedia or Google for your company. Don’t know how to do something? Just look it up on the wiki.

Why Corporate Wikis Will Always Stay Relevant

A CORPORATE WIKI ORGANIZES IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Some companies believe that simply writing information and processes down and storing these notes somewhere count as having a corporate wiki. In reality, a true wiki is much more organized than that. 

One of the first features of a corporate wiki that you’ll notice is the schema that holds it together. These hierarchical structures support wikis, making it easy for employees to quickly find and implement important information. You can also customize them according to your company’s unique needs.

Also, unlike your notes app or Google Docs home page, the schema isn’t based on chronology — the latest posts don’t show up first in an internal wiki. You control the schema, which allows you to create a structure that places documents in intuitive locations. 

For instance, starting with a broad category like “engineering” or “marketing,” you can drill down and create more granular documents for each category’s processes, like this hierarchy of folders and pages for the People Ops team at a growing startup.

tettra screenshot of folders

Starting from the wiki’s home page, the entire team can easily find this folder on the sidebar menu or through the search bar. Once team members click into the folder, the hierarchical structure reveals the information it contains and helps them find relevant documents.

A CORPORATE WIKI IS SEARCHABLE

Your wiki’s schema might be easy on the eyes, but employees still want quick access to information.

According to McKinsey, knowledge workers spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information to do their jobs.

Any tool that can help them spend their days working instead of foraging through a handful of platforms to find a single answer is coveted. 

Thankfully, a modern corporate wiki is searchable, so employees can find information almost instantly. 

tettra screenshot of search

With Tettra, you can also search for knowledge within Slack. You can just use the /tettra find command to pull up and share knowledge with your colleagues, helping you answer questions that spontaneously crop up throughout the workday.

tettra slack slash command

Search has significantly increased the value of corporate wikis in the business world. Empowering employees to learn on their own and slash the number of questions they ask their managers gives everyone more time in their day to do deep work.

A CORPORATE WIKI DOCUMENTS THE HISTORY OF YOUR ORGANIZATION

Change is the only constant at startups. And a corporate wiki is a living, breathing resource that can evolve with your company, collecting the lessons you’ve learned as you hire new employees and iterate processes. 

This documentation process starts when you create new content in your wiki. Creating content from scratch can seem like a daunting task.

Fortunately, most corporate wikis, like Tettra, have templates to expedite the writing process and save time when you draft routine documents, such as an onboarding checklist for a new employee or client.  

tettra template example

Corporate wikis can also track the performance of your documents and help you pinpoint your most and least helpful content, just like your blog analytics dashboard. With Tettra, you can see how many people have viewed each document, reacted to them, or commented on them. 

tettra analytics example

You can also use corporate wikis to create an open and transparent company culture by encouraging everyone on the tea to suggest new content. Using Tettra, your team can use a simple form to suggest new content and “assign” it to a specific person who has the appropriate expertise to document it.  

tettra suggestion screenshot

Additionally, as your content ages and loses relevance, you can archive it. Archiving irrelevant documents will not only help your employees stay up to date but also enable managers to revisit old ideas and realize how much their company has grown.

Before you start archiving old documents, though, you may want to appoint a few employees who will make sure nothing gets lost during the process. These “knowledge managers” can act as company historians, where they record old processes and determine which processes worked and which ones didn’t.

A CORPORATE WIKI SYNCS WITH YOUR EXISTING TOOLS 

Most teams have important information scattered across multiple tools. This makes it difficult to find and implement the optimal processes for specific tasks. Luckily, most corporate wikis can integrate with a lot of tools in your tech stack, effectively turning your wiki into a single source of truth for your company. 

With Tettra, for instance, there are a number of tools you can hook up to besides Slack, which is mentioned above. One of the most popular and useful integrations is with Google Drive. This integration allows you to import external files to your wiki, search and reference Google Docs directly from a Tettra page, and embed a Google Doc into a Tettra page so you can collaborate on it. 

tettra external documents embed

Tettra also syncs with video tools such as WistiaVimeo, and Loom to help you embed videos into wiki posts. 

Additionally, Tettra links up to software development platforms such as GitHub. The integration allows you to:

  • Pick which GitHub repositories you want your Tettra account to connect to.
  • Easily create pages dedicated to each of your software development issues.
  • Search for and reference GitHub issues from those Tettra pages. 
  • Check to see if your issues are open or closed.

The average company with 200-500 employees has approximately 123 SaaS applications in their tech stack. Let your corporate wiki blend them together with ease.

Built for Change

While the term “corporate wiki” may sound like jargon, the truth is, corporate wikis are less “corporate” than ever before. They’re built to support radical transformation within a company, so organizing your wiki now will ensure that you won’t lose valuable information in the future. 

New team members will also be more empowered than ever to find the information they need and can even start contributing to the wiki from day one. Managers will have answers at their fingertips and will gain more insight as processes evolve. The best corporate wikis are made for change, and that’s why they’ll always be relevant for companies of any size, in any industry.