How to Create an Internal Knowledge Base: The Ultimate Guide

Winona Rajamohan
May 12, 2022
min read
January 18, 2024
Photo credit
Learn how to create an internal knowledge base and boost productivity with our ultimate guide. Explore best practices and popular tools for an effective internal knowledge base.


An internal knowledge base (IKB) puts all company info into a single platform, empowering teams to work more productively and independently.

What happens if teams are forced to work without a centralized repository of information? They waste a lot of time and energy looking for and recreating documents and fixing errors due to poor access to information.

To avoid these pitfalls, let's explore seven best practices you can apply today to design a solid internal knowledge base. Let’s get into it!

Build an internal knowledge base in half the time ➜

TL;DR: Internal knowledge base

  • An internal knowledge base (IKB) is a centralized platform for company information, improving productivity and reducing errors.
  • An internal knowledge base should include troubleshooting help, FAQs, department-specific details, policies, training materials, branding guidelines, process documents, and organizational structure.
  • Benefits of an internal knowledge base include enhancing productivity, saving costs, minimizing knowledge loss, increasing collaboration, and improving onboarding.
  • To build an IKB, review the current status, create a management team, research and choose a knowledge management tool, establish a user-friendly structure and guidelines, prioritize important information, outline a review and approval process, collect and review employee feedback, and measure the impact and success.
  • Scribe is an AI-powered tool that can help build an internal knowledge base quickly and effectively.

Build knowledge base articles in seconds with Scribe ➜

Wh‎at is an internal knowledge base?

An internal knowledge base is an org-wide database of resources and training material only for employees. It's a self-service, centralized knowledge-sharing platform with documents for the processes and policies employees need.

An IKB—also known as an internal wiki—simplifies storing and sharing knowledge across the organization. Instead of restricting internal company knowledge to a few people, a knowledge base makes learning more collaborative and accessible. So, employees don’t have to dedicate close to two hours of their daily routines to find relevant internal information and answers. 

Twine is a great example of a knowledge base.

Twine - internal knowledge base
(Source: Twine)

‎These snippets from the brand’s internal knowledge base show how it conveys information clearly and concisely. 

What to include in an internal knowledge base

Knowing what to include in your internal knowledge base is a great way to get the ball rolling for your knowledge management strategy. The best part about this step is that you don’t have to follow any rules about what to include.

Your internal knowledge base delivers the most specific and relevant information to employees. Here are a few common resources that companies generally have in their internal knowledge bases:

  • Troubleshooting help.
  • Frequently asked questions.
  • Department-specific details.
  • Company policies and calendar.
  • Onboarding and training materials.
  • Branding and marketing guidelines.
  • Process documents and instructional videos.
  • Organizational structure and employee directory.

Think of your company knowledge base as your team's single source of truth. Add any crucial detail that can make your employees' lives easier!

5 ‎benefits of an internal knowledge base 

Still not convinced about building a corporate wiki for your org? Read these five reasons to understand how an IKB can benefit you and your team to change your opinion:

1. Enhance productivity

You’d be surprised to know that employees spend five hours on average every week waiting for coworkers to share the knowledge necessary for their jobs. An internal knowledge base can help you save explicit knowledge as well as tribal knowledge — the unspoken wisdom of how your company runs.

A company-wide knowledge base centralizes essential information and delivers it in a ready-to-consume format. So, you can minimize the number of wasted hours and ramp up employee productivity.

2. Save more costs

An internal knowledge base multiplies your cost savings by saving hours of wasted employee effort on finding answers and documents.

If your knowledge base eliminates time wasted on searching for and sharing information, you'll save many hours monthly and annually, increasing output and employee satisfaction.

3. Minimize knowledge loss

Picture this: a member of your upper management team leaves after 10+ years of work. With them goes all the specialized workflows and operations knowledge they had acquired.

Building an internal wiki reduces the risk of losing employee knowledge. With a knowledge-base Chrome extension like Scribe, you can create interactive guides and how-to tutorials, storing all employee knowledge in a single dashboard to reduce knowledge loss. 

You can use Scribe's transition plan template as a starting point to centralize critical processes and resources within a single page—all you need to do is duplicate the template and build your transition plan with Scribe Pages.

‎This transition plan template can be easily embedded into your internal knowledge base, simplifying the process of gathering essential knowledge in one place.

4. Increase collaboration

If you believe sharing vital information over emails is the best way to share knowledge, think again. Ninety-two percent of employees show signs of distress—like an elevated heart rate—when dealing with many unread emails. 

Replace emails and group messages with an internal knowledge base and promote cross-departmental collaboration. It allows employees to find and share quick answers to their problems—making it a team effort.

5. Seamless onboarding

A new employee can feel lost in the maze of documents if you don’t have a knowledge management framework to streamline their onboarding.

With a well-designed company knowledge base, you can make employee onboarding much shorter and smoother. You'll technically be giving them a company manual containing core resources with answers to every job-related question they have.

Automate your knowledge creation for free with Scribe ➜

Ho‎w to create and structure an internal knowledge base

Now that you're ready to commit to a centralized knowledge database, where do you begin—and how?

If these questions hold you back, steal our best practices to design a flawless internal knowledge base.

Step 1. Review current status and define goals

Before you iron out the finer details of a knowledge management process, assess the status quo. Identify the biggest roadblocks for employees and understand how these issues hamper their performance. 

A clear understanding of the current setup will define the scope of your knowledge base—the details you need to cover and to what extent. 

Use this handy list of questions to carry out this initial assessment:

  • How does your team share critical information?
  • What processes are a part of your employee training program?
  • Are we following knowledge sharing best practices?
  • What are the consequences of the current ways of sharing knowledge?
  • What are some flaws in your knowledge-sharing arrangement?

Step 2. Create a team to manage the knowledge base

One of the essential steps in building a knowledge base is appointing a team to manage it. Creating, maintaining, and updating this wiki is a continuous process. You need knowledge managers to plan and oversee the database. 

This managerial team can decide:

  • Areas and aspects to cover.
  • Contributors from every department.
  • Schedule to post and update resources.

Besides these core responsibilities, the team can also coordinate with all employees to produce accurate content for the knowledge base. They are also expected to finalize a good IKB software and upload the content on the tool. 

Step 3. Select a knowledge management tool

The choice of the platform hosting your IKB is equally important as its content. However, this choice isn't easy, with so many knowledge management software saturating the market. 

Shortlist tools that match your requirements and perform thorough research for every tool to weigh its pros and cons. Read user reviews, compare features and perform pricing analysis before deciding. 

Here are a few internal knowledge base software features to test in your research:

  • Interface: User-friendly interface and interactive dashboard.
  • Search: Offers ease of search to look for any content in a few seconds.
  • Uploads: Effortless document upload capacity with scanning and bulk upload options.
  • Integrations: Allows easy integration with any tools to avoid disrupting current workflows.
  • Authoring: Facilitates collaboration with teammates through commenting and versioning features.

The bottom line: your choice of a knowledge sharing platform will depend on your organizational needs—in the present and future. So, ideate and identify your knowledge-sharing needs to make the right call. 

Scribe tip: Learn more about how to create a knowledge base on these popular platforms:

Step 4. Establish a user-friendly structure and guidelines

When deciding the structure and setup of your IKB, it helps to keep yourself in an employee’s shoes. Now, think of the best ways to make the knowledge base as frictionless and smooth as possible. 

Create a solid structure for your wiki from the start. Here are three ways to structure a company knowledge base:

  • By role: Ideal for small-to-midsize companies with employees in multiple designations, not necessarily in the same departments.
  • By department: Suited for large enterprises with several departments or employees categorized in different segments.
  • By offering: Best for companies offering various products/services with employees responsible for one product/service.

Standardizing your knowledge base articles is another way to produce a seamless employee experience. Define consistent article creation guidelines for every contribution to the knowledge base—brand voice, quality benchmarks, scannability and reading ease are some factors to consider.

Remember: the fewer tabs and articles you have to click to find answers, the better. So, find more ways to declutter your internal wiki and organize information. 

Scribe tip: Looking to create a knowledge base tailored to your industry or job function? Check out these related resources:

Step 5. Measure the impact and success of your internal knowledge base

Quantitative metrics can help you evaluate how employees use your knowledge base and what actions you can take to fill any gaps in information accessibility, user experience, and overall team productivity. These metrics and key performance indicators include:

  • Page views for articles and resources.
  • Search success rate.
  • Top knowledge base search terms.
  • Time spent on page.
  • Time taken to resolve support tickets.
  • Number of tickers deflected thanks to self-help knowledge base resources.
  • Time taken to complete tasks and processes.
  • Error rates in tasks and processes.

In‎ternal knowledge base software

Now that you know exactly what steps to take, let’s look at five popular knowledge base software that can help you design both internal and external knowledge bases.

1. Scribe

Scribe - the fastest way to create an internal knowledge base

Scribe is an AI-powered tool that automates knowledge-sharing, making it easy to document processes and create more effective knowledge content in seconds.

With easy document creation capabilities, you can build visual step-by-step guides with text and annotated screenshots and let AI do the rest.

Just click "Start Capture" and go through any process as usual. Scribe will automatically generate a step-by-step guide with screenshots, instructions and click indicators.

You can embed Scribes into almost any platform and present critical info in easy to read formats. 

  • User-friendly drag-and-drop interface that's easy to use, even for non-technical users.
  • Create and share engaging step-by-step guides with one click, helping you work more efficiently.
  • Blur sensitive information from screenshots (Scribe Pro).
  •  Combine multiple guides seamlessly, use generative AI to add text and headers, and combine video, images, and other multimedia elements Scribe's versatile Pages feature.
  • Easily access your Scribes in a central, searchable repository for your team.
  • Document collaboration features make it easy to collaborate on content, share feedback, and ensure everyone stays in sync.
  • With version history and universal updates, you can always be sure your team has up-to-date information, reliable and up-to-date.

Build knowledge base articles in seconds with Scribe ➜

2. Zendesk

Zendesk - internal knowledge base
(Source: Zendesk)

Zendesk's suite of products comes with knowledge management software to create information-packed IKBs with rich formatting, proper structure and 40+ native languages. 

3. Bloomfire

Bloomfire - internal knowledge base
(Source: Bloomfire)

Bloomfire is a searchable knowledge management platform with crowd-sourced FAQs and AI-enabled search capabilities. You also get reporting and branding functions to customize your internal wiki. 

4. Guru

Guru - internal knowledge base
(Source: Guru)

Guru is another knowledge management solution sorting contextually relevant information with AI-powered recommendations. It lets users build a community of members alongside content categorization options.

5. Document360

Document360 - internal knowledge base
(Source: Document360)

Document360 is a comprehensive knowledge base platform for both external customers and employees. You can use it to build knowledge base websites, portals, in-app widgets, and access distinct features for editors, writers, and reviewers.

Be‎st practices for an internal knowledge base

Here are some best practices to consider when developing your knowledge base.

1. Prioritize information based on importance

Designing a knowledge base can take weeks, if not months. 

What's the more manageable, less time-consuming way to approach this situation? Easy—prioritizing the essential information. 

Instead of covering a broader ground, focus more on the quality of information you share. Map priority levels to different points in your structure and start with the information relevant to all employees in your team. 

A project calendar would come in handy to chalk out a timeline-based roadmap for building your IKB. Remember to create, publish, assess and repeat. 

2. Outline a clear review and approval process

An internal knowledge base acts as the collective brain of your organization. It also reflects your company’s work environment and culture. So, remember to ensure that all information uploaded into your knowledge base aligns with your quality standards and brand values. 

To ensure you deliver a high-level experience for your IKB, design a solid review and approval process for the contributors. 

  • Clearly define who can contribute.
  • Communicate expectations for every resource submission.
  • Share resource benchmarks for contributors to reference.
  • Create a strict process of review and quality checks.

Modify your guidelines review process based on employee feedback. This can ensure your team produces only the best quality content. 

3. Collect and review employee feedback

A company knowledge base is a live platform that evolves consistently with changes in organizational workflows and employee needs. So it's vital to assess the impact of your resources regularly. 

Create an iterative process to collect and analyze feedback, then implement it. Here are some potential areas to review your IKB:

  • Are employees able to find relevant information easily and quickly?
  • What challenges do employees face when accessing the knowledge base?
  • How helpful are the resources available for each department and org-wide?
  • What articles/resources are the most popular in terms of views and responses?

Besides these questions, you can also set a feedback meter at the end of each resource. Employees can share their views in a couple of clicks and you can redo the articles based on poor feedback. 

📌 ‎Related resource: 6 Knowledge Management Challenges (& Solutions)


What are examples of knowledge bases?

Knowledge bases serve different purposes and cater to various industries.

  • Wikipedia is a well-known public knowledge base that allows users to contribute and retrieve information on various subjects.
  • Businesses maintain internal knowledge bases for training, company regulations, and documentation.
  • Help centers serve as customer support knowledge bases, providing solutions to frequently asked questions on websites and software applications.
  • Specialized knowledge bases cater to specific fields or industries, such as medical reference databases, technical documentation, and legal references.

Wrapping up: internal knowledge bases

An internal knowledge base is a key to unlocking higher productivity, greater collaboration, faster onboarding and reduced frustration. It centralizes all your knowledge assets to simplify and shorten the process of finding solutions. 

If you're looking to build an IKB scratch or revamp an existing one, this guide has all the answers. Follow the seven tried-and-tested practices in this guide to maximize your IKB's outputs.

Want to build an internal knowledge base in less time? Check out Scribe for free!

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